Berkeley River and Beyond

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Pancho 43
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Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by Pancho 43 » Apr 10th, '12, 14:44

We're planning a trip to the Kimberleys and curious if any of the members have cruised further North and West from the Berkeley, such as King George, Drysdale, King Edward, and so on. I doubt we'd make it any further than King Edward as it's a big hop around to the Mitchell, as fuel is an issue if the wind is a bit light. I'd really like to see the Prince Regent ---------------
If so any advise would be appreciated. Klaus, Bob, Mike, anyone ??
I've contemplated asking around Wyndham re fuel drops in the area but have not done so yet.

Thanks in advance.
Pete.
Farr 6000 "Just Farr Me"

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BosunBob
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Re: Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by BosunBob » Apr 15th, '12, 17:20

Hi Pete,
Just saw this. Berkeley River is the westermost Kimberley cruise for us. Beautiful river btw.
Suggest you pm Mike or AZ100. They have done a few in those areas. Both had some great snaps of those other rivers and could advise on refuelling etc.
Eric and Flo -Court 750 'Erflo 2' would also be a great contact. I used to have their writeup of Wyndham to Broome but can't locate itaccompanied with a Farr 7500.
Re fuel carriage I posted " Re storage aboard for long cruises - Erflo (Court 750) tows extra fuel / water in their dinghy and managed a few months in tough territory with a Farr 7500 Wyndham to Broome. I prefer not to tow dinghies on big hops, they slow you down and we had trouble reinverting our 3.2m Zodiac in Flying Foam Passage on the Burrup Peninsula. Think we raised a few eyebrows on Lizard Island when we beached Bosun to blow up the dinghy and the reverse 8 days later. We have carried 100 litres of fuel and 120 litres water in the S7 for cruises out of Wyndham and Darwin. Reckon we would have been OK for up to a month if holed up awhile. Keeler cruisers at such places when heading back to civilisation usually ask around if anyone needs their surplus water."

-Bob
Sonata7/LC/NSW

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Pancho 43
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Re: Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by Pancho 43 » Apr 15th, '12, 20:45

Thanks Bob. I've been reading a few of your posts and a couple of others after doing a search with just the word "Wyndham" and saw reference to Erflo.
I've managed to carry about 140 litres of fuel and 160 of water on both of our previous longer trips. I've never used it all although on the Vanderlins/Roper trip we did get an extra 20 litres at Ngukurr because of the expected motoring downriver. Although we did do a lot of motoring back down the Roper and Limmen Bight Rivers and then after Kingsley's rudder pintle broke, we still brought back about 40 litres.
I did not have any solar panels at all on previous trips and had to run the engine at least an hour each day to keep the batteries charged for the freezer, but the little honda runs very economical with a sixty amp alternator attached. It will charge at least 30 amps at idle, but of course it cuts back quickly after the first 10 minuets or so. I will have 100 watts of solar so we'll see how we go this time. It should make a big difference.

I'm hoping to be able to top-up our water supplies from the waterfalls,---- If they're still running. Apparently there has not been much rain this year other than that quick low/mini-cyclone that went through a few weeks ago. I've marked a few potential places to get fresh water. Otherwise it might be a shorter trip than planned.

I was hoping that Jacana Mike or Charlotte Klaus might have been in the further areas so I'll take your advise and PM them. Thanks again.
I have no idea how to contact Eric and Flo.

Edit since reading your comment re dinghies and crocks---We have taken a 12 foot vee bottom tinnie, an old Dehavilland CT 12, on both of our trips so far and on our first trip I mostly towed as my F6 was a little faster than Kingsleys Cole 19. Since Kingsley has bought his Noelex he has mostly towed it but complained every time, so we've agreed to share the towing equally this time, and he'll just have to get used to waiting for me to catch up. I don't mind towing it at all, even though it does slow us a bit. On our first trip up the western side of Cape York we had unexpected onshore winds every time we sailed and as you know the Gulf is very shallow in close so gets very joggly and i had a bit of trouble with the dinghy "catching chutes" and yawing off. I eased this by using a piece of rubber tube as a shock absorber and we'll be taking plenty of rubber on this trip.

