Saturday, October 11, 2014


The last couple of months I've started doing YouTube videos instead of blogging. Head over to YouTube and check them out :)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Alado furling system review (after 30 days of use)

Alado headsail reefing and furling system

Earlier this year I installed the A2 version of the Alado on my Ballad (30 ft sailboat). For the past 30 days I've been out cruising. It has so far seen wind speeds up to 30 knots. Short version: I'm a huge fan! 

1) The installation was dead simple. It took under 2 hours to install the Alado. 
2) Both durability and performance of the Alado seems to be rock solid. I had no issues furling the headsail in 30 knots of wind.
3) The price seems more than reasonable. At under half the price of a Harken or Furlex unit here in Denmark it's very reasonably priced.

In one of my YouTube videos I mention the Alado ( My plan is to do another video and blog post after having had the Alado installed for one year and again after two years. Stay tuned.

I have made one minor modification to my Alado. I rounded of the sharp edges of the foil where the sail is feed in between the two foils. See below image (number four).

More information regarding the Alado can be found here:

Alado A2

Working end of my Dyneema halyard.

The drum

Modified foil ends 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Back in the water

First short trip of 2014
Sorry, Iv'e been neglecting the blog lately. First things first; Obelix is back in the water! Now the race is on to get ready for the big summer cruise of 2014. The plan is to head north to Norway. More on both the preparations and the destination later. The last couple of weeks Iv'e been very busy installing the new headsail furler (Alado A2), redoing the wiring, installing the new VHF (Standard Horizon gx2100) and AIS transponder (Digital Yacht AIT2000) and a lot of other projects. I still have a lot on the todo list and only one month to complete them all.

During the six week long summer cruise I'll have access to the internet. Net 1 utilizes the old CDMA network to provide great coverage although at somewhat slow speeds (up to 6 Mbit). This should enable me to do all the posts I haven't had time to.

Friday, May 9, 2014

A quick "before and after"


The reason why is quite simple. Due to wear and tear the interior of Obelix was in bad shape. Much of the plywood had separated between the plys and in several places the outer veneer of the plywood had ben worn thru. There was no way I could save the old plywood. The only opinion in my eyes was to replace all the plywood that had been damaged. I did consider staining and varnishing the new plywood exactly as Peter did on his Ballad ( Due to the fact that I had no experience varnishing and was unable to find a stain that produced a color I liked I ended up choosing to paint all the plywood.

I will be sure to post more "before and after" pictures once I'm 100% done with the interior.

Before and after photos

I think the change is for the better although I'm sure some people will disagree. I like the bright white color as opposed to the dark plywood and faded almost yellow fiberglass.

Before (outer veneer worn thru)

Before (outer veneer worn thru + plys seperating)

Before (outer veneer worn thru) 
Before (outer veneer worn thru) 
Before (outer veneer worn thru)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Very close to being done!

It's been a while since my last post but I have a good excuse. I've been busy working on the interior. For now I will simply post couple of pictures and a video. I will go into further detail later :) My goal is to have Obelix back in the water within two or three weeks.

The video is about two weeks old. It was shot using a GoPro mounted on a kitchen timer. The Pictures show the current state as of last night (4th of may 2014).

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A closer look at the engine (Volvo Penta MD6A)

1970's Volvo Penta MD6A (saltwater cooled) 
My neighbor helped me take a closer look at the engine (he's a mechanic). I now have a basic understanding of how my engine works, what parts may fail, common problems and what to make sure I service on a yearly basis. It is extremely comforting.

While looking at the engine it turn out that there was a leak from the exhaust elbow (see below image, just above the exhaust hose). Next day I called Volvo to enquire about a new exhaust elbow and was told it would be impossible to find a replacement. Luckily it turns out it's not impossible to find spare parts for my old MD6A - infact it is easy. By coincidence I stopped by Nordjysk Marine later that day.  I was there to exchange some Dubarry Ultima boots. When I mentioned my broken exhaust elbow it turned out they were able to order a replacement for me. In fact I was even given a choice between a cast iron or stainless version. As the price (roughly USD 200) was identical I chose to go with the stainless version. I also ordered a new thermostat and some gasket. I'm really looking forward to putting it all back together again.

All in all a very comforting experience. I have no illusions; my engine is old and will break down at some point and it will be too expensive to fix (vs buying a new or used engine). But for now I should have a reliable engine.
Manifold and exhaust elbow

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My first fiberglass repair

As mentioned in an earlier post the small starboard bulkhead became came loose and I was able to remove it without using much force. 

Today and tomorrow the weather forecast promises temperatures between 5 C and 10 C. I decided to take advantage and do a bit of fiberglass work. The loose starboard bulkhead was on the top of my to do list. I wrapped the bulkhead in thick plastic as I intent to bolt the bulkhead in place (just like the port side bulkhead).

I used West System 105 in combination with thier 205 fast hardener. The 205 hardener will cure in temperatures above 40F / 5C ( 

In hindsight I should have cut the strips of glass a little wider. I'm planning to let it cure fully, sand the surface and add some more layers.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Preparing to insulate the hull

10  cheap roll mats
As a part of the restoration of Obelix I would like to beef up the insulation of the hull. Originally there
was only 3 mm of foam glued to the inside of the hull. If I need to I would like to be able to spend a winter living in reasonable comfort onboard Obelix. After goggling for a while I came across S/Y Blue-bird and Jakob. Jakob spent a winter living on his Ballad in Copenhagen. I had the opportunity to visit Jakob and Blue-bird last month. He told me that he used 12 mm cheap roll mats and 3 mm GL foam backed vinyl on top.

I've chosen to do exactly as Jakob described. I went to the same chain of stores where he bought his roller mats and purchased 10 mats. Two days later I came across a good deal (120 DKK / meter) on some white 3 mm GL foam backed vinyl and ordered 10 meters.

Now it's just a matter of waiting for the weather to get wormer. In the mean time I'm still not done varnishing all the trim pieces. Luckily I'm getting closer most of the pieces only need the last coat (satin varnish).

Friday, January 3, 2014

The ALADO has landed...

The 8" drum
There was a knock at my door this afternoon. As expected it turned out to be the Alado headsail roller furling system I ordered last week. I quickly signed for the two packages, shut the door and started opening the boxes.

Everything looks to be in order. All the parts that the included manual mentions seems to be there. For now I'm a 100% satisfied customer. The service has been above excellent (thanks, Len), the price can't be beaten and the product seems to be of excellent quality.

What a shame I have to wait until summer (when the boat goes back in the water) to test the Alado headsail roller furling system.

All the parts seems to be there

The manual