IMG 6714

We don't like Eddies

Since our arrival on the English side of the channel, we have made the acquaintance of the eddy - which is clearly to be avoided. Not only because of its own character, but also because of the accompanying overturns. The eddy can be identified by symbols on the charts or by looking closely at the water surface, ideally with binoculars.

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2024-06-06 Ile de Batz

On the Dry on Île de Batz

Since the beginning of our trip, we have been waiting for a favourable opportunity to try out a special ability of our OVNI: “drying out”, i.e. running the boat aground on solid ground at falling tide in a controlled manner, and thus standing completely on dry land at low tide. The centreboard can be completely folded into the hull of the Nikola so that the boat comes to a standstill on the hull and on the two rudder blades.

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2024-06-06 PV Yield

Energy Balance

Yesterday, we achieved a new record in daily solar power output, at 5.9 kWh produced in one day. Our solar panels technically have a peak output of 910 Wp, and close to 800 W were produced during midday (the panels are mounted flat, and are not angled perfectly at the sun). Needless to say, it was a very sunny day. Averaged across the last 31 days, we produced 3.4 kWh per day - still not bad.

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Les Sables de Olonne

Adieu Les Sables

Les Sables d’Olonne showed us how quickly you can feel at home somewhere else. During the off-season we discovered it to be a tranquil, charming place with friendly inhabitants. So it was not easy for us to say goodbye to what felt like our home port. The time was too good, the mussels too delicious, the people too lovable, the carousel operators too familiar. The ever changing weather conditions, however, made rubber boots together with sun hats our constant companions and taught us the benefits of the good old fishing hat.

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2024-04-24 IMG 2544

First Electric Engine Regeneration Test

With good sailing conditions dominating in Les Sables-d’Olonne in the second half of April, we were finally able to do the second part of the certification of our Oceanvolt propulsion system, which is testing the regeneration performance under sail (in November, we only tested and certified the propulsion performance). In 12-16 knots of wind and good sea state (around 1 meter of wind waves), and using our genoa or Code D sail, we were able to test regeneration at different true wind angles to the wind, and different speeds.

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Oceanvolt AXC24 Performance Plot

First Electric Engine Performance Test

As part of the delivery of our boat, Oceanvolt sent a technician to certify the installation of all components related to the electric propulsion system, and test the engine performance.

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2023-10-30 IMG 0311

Launch Day

Finally, the big day had arrived. Since the launching in the harbor of Les Sables-d’Olonne can best be done at high tide, and furthermore the almost 10 km trip with the ship on the trailer from the shipyard to the harbor should best be done with little traffic, we started at 6 o’clock in the morning in complete darkness and autumnal rain. The tractor pulling the trailer with our Nikola passed various traffic circles with flying colors and finally let her glide gently backwards into the water. First test - it floats!

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2023-10-02 1E9B73C7

Interior Construction Progress

The technical expansion and interior work is progressing with great strides - the 11 kW generator is installed in the technical room (the large white box in the picture) and many other elements of the electrical system, such as the inverter (blue box at the back), which converts 48 V direct current into 230 V alternating current (for cooking, among other things), and the isolation transformer (white box at the back left), which makes it possible to obtain shore power in port without connecting the ship to shore with a conductor - otherwise galvanic corrosion would attack the aluminum hull.

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2023-09-08 L1020104

Shipyard Visit

For the first time since the beginning of the construction phase, we managed to visit the shipyard in France and see the progress of construction on our ship for ourselves. It was quite impressive to not only visit the shipyard and walk past any random ships, as we did a few times during the planning phase, but to actually stand in front of and inside the ship that will soon be our home.

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2023-07-27 1BA934C3

Out of the Paint Shop

Painting is finally finished, and the boat is now much closer to its final look of white, gray and black. One pass of polishing is done on the bare aluminium.

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