SOLAR PANELS – At last! Short-shipped parts, family matters, and work slowed the project down by a month but we are happy with the panels and setup. John made aluminum frames and bought aluminum extension poles from Sailrite that allows the panels to flip up beyond 45 degrees and stow flat against the rails. Total framing and pole cost was about $35 per side panel. The weight of one frame and panel is about 6 pounds.
The third moving panel doesn’t have a frame as it can be fastened down to the top of the dodger or anywhere and stowed when not needed. It will have long enough connector leads allowing it to follow the sun from anywhere forward of the dodger too. The sun came out a couple of days and confirmed the panels were producing enough power to run the power consuming monsters – 4 amp diesel heater and 5 amp refrigerator, the pressure water system, the low amp cabin lights and fans for two consecutive days with no concerns of low voltage. We have 300 watts but what really counts are the amps available and usage. The forecast is for sunny weather the next two days, it will be interesting to watch the volt meter as we run the radios and radar in conjunction with the other electrical requirements.
STAYSAIL REEF POINTS – We didn’t bother asking Kern for the reef points on our new staysail, we already knew that he doesn’t exactly agree reef points are all that efficient. The local sail maker did a nice job of getting the tack and clew aligned properly for the sail angle. A necessary sail reduction made easy in boisterous, gusty winds.
SSB RADIO INSTALLATION- For non-boater friends and family, this means Single Side Band, technical details to layman terms – a high frequency radio that enables communication from the middle of the ocean without ginormous land antennas. John did a nice job of wiring and attaching the other necessary components. We will be able to radio other boaters and harbors, download weather data to the laptop, send and receive emails while we travel across the ocean. While it wasn’t terribly difficult, (at least I don’t believe so as I didn’t hear any bad words) it was time and labor intensive to complete the installation. Crawling around the engine room and up under the navigation cabinetry in contorted body positions provided John the opportunity to exercise some rarely used muscles.
OTHER CHECKS – Numerous small projects are being accomplished throughout the boat, it’s an ongoing list to make the boat cruise ready. Kinda like living in a house – tweak this – fix that, organize clostes, clean out the garage, paint the entryway.
How many more NECESSARY projects to be done before we leave? New Dodger in progress, Boom maintenance and Reefing system., and a couple of long weekends. More pictures will be posted in the header pages later.
CHEESECAKE, not a Pie to fulfill the Project and Pie list, but as long as my John is happy, I’M HAPPY!