Saturday, March 18, 2006

There's Lots to Report

Ok, the solar panels are still waiting - I haven't received the wire I need to do the job, but everything else is here. These weeks in March are marked by 60 - 70 degree weather or 30 degree weather. And windy? Gale warnings almost all week.

Last weekend, though, Herb and I installed a new battery by cutting a hole in the area next to the current batteries (I explored that by cutting a small hole), installing a mount and hatch, setting the battery in, and wiring it up. Easy, huh? I thought it would be a couple of hours - it was all day, like 6 hours!

To review, I made the currently installed batteries a single bank (1), and the wire from bank 2, now is removed from the battery box (you can't see it, though).

First, I got a latching hatch cover from Defender, traced the opening, and cut it out. After making sure it fit, I epoxied the edges because oddly enough, that deck is balsa core. Who'd think it? Anyway, this particular hatch is strong, latches and is waterproof. Not that I need it there, but if you're thinking of putting one in your deck (for through cockpit sole engine access) this is a good one - the opening is 10 x 12", big enough for batteries...

Finally, using adhesives, marine putty and epoxy, mahogany bars, and some ingenuity with a sabre saw, I made a frame that will hold the battery level. I 3M 5200'd the battery holder to the frame, installed the battery, and wired it up. Cool.

This week, Laura and I are installed the Echo Charger from Xantrex. What it does is charge the starter battery when any charger source is on and the voltage is low on the starter battery. It's all automatic. And it isolates the charging systems from any of the load busses, which was one of the points of this exercise. The other, of course, is to make sure that even if I run the house batteries down, I still have power for starting the motor.

Mount the box somewhere (you can see I mounted it near the starter battery on the forward bulkhead of the new storage area. The rest turns out to be a simple three wire set up. Run the red to the main bank, run the white striped red to the starter battery, and the black to ground. Badaboom, badabing! Fuggeddaboudit!

Last Monday, my friend Leigh and I went for a hike in Tallman State Park, from Stateline Lookout in New Jersey to a very pretty little waterfall near Lamont Dougherty Geological Laboratory. It's a great little walk along the Palisades with excellent views of the lower Hudson River.

It was such lovely weather I had to take my shirt off! Beautiful!

I know you're getting tired of seeing Inertia at a dock, but Friday night I made patterns for the letters to the name and cut them out of self-stick UV treated white dacron. I'm happy to tell you all the technical crap, but I believe even you all have a limit... Anyway Martin of Somerset Sails offered a free riding sail, and so, there it ia along with the new sail cover.

If you don't know what it's for, it's for being at anchor or mooring. You set it to help stop the boat from 'sailing at anchor'. Most boats without full keels do that. You could also use it in the case that you're deploying a sea anchor to prevent the same sailing about it, too.

Monday is the first day of spring, so I'll be seeing you on the water real soon now!

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