Leela Year Six - Across the Pacific

Well.... to our own surprise here we are

29 May 2020 | Cook's Bay, Moorea
14 May 2020 | Tahiti, French Polynesia
08 May 2020 | Enroute Gambiers to Tahiti
30 April 2020 | Rikitea, Gambiers, French Polynesia
26 March 2020
24 March 2020 | The Gambiers, French Polynesia
08 March 2020 | Taravai Island, The Gambiers
03 March 2020 | Airport Anchorage, Gambier
21 February 2020 | Kouaku, Gambier Islands
17 February 2020 | Rikitea, Mangareva, Gambier Islands
12 February 2020 | Rikitea, Mangareva Island, The Gambiers
25 January 2020 | Nuku Hiva
22 January 2020 | Ua Huka
14 December 2019 | Tahiti
16 November 2019 | Taiohae Bay, Nuku Hiva
07 November 2019 | Baie Marquisienne, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Archipelago, French Polynesia
05 November 2019 | Baie Marquisienne, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Archipelago, French Polynesia
03 November 2019 | Nuku Hiva
30 October 2019 | Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Archipelago, French Polynesia
20 October 2019 | Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Archipelago, French Polynesia

Power System - works well

21 March 2015
When we bought Leela she was "cruise ready", with both wind and solar. Unfortunately both systems were a) ready for the museum and b) trashed by neglect as the last actual cruising owner was several years earlier. Anyway we started again with the desire to go solar only. I hate the noise wind generators make (all of them) and I did not want yet another machine to maintain.

The first thing we did was reduce consumption. The inverter was ejected and we became a totally 12V DC boat. This was less painful than anticipated and will be described in another post. All the lights except the running lights were replaced by LED's, the refrigerator was re-insulated and the old cold plate system replaced, again, more later on this. Energy hungry instruments like the CRT radar display (another museum piece) were replaced.

We then installed 4x100w Renogy solar panels, two on the Bimini and two on the Davits. These were controlled by a Morningstar MPPT controller feeding 450ah of Lifeline AGM batteries.

So far the result has been very gratifying. On a typical Caribbean day we can be running the refrigerator, making water, charging all our iToys and still charging the batteries. Our new shore power lead has never been used and we have never run the engine for power (although we have an oversized alternator with Balmar controller just in case). I don't recollect the batteries ever falling below 75% capacity. We shall see how things go if we head for less sunny climes but that is way off.

We are very happy with the Renogy panels. They were remarkably cheap and surprisingly well built. The Morningstar controller has done what it says on the box - no complaints.

Vessel Name: Leela
Vessel Make/Model: Bristol 38.8
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, NH
Crew: Graham and Janaki
We are a Brit and an Australian now based in the wonderful community of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We have a delightful home there but a couple of years ago we began to feel a bit over-domesticated so we thought we would buy another boat and head south. [...]
Leela, a Bristol 38.8 has turned out to be a wonderful cruising boat for us. Some might find it a little cramped by modern standards but it feels like just the right balance of living space and storage to us. She sails like a dream. She is remarkably well balanced and is comfortable in pretty [...]
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