Our team: your humble servant, my friend Roman and my soulmate Oksana.
Details about the boat here
The first day.
We left the pier at 8 o’clock in the morning.
This day was very interesting for me - because of the weak headwind I decided to conduct an experiment - try to get to Energodar on a single battery charge, without using a generator or solar panels to recharge.
He set 475 watts of power on the motor and did not change it until Energodar.
Except this, the day was not particularly remarkable - we run at average speed of 5.6 km/h (the river current helped us, but the headwind slowed us down a bit). We passed near a few barges. In the evening, at the entrance to the Borisfen Yacht Club in Energodar, we ran aground, 50 meters from the bay entrance. For some time we searched for a deep passage to the bay. We found out after half an hour of poking with our nose that we need to go on the right side to bay. We went in, connected the cable to the outlet. The battery was charged about 5 hours - I set a small charge power at charge device to do not overload the power supply of the yacht club.
When we came into bay we have a less than 10% of charge at battery.
- The motor worked today hours - 11.5
- Passed today - 64 km
- The generator did not required this day.
On the pier I saw a friend’s 12-meter yacht.
We got out at about 9 o’clock in the morning, electric motor worked 1 hour from the pier to the power transmission line through the reservoir and after this we set sail.
The wind increased to 13-14 knots
We quite carelessly did not reefed the mainsail and missed a black cloud which crushed 26-30 knots in a gust of wind. The wind roared in the rigging, the boom of the mainsail I completely released and only a medium sized staysail pulled us a сlose-hauled. I turned on the engine at low power 500W to add more control on the steering wheel - a prop just in front of the rudder. It was already too late to take the reefs - the oncoming wave rocked the boat so that it was already impossible to do something at the cabin - a person could fall overboard from there. I remembered that according to the forecast, the rain cloud should fly quickly, so I decided to just wait. For the future, I noted that we should always take reefs in advance) I regretted that there was no action camera fixed somewhere on the boat - may be a cool video. Raincoats got wet completely. All battens flew into one of the squalls from the mainsail - the old system of pockets, without Velcro. In winter, I need to add Velcro and make a new battens.
When the cloud left, I had to go straight to where the wind was blowing. I added power on the electric motor to 1.2 kW - the boat went 6.5 km/h dissecting the wave.
- The motor worked today hours - 7
- Passed today - 75 km
- The generator worked for 2 hours.
We spent the night in a bay near the village of Nizhny Rogachik.
On this day, according to the forecast, there should be a clear windward and, most unpleasant, the next night there were to blow 16 knots and gusts up to 25 knots. With such a wind, we could not go through a lot without battens in the mainsail. We could go under the engine, but we would burn a lot of gasoline in the generator to deal with wind and waves. I decided one day to spend at anchor. Looking ahead, I will say that this was the right decision - at night the boat was spinning in the waves and wind even in the bay.
Today we run only 5 km under the motor - we moved the boat to another place, more protected.
- The motor worked today hours - 1
- Passed today - 5 km
- The generator worked for 3 hours - the battery was fully charged.
In the morning, an hour and a half we run the electric motor and we left the bay. Then we set the sails and went to the close-hauled wind. The wind grew stronger and we first took one shelf of reefs, and then the second. In fact, there was not much profit from the mainsail without battens.
In the morning the wind was not very strong and there was almost no wave
And here it’s already very cool) It is a pity the sound was not recorded.
The motor was used to keep the boat in no-go zone for taking reefs and sometimes helped sails.
Before Novaya Kakhovka we pick up a 4-meter boom for the boat that is now being built in Kherson. Boom is successfully arrived in Kherson on our deck :)
No generator needed today. Whe we came to New Kakhovka, we plug in charging from the outlet.
- The motor worked today hours - 6
- Passed today - 95 km
- The generator did not required today.
We woke up at 5 a.m. to get through the gateway as soon as possible. I called the dispatcher the day before and warned that we wanted to go downstream early in the morning. Because of the dispatcher confused the direction of the passage we had to wait 1.5 hours until a cargo ship approached from the upper pool to get down along with it.
The vessel in front of us hardly climbed into the lock, working diligently with their machines, and in their stream from the propellers our boat was thrown from side to side. Still, with the electric engine, the maneuverability of the boat is very high - it helped.
Behind the gateway is a very beautiful nature - a lot of birds and fish. It is a pity we did not have a good camera to capture all this. Next time we’ll get better prepared.
Today, 65 km have passed, almost all the time the electric engine worked, because the wind was weak. Sails were added 2-3 km/h in gusts. There is no outlet on the Kherson embankment, so we have to charge using generator.
Roman left us by bus to his city, two of us left to bring the boat to the shipyard.
- The motor worked today - 10 hours
- Passed today - 65 km
- The generator worked 3 hours today
We woke up at 5 o’clock in the morning - we thought to leave early so that in the afternoon we would be already at the shipyard - our final crossing point. However, the morning fog made adjustments.
Kherson is a city near the sea and a fairly large transshipment point for large cargo ships. I didn’t really want to go out before dawn into such a fog when visibility was only 30 meters. We waited for dawn, running a generator to charge the battery - there was no outlet an embarkment. I still will not dare to put sails in such a fog, so I needed more energy in the battery for the engine.
After dawn, we decided to go out carefully. Large vessels emerging from the fog created a special atmosphere for passage)
Two hours later, the fog began to dissipate. We turned off the Dnieper in the river Koshevaya. There are very beautiful beaches.
At 12:15 we approached the end point of the route. The our passage is over.
- The motor worked today 4 hours
- Passed today - 25 km
- The generator worked for 2 hours
- The electric motor only worked 39.5 hours during this trip. It did not demand attention. As well as in the previous trip and in general from the moment of its installation.
- The temperature of the engine when operating at high power - 75 degrees. It will be difficult to overheat it, even without active cooling.
- The generator worked for 10 hours for the entire trip, 10L of gasoline was used. About 1.5 liters remained in the canister. I did not break, everything was fine with him.
- Sails need to be fixed, especially the mainsail. Does not work in a close-haul, gives a big roll.
- A shore power we got in Energodar and in New Kakhovka. If they were not there, then we would have to burn another 6 liters of gasoline. On the other hand, if the shore power was in Kherson on the embankment, then we require a 3 liters less of gasoline.
- The boat is quite comfortable a three-person for such a trip.
- I think to add flexible solar panels to the running tent (bimini). Even at this time of the year, 500-700 W*h came from solar panels every day into a 12V battery. In this trip, the solar panels did not charge motor batteries at all, the charge went only to 12V service battery.
- In total, 341 km were covered in this passage, the travel time was 51 hours, and the average speed was 6.7 km/h.
- The automatic pump that pumps water from under the stuffing box received an energy leak. When it turned on the voltage of 12V network sagged strongly. All the energy produced by the solar panels went to it. We could not turn it off completely - because the stuffing box seal was leaking well. And there was no time to repair.
- The battens of the mainsail. Lost on the second day during a flurry. Mainsail batten pockets must be redone with Velcro.
- The one of oncoming wave, in which the bow of the boat once again buried, pulled the anchor down from it, tearing it from the stopper. I had to run to the bow and fasten the anchor again.
Special thanks to:
- Roman for company and morale up every day)
- A mast that has stood with a full mainsail in a squall.
- Battery for a successful experiment with the trip. Zaporozhye-Energodar on a single charge.
- The good weather and not very good for an experience that will come in handy later.
- My soulmate for delicious cooking and inspiration.
Thanks to the readers for the time spent reading. Further there will be more trips and more trip reports, but for now - see you on the next navigation :)