Monday, November 26, 2012

Summer Projects


Discovery in BajaNaval

Some projects came to us, we didn't have to go looking for them. Our hot water tank stopped working after 15 years of service and was beyond repair, so that became the top priority for that week. A new tank was located in San Diego and after a quick trip north we had a new tank onboard. We replaced the wire run from the panel and the old tank came out and the new in without too much hassle.

Some of the other projects -

  • Remove the AIS receiver and replace with Si-Tex AIS Transceiver so we now transmit our location and heading . The Si-Tex AIS has a built in GPS so that can serve as a backup GPS for navigation.
  • Replace the 6 year old house battery bank with new Lifeline AGM 6-CT model 6 volt batteries that are 300 amp each for a total of 1500 amp hours, an increase of 300 amp hours over our previous batteries. We bought the batteries directly from Lifeline in LA and hired a local in Ensenada to drive up and bring the batteries back.
  • Replace our AirMar PB100 weather station that was failing after only 5 years with a new PB150 unit. Furuno and Airmar (the manufacture of the PB100 and 150 units) were not helpful in repairing or replacing the failing unit after only 5 years of use. A big disappointment!
  • Install a new IPN ProRemote battery monitor from BlueSky. This replaces our aging e-Meters that were starting to give erratic readings and it gives us more information on the condition of the batteries.
  • Replace many of our incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs including the anchor light. For the anchor light we purchased the Dr. LED replacement bulb for our AquaSignal anchor light.
  • Upgrade the navigation PC from Vista to Windows 7 and upgraded Coastal Explorer to version 2011 and installed Jeppeson C-Map charts for Mexico and Central America.
  • Purchase an iPad with the Navionics software and charts for Mexico and Central America.
  • Boat haul out at Baja Naval yard for bottom paint, installation of a new transducer, rebuilding the step in the passageway leading to the front stateroom, and adding two dorade vents to the pilothouse roof.
  • Purchased an Hobie two person kayak off of Craigslist from a person in Oceanside, CA. Now we have to find a place to store it on the boat. It's a little bigger on the boat than it looked in their backyard.
  • Replaced watermaker membranes and vessels (the tubes housing the membranes) with generic units from Cruise RO Water and Power. We had Village Marine membranes but they are 38" long in a 40" vessel ( Why do they do this? ) and the VM membranes cost $500 each while the generics are $187 each plus the VM end caps are made of plastic and they crack around the fittings causing them to leak. The generic vessels have metal end caps that don't leak.
  • Replace the aging paravane lines with new 3/4" nylon three strand line.
  • Replaced the engine starting battery. Our Interstate 8D battery died after 39 months, 3 months after the warranty expired. Replaced with a Continental 8D maintenance free (sealed) battery.
  • Replaced the faucets in both heads.  One was leaking and the other one was just ugly.  These are really small spaces to work.

And dozens of other little things that I can't think of now.

The problem with boat projects is that most of them take a lot longer to complete than planned for and nothing ever seems to go as planned. Parts don't fit, bolts are frozen, and you're often twisted into a small space where you're likely to drop parts into a dark abyss where they cannot be retrieved.

That's life on a boat.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ensenada Summer



Now that summer is over and we're near the end of our stay in Ensenada it's a good time to look back at what we've been up to.

The trip up the outside in June was not fun. It was rough at times and Linda suffered from sea sickness. When we arrived in Ensenada Linda was ready to call it quits for this boating thing and we were talking about taking the boat north and doing the inside passage or maybe even selling her. We then took a 3 week road trip to Tucson and up to Boise and when we returned we felt refreshed and started to take a new look at things. I was not excited about going north. Returning to the States was not exciting for me. What would we do? Get an apartment and go to the mall and Starbucks everyday? Being on the water, in the boat, just the two of us, that's exciting and what I really wanted to do. Linda, with some distance from the rough trip up here, admitted she really wanted to continue boating and go on to Panama. She knew her limits, she would have times of discomfort and she would get sea sick again but she still wanted to keep going. So over a coffee and chai tea at Starbucks we decided to keep boating and prepare to head south to Panama and maybe even Ecuador. We started to make plans to prepare the boat and continue the dream. Lists were made, projects discussed and prioritized, and money spent. Lots of money!

We don't know what we're going to do once we get to Panama, we just know we're going to have some fun and see some monkeys!