Wrapping up, final testing
17 November 2011 | Valdivia, Chile
We now have all fully functional boat systems, the sailing rig, engines, instrumentation, lighting, refrigeration, etc. We go out when time allows, which is not often because the boat shop electrician and wood workers are working 6 long days per week. Last Sunday’s test sail was thwarted by gremlins in the engine starting safety interlock systems, leaving me with a smoking engine controls power supply and tasked with redesign and rewiring of the starting control circuit, again. This time it is quite robust and with fewer parts than before, best to experience these things at the dock! Initial trials with the Interphase PC-90 forward scanning sonar (http://www.interphase-tech.com/) are very interesting, I can clearly see submerged rocks and shoals ahead while walking around with iPad in hand; a photo expo coming on that in a couple days; also a rant and solution regarding Garmin’s autopilot true wind control programming choices.
The long delay in completion is probably due to the two months late delivery of the bamboo wood products, which could not be sourced in Chile and I actually bought them at a specialty lumber yard in Fort Collins and shipped them here. The wood shop guys were July and August with little to do, and now scrambling. The color and texture of the wood is really nice, and I promise to add a big final photo gallery before we set sail.
We have scheduled our completion celebration dinner on Thanksgiving day (that holiday is not recognized here) at the nearby brewery-restaurant with all of the boat shop employees, and planned sail-away on Saturday, Nov. 26, weather permitting. The first leg is a 14 hour ocean passage and requires favorable conditions.
Our friends from Fort Collins, the Modesitt’s, have set sail from Florida with their 6 and 3 year old kids, after two months of their own sweat equity investment at a marina in Fort Lauderdale. They plan a multi year voyage and you can visit their experiences at http://rivers2seas.com/. We hope to meet up with them in April in Panama.