Planetary Exloration on Senta II

Vessel Name: Senta II
Vessel Make/Model: Ericson 39B
Crew: Nancy & Sven
Extra: This blog will temporarily pick up from where the blog left off after our Retina Mac suffered a memory failure. Don't ask where the "p" in exploration went but do tell me how to put it back in, if you know :-)
Home Page:
05 April 2015
02 April 2015
26 March 2015
14 March 2015
03 March 2015 | Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica
26 February 2015
19 February 2015
18 February 2015 | Marina Papagayo
16 February 2015 | Papagayo Marina, Costa Rica
15 February 2015
13 February 2015
12 February 2015 | Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica
05 February 2015 | Playa del Coco and Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica
Recent Blog Posts
12 April 2015

Still windy and we are staying, plus thanks to Dan

It has been a hectic few weeks. We had the issue with the exoneration paperwork and the National Car Reantal overcharge and then need for a survey for new insurance.

05 April 2015

Varnish and condo time !

The cabin sole has been beginning to show some real wear and the companionway door was looking like it should have used a lot more sun screen, so it was time to get ready to varnish.

02 April 2015

Mess -> hotel stay

Now that we know we are going to stay here in Papagayo Marina for the summer we went to work on some chores.

01 April 2015

We got the exoneration paperwork !

Yes, it is April Fools' Day, but we don't think it is a joke.

31 March 2015

No bad faith contract needed ?

We finally got our misappropriated Marina Papagayo National Car Rental refund. That only took almost a month and a lot of reminders and an angry complaint letter. Talk about substandard service !

26 March 2015

Cultural whiplash

This is another surprising turn of events. We're almost getting whiplash !

Back to gasoline

13 February 2015
For the last two years we've either rowed the dinghy or powered it with our Minnkota electric trolling motor. It's been really nice to just hook the small (50 Ah) AGM batteries to the solar charging circuit and then silently glide through the anchorages at a couple of knots.

Unfortunately, the Minnkota just doesn't quite do it and there are a lot of exploration opportunties that we've missed because we did not feel it was worth lugging the batteries and the motor given a range of maybe one hour out and one hour back.

The 4-stroke Nissan 3.5 HP wasn't any better. Getting it off the sternrail and past the wheel into the cockpit was always an adventure. We always worried we'd smash the chartplotter or pull a muscle or just drop it in the water while trying to get it into the dinghy. Then there was the gasoline; we didn't want any onboard - so we got rid of it.

The dinghy itself is way too big for it's size. It is a small dinghy with a roll-up floor but the 1" wooden transom makes it a bear to stow. Since we do not want Senta to look like a boat belonging to the Beverly Hillbillies we stow the dinghy down below, on the port settee.

Apart from the aesthetics, there is also a huge safety concern if towing the dinghy or stowing it on deck. When towing any sudden wind issue could become a catastrophy and the same is true for on-deck storage. Senta's deck space around the mast is very limited and if the dinghy is stowed on the foredeck it completely fills the available space so there is virtually no way of getting to the anchor windlass.

In short, our shoreboat is the biggest issue we have, and the biggest drawback with Senta's diminutive 39' size. No other aspect of our equipment list or boat design has caused us more negatives.

So, we wasted a lot of money on the Nissan which we later discarded in La Paz, Mexico. We also spent a lot of money on the Minnkota and the AGM batteries, and now we are about to discard them too. At one point we also carried a beautiful Sea Eagle inflatable kayak but you basically could not go anywhere in it without getting soaked and it was less than ideal for carrying provisions.

We've now taken the first step in getting a shoreboat set-up that is not too big and not too small, but just right. We found out that we could buy a new 2 HP Yamaha 2-stroke engine here in Playa del Coco, so we did. At 10 kilos it is a breeze to lug around and while it is about as primitive as an engine can be it should be just about right.

Next we'll see if we can pick up an Achillies tender somewhere along the way. The Achilles brand offers two tenders that do not have huge plank transoms but bolt-on engine brackets suitable for something as small as our little new Yamaha.

Maybe we'll finally be able to get off Senta in anchorages without it being a huge hassle, and do more of that exploring stuff :-)

It has been a long expensive learning experience but maybe we are finally getting to the point where we'll have a good solution.
Gallery Error: Unknown Album [1:]:19046
Senta II's Photos -

About & Links

SailBlogs Groups