Fish out of water
11 November 2013 | Vuda Point Marina, Viti Levu, Fiji
Well the day finally came. Tanga is now a land based vehicle.
After a final surf session, we made the 2 hour sail to Vuda Point marina and hauled Tanga out of the water. She now sits in her Cyclone Cradle.
The cradle is an I-beam structure that holds her in on both sides and has lumber supporting the weight from below. After a couple 30kt gusts during a squall she didn't budge so we think (hope!) she can withstand a 140kt sustained blow.
To prepare her for our absence during December, while we are in the states with family and friends, we have several important tasks to do. The winds during a cyclone can be fierce, thus we must do all we can to lower her wind profile. This means taking down all the sails, removing the bimini, removing the solar panels and wind generator, and stowing the jerry cans, dingy, fenders, and surf equipment below.
We have many many projects that must be completed when we return in January, prior to dropping back in the water. Such as, a new cutlass bearing, rudder bearings (lower and upper), new propeller, and new anti-foul. We also have many projects that "should" be done and still more that we "want" to do to improve the comforts aboard. We'll post these as we do and complete them.
Cruiser opinion topic: AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries. During our initial preparations for cruising we removed the old wet cell Lead Acid batteries and replaced them with AGM style. Like most of our decisions, this was done because we thought it was a good idea based on what we "knew" at the time. During the past couple years we have heard and read numerous stories about AGM's having issues and reliability problems after roughly one year of use. We have experienced NONE of these problems. We have been told we have an overkill of management devices and way too much charging capacity. But these same folks making these comments are buying new batteries ever year or two. Our AGM's still hold a 98% charge (under a load test) and have never been discharged below 63%, during 2 yrs. of heavy use. We attribute this to proper charge and discharge care. While AGM's require no maintenance, they do require proper charge management. We have 2, 150w solar panels and a wind generator that we use to charge. We use 6 separate meters to monitor the system. We haven't plugged into shore power in over two years (including NZ) and use the batteries to run all (fridge, inverter, electronics and lighting) our power. Thus we can say AGM's are definitely a good way to go, provided you manage your power usage versus charging. If you are fitting out and wish to know the particulars or wish to discuss the technical advantages, design, or dis-advantages of our system, please feel free to email us for a technical discussion.