Cheers, Pete.
Farr 6000 "Just Farr Me"

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zebedee
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Re: Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by zebedee » Apr 16th, '12, 01:04

Pancho 43 wrote:...the little honda runs very economical with a sixty amp alternator attached. It will charge at least 30 amps at idle, but of course it cuts back quickly after the first 10 minuets or so...
Tell us more! What is this "little Honda"?
A man's boat is his Castle. The Gippsland Lakes are my moat. Castle 650 #10, Roller Coaster.

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Pancho 43
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Re: Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by Pancho 43 » Apr 16th, '12, 12:21

Hello Zeb, sorry to disappoint you if you think it's an inbuilt alternator on the BF8, just a Mazda car alternator with inbuilt fan (a bit safer) bolted on the back. It's a bit ugly as I cannot get hold of a spare cowl to modify and I don't want to cut up the existing one. Have tried ringing outboard wreckers everywhere and they all told me that they've never seen a wrecked Honda!! One also told me the 8 HP Honda would NEVER run the 60 amps!! As we know the only time the alternator would be pumping out 60 amps would be if the battery was down and we had headlights, heater-fans and all the other crap in a car running.
I do find that if the batteries are down a fair bit I have to start the engine BEFORE switching the ignition/exciter on and I have to screw the idle in about a 1/4 turn further or it will stall.
I have a piece of heavy reinforced nylon (or somesuch) tarpaulin with a drawstring to go over it while sailing in open waters to keep the spray off.
P7150052alternator.JPG
P7150052alternator.JPG (61.98 KiB) Viewed 3702 times
A picture is worth a thousand words they say-----if it works!

Cheers, Pete.
Farr 6000 "Just Farr Me"

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MoodyBlue
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Re: Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by MoodyBlue » Apr 16th, '12, 12:30

On the old TSP site there were pics of an alternator mounted directly above the motor directly driven by the crankshaft.
The owner could remove it, and the small hole was filled by an inspection hatch when not being used.
Sad we can't access some of that old stuff.

Jeff
"There is no perfect boat. There are only those shaded to your preferences.":-)

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Pancho 43
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Re: Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by Pancho 43 » Apr 16th, '12, 12:59

Yes Jeff I remember that pic. Was it Furstin or Zeb or? I don't remember the details of it being directly mounted but it would mean that the engine would not charge at idle as mine does. I'm very happy with the setup that I have, but would love to modify a spare cowl to make it weatherproof. Anyone know of one? condition unimportant, as I'll be cutting it up anyway.
On my six weekly stay at Wathumba, I used a lot more fuel in the 3.3 outboard on my little displacement Gipsy sailing dinghy, than in the Honda even though we just putted along at about 1/4 throttle. I would run the Honda about 1/2 hour in the morn and again 1/2 hour in the evenings, If we didn't go anywhere under engine. As soon as the charge gets under about 6 amps I shut it down. I run a 70 litre freezer at about -12c.
For the whole six weeks I used under 50 litres all up including the run out under engine as there was NO wind.
I am always amazed at the economy of the hondas.
P1010343Alternator2.JPG
P1010343Alternator2.JPG (43.99 KiB) Viewed 3699 times
Another shot of the Alternator in the Roper River.

Cheers, Pete.
Farr 6000 "Just Farr Me"

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MoodyBlue
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Re: Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by MoodyBlue » Apr 16th, '12, 14:02

Pete,
Another thought is the very tiny alternators used on Yamaha bikes and ATV's and the like these days.
I senn one off a FJ Yamaha a few weeks ago and it was so compact.

Jeff
"There is no perfect boat. There are only those shaded to your preferences.":-)

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zebedee
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Re: Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by zebedee » Apr 16th, '12, 14:33

MoodyBlue wrote:On the old TSP site there were pics of an alternator mounted directly above the motor directly driven by the crankshaft.
The owner could remove it, and the small hole was filled by an inspection hatch when not being used.
Sad we can't access some of that old stuff.

