Thursday, July 19, 2012

I spent the last three days working on Serenity, or as I call it making deposits in the boat account. Preparation is key, and to me boats are like bank accounts. You make deposits by proactively fixing and maintaining the boat because you know at some point that you will be making a withdrawal, like rough water, squalls, high winds, or long hours of motoring...(Erie Canal), and you want everything to function well. So you make deposits...taking care of the boat ...and you make withdrawals...the boat takes care of you. I have been doing a lot to make sure I do not get over drawn in this account. We have to be sure to make more deposits than withdrawals...what a concept. Do you think we should maybe explain this to congress? 
A few deposits made this week.

I ordered a solar panel to help us be more energy independent, so that we could anchor at times and avoid having to stay in a marina, plugged in, which can get expensive. Above is the frame I assembled to mount the panel above the dinghy davits.

 This is the panel mounted and wired into the panel next to it. (The panel that was already on the boat.) This gives us a total of 270 watts of collection power. These panels are wired to a controller to make sure the house bank of batteries does not get overcharged. These should work well in Florida and the Bahamas. If necessary we can install a wind generator, but we are going to wait and see what our needs are. The panels can be tilted to get more direct sun light.

 The frame the panel sits on.

 Some of you have asked about the engine. Serenity is powered by a three cylinder Yanmar 35 horse power diesel. That is 1 horse power per foot. Keep in mind we plan to sail and use the engine as little as possible. The engine runs strong. I gave it the nickname of "Little Big Man" I used to name all of my cars when I was young...don't know why I got away from that. So when I refer to LBM on this blog we are talking about the motor.

 Top view...the hoses on the top heat water instead of the hot water heater when the AC power is not on and the engine is running. up on this engine so I can call you to trouble shoot if necessary. Hopefully it won't be necessary.
(Vic is our go to boat mechanic in Ky.) Do you make boat calls to the Bahamas?

 This is the water cooling hose that ran from the strainer to the water pump. At the time of the pre-purchase survey it was brought to my attention that the hose had bubbles...that is soft spots that had expanded, which makes a failure more likely. The hose is reinforced with wire, and after visiting four places that sell marine parts I finally found the hose I needed. It has to be stiff so that the suction from the water pump does not collapse the hose and stop the engine from getting water. West Marine only had the soft automotive kind of hose. ???

 While I was working someone sailed into the marina under main only on a 10 kt. southwest wind...pretty cool...used the diesel for around two minutes to put the boat in the slip. When Justin and I took sailing lessons several years ago in Marathon Key, we actually sailed into our slip which involved coming into the marina through a narrow opening and doing a 180 degree turn, about 30 feet from a restaurant, tacking, and dropping the main sail as we entered the slip.  Nerve racking but great fun...don't know that I would try that again...unless Justin is with me. What a great week that was!

 View from Serenity's cockpit as darkness begins to fall and I take a break with a couple of cold adult beverages with blue mountains.

Serenity is finished...ready to sail except for polishing the metal to help prevent corrosion in salt water, and the installation of AIS for safety. Every inch has been cleaned and waxed, wood treated, rigging tuned, repairs made, inside  cleaned and organized...thanks Shirl...and engine checked out. She looks good for 21 years old. I can tell she is ready to do what she was made to do...sail...and all that implies!

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