#1 2017-03-19 07:32:48

Duncan_Hill
Member
From: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Registered: 2017-03-14
Posts: 32

Victoria 34 - Blue Opal

I'm the new owner of Blue Opal, a Victoria 34 built in 1998 at the Warsash yards. She's spent those 18 years in Conwy, and looks more like a boat that's a few years old, not nearly 2 decades old. The previous owners kitted her out with what looks like every option in the Victoria repertoire, including a full electronics suite, master cabin layout, and navy blue hull.

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#2 2017-03-19 07:39:26

Duncan_Hill
Member
From: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Registered: 2017-03-14
Posts: 32

Re: Victoria 34 - Blue Opal

Works since purchase include

  • new standing and running rigging,

  • new lazy bag arrangement,

  • replacing the sprayhood, dodgers, and UV strips,

  • replacing the liferaft,

  • minor engine bay changes for some of the hose, highlighted in the survey as not being suitable for the environment it was in,

  • replaced the VHF with a DSC-enabled VHF,

I'm working on how to add AIS to her electronics suite - it's all pre-AIS SeaTalk-connected equipment, and so I'm weighing up options between the Icom MA-500TR (which can talk to the M323G that I just installed), the Watchmate (Vision or otherwise), and the Raymarine 650.

Blue Opal is currently ashore in Conwy, but will be in Dun Laoghaire by May, weather permitting.

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#3 2017-03-22 08:36:48

Jon_Spencer
Member
Registered: 2003-11-23
Posts: 111

Re: Victoria 34 - Blue Opal

Duncan,
It is good to see such a comprehensive refit in what is obviously a well maintained boat.  It would be very useful for our members if you were able to capture some of the details, such as the reasons for the various items of refit, any problem areas experienced, and even if you are prepared a rough order of costs.  You will be aware from the Victoria 34 Technical Manual that we are always looking for details of any technical improvements and alterations to further help other new or potential owners.  I hope that you enjoy your sailing on BLUE OPAL.
Jon.

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#4 2017-03-22 09:08:51

Duncan_Hill
Member
From: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Registered: 2017-03-14
Posts: 32

Re: Victoria 34 - Blue Opal

Yep, I'm happy to share some detail about the costs once I've got the final bills in. I had looked at a HR 34 as well, and decided that for the price difference, I could do a lot of refit work if necessary. At this point, it's mostly things are 18 years old and either tired, or insurance mandated.

I have to say that I wouldn't have got nearly as much organised without someone on the ground in Conwy; another Victoria owner who used to run a sail training operation there was recommended to me by the broker, and he's been invaluable in finding local companies who could do the refit work.

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#5 2017-05-02 20:43:00

Duncan_Hill
Member
From: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Registered: 2017-03-14
Posts: 32

Re: Victoria 34 - Blue Opal

Blue Opal is now safely ensconced behind the piers of Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Crossing from Conwy was a doddle, though we did it over two days instead of one long day. Took her out for a spin this weekend, and achieved 6.9 knots through the water in 17 knots of wind, and that was without tuning the sails properly.

So, the damage to the wallet...

Gas system refurb
New hoses, valves, regulator, copper piping, labour. Done by a GasSafe fitter, so fully certified. - £275

Rigging replacement
New standing rigging, 1x19, new bottle screws, new guard wires (no plastic coating), new running rigging in a combination of Dynema (halyards) and braid-on-braid, new single-line reefing for the two reefs in the main, new mast collar, VHF windex, tri-colour masthead, labour. Done by a local company in Deganwy. Not a cheap job, but I'm very happy with the work. One pair of the standing stays are 10mm 1x19.. that mast should never come down! - £6000

Canvas works
Sails washed, UV strips replaced, new lazyjacks, lazybag with Blue Opal stitched on, mast "collar" to cover what the lazybag doesn't cover, new dodgers with pockets (great for the furling lines and a winch handle), new spray hood with pockets in the V, new pedestal cover with zip. Done by a company based near Caernarfon, very good standard. - £2100

I also asked the company that did this work to measure for fitting a complete cockpit enclosure - I need to get back to them and ask what the estimate it. I won't be installing it immediately, but keeping it in the back pocket for next season, so that on cold, wet days, I can just put up the whole enclosure and sit there snug as a bug in a rug.

