Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Ruh roh. Now we've gone and done it. Chica and I are heading for St. Augustine to take a combined ASA 101/103 sailing course. We'll be backing the boat into the slip under sail in no time...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Semi-Annual Post

Thought I'd toss a note up here. I'm quietly embroiled in a battle to the death with the boat's electrical system. I've ripped out nearly all of the old electrics and am coming back at it from scratch. I've had to learn a lot about marine DC electrical systems, which is one of the general points of this whole boat exercise for me (to learn mildly useful stuff). It's been slow, I've been distracted, and I'm starting to get a little grumpy myself for not having the boat up and running back in the winter and spring - Florida's sailing season.

That's it for now. I'll probably post a big ole "how i did it" note with pix after I win the battle.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year

Misty morning and the marina has climbed to cloud base altitude. We've since rolled into a rainy, cooling day and are all snuggled into the boat with the heater going. Chica's doing lesson planning for her science classes, and I'm snooping around with DC electrics planning. A fine planning day...

New Year's eve festivities were aboard Down Time with Connie, Roger, Mary Beth, Bill, Pat, Joe, Michelle, and Richard. A cozy crowd of dock neighbors...

Pixie the Boat is surprisingly dry and comfortable inside. Of course, it helps that I covered the foredeck with plastic and held it down with gorilla tape yesterday before the rain started. The teak hatch rails appear not to have been bedded adequately or at all, so water drips merrily down the screws and directly onto Chica's side of the v-berth. Before we leave on Sunday morning, I'm going to remove the teak hatch rails, clean the glass on the deck, and gorilla tape everything down. I'll take home the rails and any other wooden pieces involved with the hatch and refinish them. I'm going to try out Bristol Finish - a two part urethane product. Hopefully, this stuff will align nicely with my lazy bone and keep me from messing about often with the little bit of teak that's outside the boat. I'm tired of Cetol and it's drab orange glow.

For the electrics, I'm going simple. I'll rip out all of the scary late 70s AC gear, and only allow AC directly to the battery charger for now. Past the battery charger, it's all DC. I'm investigating AGM batteries primarily because the boat's battery mounting locations are in the cabin. I quite dislike the idea of breathing charging gasses from flooded batteries and the potentials for sulfuric acid to spill when heeling or spray all over us and the living space when exploding. Beyond the batteries, I'm going with new oversized stranded, tinned wiring and Blue Sea Systems components. Simpler the better, since this stuff ain't cheap.

I've been having a little trubble with this post as both of you who subscribe might have noticed. I've retrained the notebook to live with Ubuntu 9.10 and am still getting used to the new environment's vagaries. OK, enough finger talking. Time to move along with my little rainy day projects.