Jeff
That was me! The motor was my old Chrysler 6hp Sailor 150 and the alternator (long dead) went in Greg's rubbish bin about 2 weeks ago.
A man's boat is his Castle. The Gippsland Lakes are my moat. Castle 650 #10, Roller Coaster.

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zebedee
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Re: Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by zebedee » Apr 16th, '12, 14:46

Pancho 43 wrote:Hello Zeb, sorry to disappoint you if you think it's an inbuilt alternator on the BF8,
Actually I thought it must be one of these.
Image
Pancho 43 wrote:...just a Mazda car alternator with inbuilt fan (a bit safer) bolted on the back. It's a bit ugly as I cannot get hold of a spare cowl to modify and I don't want to cut up the existing one.
It's a bit elegant compared to the one I had on my Chrysler.
Pancho 43 wrote:Have tried ringing outboard wreckers everywhere and they all told me that they've never seen a wrecked Honda!! One also told me the 8 HP Honda would NEVER run the 60 amps!!
60 Amps at 14V is only 840W from an 8hp = 6000W motor.
In practice, at idle speed the alternator barely provides enough voltage for its own field winding, ensuring the physical load is low. It's not an issue, as both you and I have empirically demonstrated.
Pancho 43 wrote:I do find that if the batteries are down a fair bit I have to start the engine BEFORE switching the ignition/exciter on and I have to screw the idle in about a 1/4 turn further or it will stall.
If you use a momentary switch to excite the field winding then once the alternator starts making output it will continue to self excite. If the motor threatens to stall, the alternator will "drop out", ceasing to self excite and thus dropping the physical load on the motor.

Or you could wind the idle screw in 1/4 turn...
Pancho 43 wrote:I have a piece of heavy reinforced nylon (or somesuch) tarpaulin with a drawstring to go over it while sailing in open waters to keep the spray off.
P7150052alternator.JPG
A picture is worth a thousand words they say-----if it works!

Cheers, Pete.
I think I am in love.

Arranging a suitable cover seems to be the hardest issue with this sort of arrangement. I have some ideas I need to investigate as soon as I have time...
A man's boat is his Castle. The Gippsland Lakes are my moat. Castle 650 #10, Roller Coaster.

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Pancho 43
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Re: Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by Pancho 43 » Apr 16th, '12, 17:24

Yes Zeb the cover is by far the biggest issue. Then again I'm not the fancy type! I did go out to an outboard mechanic who was a bit of a hoarder (like me) and went through all his old engine cowls but couldn't find anything anywhere nearly adaptable enough. I'm quite prepared to go to a fair bit of trouble to make something decent so maybe use the old one as a plug to make a mould is the only option. A lot of work for a mug like me and I'm not sure I'm quite that keen. One other issue is the weight right out the back, but as I said above it works incredibly successfully.

Jeff the Yamaha bike one is very interesting. I did try to get hold of one off a Kubota tractor that I was told was quite small but could not find one at the time so opted for the Mazda one. The price was right also as I got it for nothing and a replacement one is only 20 bucks at the wreckers. I thought all bike ones were the type that had a stator inside the flywheel these days so I'll have to check the ones you describe, thanks. It certainly doesn't take 60 amps to charge a battery without lights, heaters and all the rest running. I would be happy with a total output of 10 amps, as long as I can get it to give that charge at idle as I detest a noisy engine running at revs! :x My BF8 has the supposedly 6 amp charging coil but that must be at screaming WOT as at reasonable revs (imho) I could only get about 3 amps and at idle was not measurable. :cry:
Even if the freezer is running it's only 4 amps while it's cycled on, and with two batteries the most I've ever seen on the ammeter is just a little over 30 amps and that was only for a very short time as the voltage quickly climbs at that rate, where the regulator starts cutting back the charge rate accordingly. In a few minuets the charge is back to 20 amps and slowly gets back to 12 then 10 for a bit longer. Usually by 1/2 an hour the charge is back to 6-8 amps and unless I'm motoring somewhere I'll shut it down at that as the volt meter is showing a steady 14 volts. I think when anchored for days on end in the one place it's best to charge twice daily instead only once as I initially did. Better for the batteries.

