Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Birthday girl

Send in the clowns

Missing her days as a starving student, Cate has taken up a new educational endeavor - Clown College. We wish her luck and hope she can keep her GPA up :)

Last week Cate reached the ripe old age of 39 and some months and we have been going all out to celebrate the event.  One of her presents was a Torqueedo 1003S electric outboard.  The built-in battery runs for 30 minutes to 3+ hours depending on throttle, it breaks down into 3 easily toted components, and the entire unit weighs only 29 pounds - making it easy for Cate to toss on and off the dinghy.  When I did the 5 year cruise from San Francisco to Tampa we seldom stayed in port so gasoline for the outboard was always an issue even though probably 75% of dinghy use was within a mile of the boat.  The Torqueedo should handle those short distances fine and can be recharged from Horizon's electrical system maintained by the 480 watts of solar panels and wind generator.  That saves the limited gasoline supply for our 15 HP Mercury outboard.

Cate's other birthday present is a work in progress and definitely "some assembly required".  Horizon's main salon has the traditional teak and holly sole but the v-berth, aft cabin, and connecting walkways were all carpet covered.  Cate wanted wood throughout so we started asking lots of questions at boat shows.  We ended up buying wood veneer plywood from Teak Decking Systems in Sarasota, FL with a teak and holly pattern that sort of matches our current cabin sole.  Julio has finished the leveling and smoothing process for the first section, the v-berth area, but with the RNC madness (closures, restrictions, etc.) it will probably be a couple weeks before we can get the new flooring glued and trimmed then varnished in that section.  As always, corralling the cats to keep them away from fiberglass dust and other toxins is a perpetual problem with these kinds of projects.  Speaking of RNC, where else but Florida would we be prohibited from carrying umbrellas or light bulbs downtown during the RNC welcome weekend but wearing a sidearm is perfectly fine.

Air Conditioning

The new self contained 16,000 BTU Marine Air A/C unit is now installed in the big sail bin forward and it works great keeping the main salon and v-berth cool even in the August Florida heat.  That, and the small window unit aft, has allowed us to reclaim a handy bin and permanently remove lots of copper tubing and both of the big 20+ year old 1.5 ton A/C compressors.  Once we find someone who wants a rusted frozen diesel genset in exchange for helping us get it out, the entire back half of the engine room will be empty for mounting new gear.  I am so itching to get that VM LWM-200 watermaker out of the back of my car!

Sailing again

We did get Horizon out again for a few hours two weekends ago and it sure was good to get the sails shaken out and have no problems.  We definitely need more of those.  The diesel tank got another 40 gallons on the way back to the slip so we now have an almost full tank and still not a drop in the bilge.  I can stop worrying about a leaky fuel tank.