Safety
New 4-man life raft, replacing an 18 year old 6-man, refresh of the 4 hammar life jackets, dinghy check-over. Porthmadog based company; figured I wasn't up to trusting an 18 year old life raft when push came to shove. - £1000.

Engine space
Replacement raw water hose, replaced standard stern packing with Volvo seal, labour. Localish guy in the marina, found for me by my contact there. Also gave me a hand with getting the autohelm registration arm re-connected, and came back when we had a leak on the new water hose (there was a bit of paint on the pipe, so it never sealed quite right). - £250.

Also replaced the pressure cap on the coolant tank; the seal had perished. Being able to read the spare parts manual made this easy to do remotely. Think it was 20 quid or so.

Water system
New accumulator tank, gubbins to fit. This'll be all at me, fitting the accumulator tank to stop the pump hammer that I'm experiencing, plus some valves to enable me to actually stop the water flow if I need to do something like fit an accumulator tank! - £150.

That's the bulk of it. There are other things to do, like fit a solar panel to keep the batteries topped up, but they're all small jobs really, and I'll be spending the summer learning how she handles and how to deal with her mule-kick prop walk.

Last edited by Duncan_Hill (2017-05-02 20:50:47)

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#6 2017-07-16 21:20:20

Duncan_Hill
Member
From: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Registered: 2017-03-14
Posts: 32

Re: Victoria 34 - Blue Opal

Roundup time (if you're interested, I keep www.cricalix.net updated, along with some cross-posting to facebook/yacht.blue.opal).

The Webasto heater is working now. Apparently these things don't work when the 20A fuse holder has given up the ghost, who knew? Before working that one out, I'd checked the control box, all the power circuitry I could find, the thermostat, the fan/off/heat switch, disconnected and checked the fuel line for blockage, and probably a few things I've forgotten. On the plus side, I now have a pretty good idea of how the whole thing hangs together.

I have an almost-complete network diagram for the SeaTalk setup, I've wired the NavTex to the network so it can log my GPS data in a printed format, the Yeoman plotter has been consigned to the skip, and a ShipModul MiniPlex-3 has been wired in (which is how the NavTex is connected). AIS still outstanding, and I have to think about how I want to hook it in (NMEA2000, SeaTalkng, smoke signals...).

One of the dodgers is now laced on, instead of held on with zip ties. Other one needs doing.

Rudder reference connector arm fell out again. Girlfriend went down into the locker and was able to put it back together for me, this time with some loctite-equivalent on the pin that plugs in to the reference unit. Cost me a pint of Guiness. Also got the rudder reference a bit more accurate - it was about 5 degrees out to starboard.

I've discovered she has lee helm in light airs, and weather helm in stronger wind. Very peculiar. Also discovered that she can do a 360 in about her own boat length (as a diameter of the circle).

The water system upgrade is completed. Lots of swearing while doing it, because it's not an easy space to work in by yourself.

While a number of the cables in the wiring looms behind the chart table have labels, a lot do not. That's got to get sorted. Perhaps even re-run the power looms so that I can move from single fuses to fuse blocks, and also move towards a single type of fuse. Currently I've got cartridge (the cylindrical glass/metal ones), blade, and Littel themoplastic fuses that I'll need to stock in my spares box, and it appeals to me to cut down to just one fuse type as much as I can.

The pump-out tank for the head was giving me grief, and for some reason I was getting a strong smell in the head and out of the vent for the tank. Finally worked out what the system looks like (and it helped when Dad took the lid off of the unit to the side of the head and found all of the waste piping), and now know that the long arm points to where you want the waste to go, and 'off' is the position for pumping the tank out). There's no way to vacuum this tank, unfortunately, so it's "out beyond the banks" to empty it.

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#7 2017-07-19 20:30:33

Duncan_Hill
Member
From: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Registered: 2017-03-14
Posts: 32

Re: Victoria 34 - Blue Opal

Managed to finalise the network diagram:
Blue-Opal-Network-1024x835.png

Found a useful site called draw.io that makes it possible to do in your browser what would normally require Visio or Omnigraffle, and for free!

