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One year gear report, 2005-09-22
Hi all,It seems to be working very well. I coated the blades with the same CopperPoxy bottom paint (as you can see here) and it's holding up very well! We will keep you informed if we have any problems.
This is our 1-year gear report. Can it be? Yes, we have been out, actively cruising, for one year! We departed our slip (the last permanent one we had), on September 15, 2004.
We will try to make this one year gear report short, and just include the items aboard that we think anyone who may be going to cruise would be interested in. We will try to take it from bow to stern. If you read this and have any questions, just send us an email and I will try to get back to you.
First and foremost,
She has done us proud in EVERY respect! We have not come in to one port that we did not get Ohhhsssss and ahhhhhssss! And she has taken all the punishment that day-to-day life at sea has dished out to her. She is a very fine and meticulously put together, high quality boat capable of
far more than we can take! She has really taken good care of us!
The anchor windlass.
We put on a Sampson Lowrance 600 GD electric.So far, it has worked great. Easy to use, and actually something of a
safety factor. We have chosen to re-anchor a few times without hesitation, something we may not have done if we had to haul up the chain by
hand or with a manual windlass. We have all chain rode on the main. I have helped others anchor who had manual a windlass and it was no fun. We did purchase the manual handle (VERY HIGH $) just in case. Haven't had to use it.
Deck box / Wash down pump/speakers/dashboard
Standing up well to all the stuff we have put in and on it. No problems at all. It is NICE to have the deck wash down pump up there and I use
it a LOT when cleaning the seafood in the cockpit. The speakers work GREAT for evening cockpit sundowners. And they also work wonderful for movie watching. We put the computer on a sink board on the partially closed main hatch top, pop a DVD into it and run an audio wire from it to the radio and we have our very own outdoor theater!
Raymarine Tridata depth/speed
What can I say, This was $$ down the tubes. As far as the speed indicator goes, it never did a good job. We installed it just as we were about
to head out. I ran the measured mile on the Oakland estuary 4 times (as called for in the instructions) to calibrate the unit. By the time we got to Half Moon Bay I was unsure of it and was positive it was no longer accurate by the time we got to Monterey Bay. Even after adjusting for
currents. Off of Santa Barbara, it just quit reading any movement. I keep taking it out and cleaning it, but it's not worth the effort. I now
stick to the GPS for speed.
Standard Horizon Chart plotter/GPS (model GPS Chart 150C)
Works so good it makes me lazy. We have taken to having it "on" anytime the boat is going to move. I am using it to plan the next one or two
legs of any and all trips to compute the distance, time and fuel. We are also using it as our official trip distance log (see Tridata info
above). The one thing that you need to watch for is that the C-MAP charts you use in it are made from the official U.S. paper charts. SO, At times here in the Sea of Cortez and on Cedros Island, it shows us well aground! I checked here a few days ago and the charts may be off by as much as 0.87 miles. At first I thought it was a problem with the C-MAP chart. Then we helped in a "MAY DAY" rescue that was coordinated with a HAM net, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Mexican Navy. I came to find out that the U.S. charts are way off! The Coast Guard and the Mexican Navy coordinate to find the real position when needed. So, we mostly use it to get us close, then go to good old "eye ball" navigation.
We used it coming down the coast and most any time we are traveling at night. I think that the image on screen tends to degrade the longer it
remains on. We have started to turn it on in short cycles, then set it to standby until we want another look around.
Yeoman Chart plotter with GPS
This did us GREAT service down the coast and gave us a very good since of security by having all of our hourly positions plotted on a good old
Autohelm 1000 autopilot
Our first 1000 was very old and gave out as we were crossing Monterey Bay. It had done good service, but was old when we got it with the boat. So we picked up a new one. The 1000 model. I know it is not rated for a boat the weight of our Nor'Sea, but it has been working well. I did have a problem with it on the outside. At one point it sucked the push rod all the way in and jammed. I took about a half hour to take it apart
and free up the jam. It is now working well, but I make sure we only use it in calm water.
Monitor wind vane
Can't live without it!
Unisolar flexible solar panels (4 each)
Each panel is rated at 1.94 Amp. They work well and are easy to put out once we reach anchor. They roll up nicely and stow in the aft cabin
when not in use. If it were not for the freezer, they would be way more then enough to power the boat all the time. BUT, when I get the chance, I am going to get more solar panels. Here in the Sea we do not get enough wind to make a wind generator useful. My plan is to get panels with
sufficient output to run the water maker during the sunniest two hours of the day. That should more than cover all of our needs. I plan to make
it so that I can add, or remove panels as required. They also store quickly for bad weather preparation.
Here in the Sea of Cortez they ARE A MUST! You can NOT live without them. We had our canvas guy make us a cover that goes from our dodger to the boom gallows and can stay on when we are sailing. WE LOVE IT. When we get the chance we are planning to add a "Shade Tree" cover. We saw them advertised in the U.S. before we departed, but did not get one. We have seen them here in the Sea and they are quality work, and fit well and provide lots of shade!
INSIDE THE BOAT
Two Hella cabin fans (one over each berth)
Without these, we could NOT have spent the summer here in the Sea of Cortez! For the past month, they have run mostly 24/7 when we are on the boat.
