Shake-down cruise completed - Equipment Update
10 July 2010 | Port Angeles, WA
Ray here - cool and breezy
Well our shake down cruise is finished...now for the repairs and replacements.
All in all, our 2 months out on the water in the Sound, San Juan's and Gulf Islands of Canada went pretty well. We had lots of different weather and seas...from flat calm to 9 foot seas and 65 knott winds!!....lots of different anchorage combinations, and met some wonderful people. For repairs we had to replace the alternator, and just today...the starter...not sure what any of that was about...maybe just boat's getting older. In the process of changing the starter, I noticed an itsy-bitsy fuel leak coming out of injector pump. Not a good thing...looks kind of like a seal where the throttle cable connects....will know more tomorrow.
For anyone interested here is a pretty exhaustive equipment report:
Island Planet Sails - we got a new main while we were out. It was beyond perfection and the performance is out of this world...our plan is to eventually upgrade all of our sails to Island Planet's. The fit is perfect the service is excellent and the quality is far beyond expectations for the money.
Kiss wind generator - We rated this one 5 stars! Ran like a dream...very quiet...not bad considering winds are not a big thing here in the PNW. When the wind did blow...we could run the lights, computers, and refer with just the wind generator wizzing above. Our's is mounted ¾ the way up our mizzen mast...we do get some vibration at night during high winds because the mizzen is over the aft berth....but never enough to keep us awake. It survived 50 knott winds...and anytime we wish we can just flip a switch and it shuts down completely. Winds higher than 50 they recommend you either tie off the blades or remove them. We didn't find it necessary...but maybe we were just lucky.
Kyrocera solar panels - absolutely the best!...even in moderate sunshine. I've mounted ours on the port and starboard stern rails and they can be tilted 90 degrees up or down. These are the 135 watt models I got from a Northern Arizona company...figured out the mountings myself.
The panels are just awesome...quiet, efficient, and above all ..they really work!...their power output really surprised me. Even on a semi-sunny day we got full battery charge...enough to run the refer, electronics in the cockpit, and the computers below.
WE run Navionics charts through a Lowrance combination depthfinder, radar, and chartplotter. All excellent and worked flawlessly. There was a pretty steep learning curve with the plotter...the radar I'm still learning new stuff, and Lowrance is famous for their depthfinders and fishfinders. NMEA 2000 hooks everything together. Navionics charts??? For $199 to cover all of the West coast including Puget Sound, Washington, Oregon, California, Mexico, the Baha, and Hawaii...in details I'll never use! What can I say? I think they have the best bang for the buck.
Radio's: ICOM IXM-34 submersible handheld portable, a Standard Horizon's digital base radio...and a two addition older model Standard Horizon's plus a Kenwood TS440 Ham/SSB transceiver...everything worked excellently except problems with antenna's. This is one of our major issues during our repair/replacement time. We also have a Miltech AIS...that...after I figured out how to hook it up is one of our most valuable devices aboard.
Village Marine watermaker...beyond awesome...30 gal per hour off the generator! This is the "no frills" model...meaning it's scattered throughout the boat and you'd never know it was here. Wife loves the water it makes...we use a MOEN final filtering system that helps guarantee every drop is flawless.
Kobata Apollo 4KW genset. This came with the boat...I replace a valve in it when I first got it, then had to replace the raw water pump...from then on it's ran flawlessly...sometimes hour after hour here in the northwest with no sun or wind for days. It's amazingly quiet and runs on pints per hour!
Manson Supreme - We got a new 60# Manson Supreme anchor before we left, and up graded our chain from 5/16 to 3/8 HT. We sleep well at night...but a caution to any who might be reading...do not add a swivel to the chain set up...it gave our Manson fits...other than that...when the Manson goes down it stays down...and the boat stays put!
Dell computers - two brand new laptops before we left...no regrets so far they have run perfectly. Navionics allows us to run our charts on the computers at the same time as the chartplotter at the helm...so we have triple reduncency at an affordable price. We do have paper charts...but mostly only those areas we feel are most important.
Aqua Pro Inflatable and 2 - Tohatsu outboards (one 5 hp and one 9.9 hp). Actually the outboards ran great...most of the problems we've had (and we've had our share) are operator errors...and bad repairs (like leaving the main carb gasket off...duh! ) other than that, they are all pretty good pieces of equipment. The Aqua Pro will probable only last a season in Mexico because of it's age already...and they outboards?...they just keep on running...and running...and running.