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#8 2018-02-27 17:24:42

Don_Smith
Member
From: Chester
Registered: 2017-06-25
Posts: 10

Re: Victoria 34 - Blue Opal

Duncan, we looked at Blue Opal a couple of times in the Conwy yard, but before we had sold Aoife, a Sun Odyssey 32. Hence we were unable to get in too deeply. She looked very nice indeed and although she has never been abused, she had perhaps been too lightly used. We spoke to Neil Shea who owned Victoria Conway 1 about the V34s and found him a font of knowledge. You may have met him when you were over, he was changing his engine and entered the 2017 Three Peaks Yacht Race. Sadly, he died over Christmas and VC1 is in the yard. Whether she is or will be for sale I don't know.

Having looked at several other V34s we found Triptych on the Hamble and brought her up to Conwy by truck for refit. Like you, there has been a long list of must-do jobs and a longer list of elective jobs of various urgency. We are getting there and should be ready for the new season.

Fair winds

Don

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#9 2018-02-27 19:52:40

Duncan_Hill
Member
From: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Registered: 2017-03-14
Posts: 32

Re: Victoria 34 - Blue Opal

Yes, Blue Opal was (and is!) in incredible condition for a 20 year old yacht, and as you say probably wasn't used as much as she could have been. I had indeed met Neil, and he was indeed a good person to talk to; sad to hear he died.

One word to the wise, based on Blue Opal's fittings - if you want to change the halogen bulbs in the saloon to LED ones, be prepared for the metal fittings to go sproing. I'm now looking at getting 10 replacement fittings from America, because they're the only ones I've managed to find that will fit the existing 65/66mm holes.

Fair winds to you as well (definitely not fair winds today; I had to winch my mooring strop aboard today, the wind was so strong) smile

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#10 2018-02-28 11:42:49

Don_Smith
Member
From: Chester
Registered: 2017-06-25
Posts: 10

Re: Victoria 34 - Blue Opal

Duncan,

I have put LEDs into the light fittings. All but one work well, the odd one out I think has had some water on it in the past and suffered so I get a dry contact with only one bulb lit but it usually settles down to both.

I don't recall the refridgeration arrangements on Blue Opal; was there a fridge fitted on Blue Opal, and if so, where is the compresser sited? We are considering fitting a fridge unit but one of the problems is where to put the compressor.

Icers here today too, but no new snow. I believe the south and Ireland are going to get a dose later in the week. Frostbite boating, don't you love it.

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#11 2018-02-28 11:57:50

Duncan_Hill
Member
From: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Registered: 2017-03-14
Posts: 32

Re: Victoria 34 - Blue Opal

There is one, yes; currently disconnected because it wouldn't turn off.

To port of the engine bay, there's a stack of locking drawers in a shelving assembly. Remove all the drawers, remove the assembly. Down behind all of that is a compressor and other gubbins. Icebox with chiller plate is towards the hull, on port, chiller plate is fitted stern-side of the box.

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#12 2018-04-24 11:53:16

Duncan_Hill
Member
From: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Registered: 2017-03-14
Posts: 32

Re: Victoria 34 - Blue Opal

Recent work on Blue Opal has all been oriented around the electrics. One of the batteries managed to drain to 8.8V, so it's dead, and has refused to come back to life on a mains-driven charger. This led me to thoroughly investigate the power setup, and I found the old 1203R Multi Battery Isolator by Sure Power Industries was chewing somewhere up to a volt of the supply from the alternator (which happily churns out 14+ V). It's now replaced by a Sterling ProSplit R (well, in process), and I'm busy labeling all the cables with a Dymo labeling machine, and re-jigging the twin house batteries into a single bank. My view on the whole two independent house batteries that throw into parallel vs permanently parallel is "swings and roundabouts", and supporting the former would have meant returning the ProSplit I had bought and finding a supplier for the bigger version. I'm content that, with a voltmeter and ammeter in place, I can manage the parallel bank properly.

As mentioned before, fuses are on my mind, and that's probably the next project now that I have semi-complete wiring diagrams with help from my father. I spent hours on the phone to him, doing continuity testing to find out what wire went where, and he wrote up the graph in a text format called dot, which can be rendered to a graphical form using a tool called Graphviz.

Updates, when I remember to write them, can be found at www.cricalix.net, including a sample of the text->image thing.

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#13 2018-04-24 11:55:00

Duncan_Hill
Member
From: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Registered: 2017-03-14
Posts: 32

Re: Victoria 34 - Blue Opal

Oh yes, the blasted registration arm for the autohelm fell out again, so it's getting put back in with epoxy this time - a replacement assembly is not cheap.

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