Icom 706 Mk IIG & Yeasu external speaker
The Icom is a life saver! We use it EVERY day. The net's provide great info on everything from weather to where other boats we know are to
what the next anchorage is like. The external Yeasu speaker was a waste of $. Not worth it and we no longer use it at all.
WOW! This is magic! It has been working well and we are getting and sending email almost every day! We get speeds of around 1400 to 3600 Baud. We have the Pactor 600 with the Pactor III software upgrade. Unless you are running 2 separate radios, you do NOT need the Pactor Pro! (write me if you have questions) We are using it with an Averatec 3150 computer. The computer does not use a lot of power and will also play our DVDs.
Norcold Freezer (Built in)
It is working good, BUT, it sure does use the power. In the US, it was running about 50% of the time to keep itself at the temp we set. We
could keep ice cream hard! Down here in the heat, we decided that cold drinks were more important than keeping things frozen, so now we are
asking it to keep a temp of about 36 to 39 degrees F, and at the same time cycling in and out from 4 to 8 quarts of water. Keep in mind that the
water is about 90 to 98 degrees when we put it in. So, you can see why it's using more power than I thought it was going to use.
Force 10 Galley range (with oven European 2 burner model with oven) and Trident gas controller with alarm.
Once we got the pazieo starter battery holder fixed (it was shorting itself out) it's been working great. Jill has made some GREAT bread and
other tasty treats in the oven and the top has been a workhorse. We have found the Trident gas warning to be a pain! It is very SENSITIVE! We cannot use spray Pam (or any other aerosol spray) inside the boat without it shutting down the gas and ringing the alarm! But, we feel it is
worth the effort to keep it. We have been told by other boaters that it eventually becomes less sensitive to extraneous things.
Battery compartment (at bottom of companion way ladder, with 2 additional Group 31 batteries)
If we had not added the extra batteries, and still had the Norcold, we would have had to run the engine every day for at least an hour! For
us, 3 batteries of at least 100 Amp hours each is a minimum!
New Yanmar 2GM20F engine
Once we fixed the problem of water back flowing into the exhaust system by adding a Vitus valve. It seems to be working well. I check the
alignment often and all is doing well now.
This is a great piece of gear. I picked it up at a boat show just in case I had a problem with the Yanmar flex coupling. During the engine repair, I installed it. It has a GREAT feature that allows you to do a shaft alignment without decoupling the drive train! This saves a LOT of time and energy. It also allows me to check alignment often so I have a heads up if ANYTHING is moving about. I did have an engine mount bolt
loosen up during a passage. We swung in, dropped anchor in a nice spot, and had the bolt tight and an alignment done in about an hour or so of
Balmar high output alternator
Works GREAT, but have had to take off the temp sensors from the battery and alternator. The manufacturer sent me a new alternator temp sensor for free, but even with the new one, due to the high ambient temp (I think) it was cutting the power way back. Great customer service.
Little Wonder 250 water maker.
With the amount of water we have in the two tanks (40 Gal total) we LOVE this magic device! It gives us a big boat feel. We take freshwater
showers, wash our clothes in fresh water and wash dishes in fresh water and do not worry about running out of drinking water. In this heat, we
are going through 4 to 8 quarts of fresh water per day for just drinking! It is mounted in the port aft cabin berth.
Still working good after 12 years! BUT, recently, due to the heat, the seats are breaking. The middle support that keeps the boat bottom
ridged and is hinged in the center bottom of the seat has pushed it's way up into the foam center of the seat. This slows the dink down when
motoring as the bottom does not stay as ridged as it should. I will fix them when we are back at a dock. Other than that, I get about 8 Knots of
speed out of the 3.5 HP motor when it's on its' plane.
One last item, Newcon Gen 1 night scope.
Don't waste your $. Just no good at all.
A couple of items I did not put in the original email report...
Link-10 energy monitor
This is one of the GREAT magic items we put on board! Before we got this, I would go behind Jill and turn off the lights to conserve power. I never knew exactly how much we had, or had left. I was driving Jill crazy. NOW, all I have to do it take a look at it and we know our status!
Has been working GREAT! At first we did not think we would be using it. But once we started to anchor out, and swim directly off of the boat, the value was evident! We just slide it back to the cockpit and we are set. We found that the more we use it, the easier it is to slide back and forth.
Absolutely the BEST head we have ever had aboard a boat! The seals on the lids keep all the bad smells at 0! As long as it's mounted per the directions, it almost pumps dry. We have set it up so that the same pump will work for the head AND the holding tank (for offshore work), and a deck pumpout.
CDI Feathering prop
Icom RAM Mic
It is GREAT to have the FULL use of the VHF FM in the cockpit, without having it above the galley or in the door way! This is working very well. BUT, the cover for the connection (when you remove the mic) is rotting away from the sun. We will have to make a new one, or cover it all with some type of cloth.
Temperature and barometer instrument
Very useful! When reporting into the nets you are always asked for your info and this keeps us in the know! We found out in fast order that it's the humidity, NOT the temperature that makes you uncomfortable!
call us up on a map and see where we are! To do this just click on the a link I have placed below...