Edit : Zeb it's hard to see in the pic but I had to shave about 1/3 off the tops of the multi-groove belt to make it clear between the flywheel and the pull start brackets. Makes it sit better against the flywheel anyway and doesn't seem to affect wear or performance. I just kept adjusting the tool rest of my bench grinder until it cleared.

Cheers, Pete.
Farr 6000 "Just Farr Me"

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MargGannet
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Re: Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by MargGannet » Apr 16th, '12, 18:59

Was going to suggest using the existing cover as a plug/mould for a new one - but you have already suggested that yourself, Pancho. If you made a light one to start with and then modded it as needed you could then beef it up to a 'normal' sort of thickness with all the mods in place????? Perhaps use some prepreg for the new shapes needed...

Good luck!
Marg
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LC 80 series
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Pancho 43
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Re: Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by Pancho 43 » Apr 16th, '12, 21:30

Yeah Marg, thanks anyway. I'm not sure i'm all "that" keen just yet, although as you suggest is about how I would do it, bit it won't be preety!
Been tossing a few ideas around but done very little about it so far.
I hate fibreglassing or at least the cleaning up!
Sailing is much more fun :D

Zeb, I forgot to mention above, the momentary switch is an excellent idea, small neat and more waterproof than the ugly thing that I have at present. Thanks. Just so happens that I have a container full of them in amongst the crap around here. The alternator mostly self excites anyway but mostly when it revs a bit from the starting throttle possie.
You mention above that at idle there would be barely enough current to excite. I can tell you that I can not start the engine with the switch on! I'm no auto leccie but this alternator charges at such low revs that the light will go out as I pull the cord and the engine coughs and simply has too much load to start. I have put my 240 volt drill on the pulley nut and with the drill on low speed (900 rpm) it will charge 6 amps. Surprised me too.

Cheers, Pete.
Farr 6000 "Just Farr Me"

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az100
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Re: Berkeley River and Beyond

Post by az100 » Apr 18th, '12, 00:58

Pancho 43 wrote:We're planning a trip to the Kimberleys and curious if any of the members have cruised further North and West from the Berkeley, such as King George, Drysdale, King Edward, and so on. I doubt we'd make it any further than King Edward as it's a big hop around to the Mitchell, as fuel is an issue if the wind is a bit light. I'd really like to see the Prince Regent ---------------
If so any advise would be appreciated. Klaus, Bob, Mike, anyone ??
I've contemplated asking around Wyndham re fuel drops in the area but have not done so yet.

Thanks in advance.
Pete.
Hi Pete, just saw the PM re info on the above - I do not log in here very often, just read the forum messages.

On our trip out of Wyndham we did not proceed further than the Berkely, Its nice enough in there to easily fill 4 weeks cruising if one explores some rivers on the way as well. There are permanent running water sources if one knows where to look - the one on top of the Berkely gorge is near the end of the tidal range and well hidden behind a large boulder,
On our second trip out of Derby we went very close to the corner (Samson inlet) around which the big rivers you mention above are but we ran out of time and supplies and turned back. Even so, we (5 T/S boats) were cruising for nearly 3 months and although we saw a lot more than the fare paying cruise ship passengers we were short by a long shot to explore the whole coastline.
We found plenty of fresh water sources to refill our tanks BTW.

Going all the way from Wyndham to Derby or Broome is a logistical nightmare for anything smaller than a 30'+ long distance cruiser - I would not recommend it. Especially after listening to "ERFLO's" stories of hardship and rushing by to get to the other end before the food runs out.
AZ100

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