The Bangarang has been through a lot, but it is trying hard. Here is what we’ve improved in the off season before Season 2. Now look at us. We are chomping at the bit. We are restless at the gates. We are ready. Let us at ‘em! Let us at ‘em!!!!
None of these improvements would have happened without the support of family, friends, advisors and funding. The Bangarang is a vessel for the support and generosity of loved ones. Without them this whole thing would have been a daydream, a passing birthday wish.
Entirely new propulsion system. After rebuilding the vessel’s original Perkins 4.108, which then failed at the dock just after re-installation, the Bangarang rose from the ashes with magic legs: a brand-spanking new 2014 Yanmar 3JH5 39 metric horsepower 3-cylinder diesel engine. Package includes new instrument panel with functional oil pressure and temperature alarms. New shaft, shaft coupling, and packing gland. Combine this with new fiberglass stringers in engine room to hold new engine, the complete replacement of exhaust system, including addition of water-lift muffler and new thru-hull exhaust pipe, and
The engine no longer runs on algae: fuel tank was pressure-cleaned and given a new gasket and sender wire for access hole. The 120 gallons of fuel was polished through a tiered filtration system. Brand new fuel lines from the tank to the engine and back to the tank. New dual centrifuge primary fuel filter system.
New raw water strainer. The old one disentigrated in my hand when I closed the removed the filter basket for cleaning. Coolant hoses for the hot water heater are new too.
An electronic revolution: The new battery bank has two 6V Dyno flooded lead acid batteries (245 amp-hours total) for the house bank; one Group 31 Dyno flooded lead acid starter battery (1300 cold cranking amps). New battery straps. A new DC panel has moved switch controls out of foot traffic in the entrance to the cabin, made wiring easier to maintain and repair, and expanded capacity for future electronic growth using new bus bars and fuse blocks. Organization has inhibited the persistence of nesting rats. Many wires were replaced in the process, and all solderless crimp connections were checked and replaced when necessary. New breakers were installed that allow us to divert AC power from either shorepower or inverters to the ship’s wall outlets. New shorepower cable.
The bilge pump system now works. Entirely new plumbing (incl. new vented loop), new wiring, and new mounts and fasteners in floor of sump. It no longer has standing oil in it either.
Navigation: New Furuno 1623 radar mounted on a new 10 ft radar tower, which is also housing a new Airmar weather station, new VHF antenna, new floodlight for nighttime zooplankton tows, and external GPS antenna. The anchor, running, spreader, and bow lights now work. A new bow spotlight for nighttime log evasion. The anchor line has been inspected, depth lines remarked.
The water system no longer leaks. Entirely new plumbing, water pump, and water level gauge.
The salon floor no longer caves in. Old floor has been replaced with new subfloor of marine plywood and new golden teak floorboards.
Home organization: New dish drying and storage system (possibly the greatest improvement to the entire vessel). All storage bins are mounted on raised feet, to prevent soaking in standing water. New Bangarang Grainery in the kitchen. Numerous additions to the Bangarang library. New cover for the old ice box doubles as a cutting board, and the icebox is now our Potions cabinet (strong chemicals and cleaning supplies). New chart of study area now serves as the dinette table surface (protected in sealed shatterproof acrylic). New Rigging and Chandlery Closet. New retractable clotheslines (2x) for salon. All curtains drywashed. New sliding tracks for power cables / aux cables on the dining room table. New clothes hammocks for berths. New research catalog bins mounted to the cabin walls.
The toilets now work. Both of them are brand new with brand new plumbing, including new vented loops. There is also a new shower head in the aft head.
The new dodger and bimini no longer leaks, falls apart, flaps in the wind, or molds. Stainless steel frame can be used as reliable hand holds. It also looks damn good. I can also stand up straight under it. I can also see through the windows now. It also has a sunroof.
Luxuries: New DC fan for the aft cabin. Repaired forced-air ventilation system for the entire vessel (by retrofitting a 1980 Espar diesel heater). New stereo (with new wood moulding) with selector boxes to route music from various sources or the hydrophones to speakers in the salon, dinette, helm and aft stateroom. New puppet collection of animals from the study area: bald eagle, humpback whale, sea otter, killer whale, wolf, and spirit bear.
The Hull Truth: New bottom paint. New zincs. New racing stripes. All exposed wood has been re-varnished. All scuff marks removed. All decks cleaned. Most leaks solved. New desk atop the helm that allows for the relocation of the Garmin 441s chartplotter. Aft swimbridge repaired. Cockpit floor teak oil has been replenished.
The rigging no longer gives us splinters: New jib sheets, staysail halyard, docklines and fender lines. The mainsail slides on new Tides Marine Strong Tracks and the mainsail rests in a Doyle Cradle Cover and lazy jack system for effortless hoisting and dousing. The mainsail battens have been replaced and the clew and tack has been reinforced with new stitching. New staysail cover.
The environment has no chance: Newly calibrated YSI Castaway CTD. New top of the line, industry-leading Seabird Electronics water column profiling unit, including SBE25plus CTD, fluorometer, pH meter, and dissolve oxygen sensor. Another Secchi disk. A new, top of the line SBE thermosalinograph for measuring surface salinity and temperature every second as we steam along. New Forel-Ule water color meter will be used at stations.
The zooplankton have no chance: The net is now equipped with 30 lbs of diving weights, a 800 lumens deepwater strobe light (Bangaranged using a lithium ion mountain bike LED light, PVC and a Nalgene bottle). Two new cod end buckets have been manufactured to interchange quickly between tows. A Powerwinch Quick Catch Pot Puller (with foot switch control) is mounted to the research davit to retrieve the newly heavy net at 150’ per minute. Zooplankton depth lines have been remarked. Brand new preservation station with safer chemical transfer and canvas cover. Microscope and analysis lab is now mounted on cabinet slides in the fore bathroom. New telescoping 8-18 ft pole with pool skimmer attachments (and spared). New handheld zooplankton scoop net.
The birds have no chance: New bubble-level rangefinders for visual surveys. New Bangarang Seabird identification study flash cards and field guides. Three new Fujinon SMTRC 7×50 binoculars with reticles and compass. Rangefinders and binocs are newly mounted on the main cabin door. Visual strip survey areas have been divided into 75m sub-strips to test for animal avoidance and detection probabilities. New visual sighting platform brings eyes 1.2m higher above the water than last year. New walkie talkies with headsets allow for hands-free communication with the helm.
The whales have no chance: New research camera. Canon 7D with f4.5 100-400mm zoom lens. Ruggedized and repaired towed hydrophone array with new depth sensor. New over-the-side calibrated hydrophone, Bangaranged from a naval surplus Sonoboy hydrophone. New Ocean Instruments Sound Trap self-contained recording package and Bangarang-trademark SonoBucket drifting buoy system for it. Two new back-up hydrophones and two new back up recording units. New 12VDC mini-freezer for storing samples of feces and skin (and cheese).
The data have no chance: RU: Bangarang 2.0, overhauled version two of the data entry program. The data entry program and echosounder now rely on the same computer system time stamps and GPS-stamps. New weather station provides new air temperature, wind, and barometric pressure updates every second automatically to the data entry program. New external GPS antenna provides more accurate GPS readings in the remote study area. New 8 port serial-to-USB combiner reduces the number of computers needed on board. Data laptop can now be powered by the research battery.