If you read my last blog closely, you're probably still wondering how we could go to the oldest sailboat show in the country and only see one boat?! Well, there were literally hundreds of vendors and we had some serious shopping to do! After all, once Passage is hauled out next weekend for the season we have at least a score of projects to accomplish before she's relaunched in 2012.
I am happy to say we came home having ordered the two big items from our list - a compostable head
and bottom paint! We've made another semi-contentious choice in some boating circles by purchasing CopperCoat
, a bottom paint that is copper based; some people say that copper paints are bad for the environment because they flake off copper into the water. However, as a non-leaching paint it literally takes about 10 years for CopperCoat paint to even start wearing off a boat's hull. The dried epoxy resin doesn't cause or promote electrolysis, galvanic action or cathodic decay. Having done significant research on bottom paint over the last 6-8 months, it seems to me that in general corporate pollution is a much greater copper concern for our environment than what's on the bottom of a recreational boat. David and I both agree that the substantial cost and time savings of not needing to re-apply bottom paint through full haul-out every two years was a major selling point! (**Note: If potential future cruisers read this months or years from now, feel free to email us to see if we still feel positively about our choice. I always wonder why more people don't share their bottom paint choices; there are so many options, I have found selection overwhelming.**) We are really excited for spring when we can buy soy-based paint stripper (more on this in a future post) and see what's really under all those layers on Passage's hull!
As I'm sure many cruisers do at this show, we also came home having ordered some items that weren't on our original shopping list:
New Membership to the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA)
Good Old Boat
Electromaax High Output Alternator with Serpentine Pulley System
Airmaax 12v Wind Generator
Oddly enough, we had discussed all of these things at some point since last year's show at Annapolis but they hadn't really been on our radar. We are excited because the SSCA has a lot of members who are actively living the dream, and can offer us a lot of tried and tested advice if we want it. The Gams (cruiser parties) are supposed to SUPER FUN and take place in various cities worldwide! I was sold on Good Old Boat because they actually have published a variety of articles on DIY projects we already have planned, and some were even about other Pearson 365s!
The Chute Scoop was literally an impulse buy while we were trying to decide if we were already over our spending budget. We rationalized that we spent all summer without using our free spinnaker that came with the boat because we were so intimidated by dousing it. Now, we'll actually be able to try it out next year! The great bonus is that the Chute Scoop is easily transferable to other light-air sails, like the drifter we're going to add to our inventory within the next year or two.
We actually planned on only buying a standard alternator to replace our broken one, to save money, and I hadn't considered a high-output one. However, David had and between conversations with him and both the President of Electromaax and Designer of the alternator and serpentine pulley system, I was (slowly) brought up to speed. I had gone into the booth to say hello to Rich Boren, of S/V Third Day and Cruise RO Watermakers
, but I also wanted to hear more about his experience with the Airmaax 12V wind generator. Needless to say, we liked what we heard about both the alternator and windgen and have ended up with both! While it's true we don't technically need a windgen next season on Lake Michigan, we decided that it is necessary to make any big purchases we know we want to have down the road now while we still have significant income to offset the expense. And, it'll give us time to get to know these new systems while in familiar territory.
Between the deals already offered at the boat show, our intent to pay with check (not credit card), and-of course-our awesome likeability we were able to score some great pricing on our load 'o' stuff for next cruising season and beyond! We also had an opportunity to work with an incredibly knowledgeable salesman who helped us fit foul weather gear, just for the satisfaction of knowing we knew what to do. He explained that if it fits great when you squat down, then it's too small..."if it looks like it fits, then it doesn't it. It needs to look way too big!" While we're not in the market for this yet, and are hoping to score a great discontinued or off-name set rather than paying new/name brand prices, at least now we have some idea of what to look for!
One thing I think we are a bit more confounded about than when we started are dinghies. We spent time both days of the show oggling the Fatty Knees dinghy, but also spoke to several inflatable brand reps and even checked out some of the electric outboards available. We want to minimize our fossil fuel dependency, but there are so many options...Thank goodness we don't have to make a decision on that for a while because both David and I are (still) totally befuddled on this one!
For more photos, check out S/V Passage's Facebook Page