The Search For Bright Waters

Friday, October 8, 2010

Back into Gear

Last weekend we attended 2 weddings and watched football on sunday. Congrats to Jordan and Sarah, and Mike and Angie! It was good times seeing friends and family.

This week we kicked back into gear. Our solar panels and dinghy davits came in so now I just gotta mess about with them. I also took on the task of changing all our lights to LED. We will only have 170 watts of solar panel power so we need to keep our energy usage as low as possible. The LED lights use 1/10 of the energy as our regular lights. This task hasnt been as easy as I thought. The LED light fixtures are way expensive, and if I just want the bulb I am having trouble finding the correct replacement. So far we have replaced the running lights and stern light with LED bulbs.

I think I found a bulb replacement for our Perko masthead/anchor light but the salesmen said that I could see the exact bulb at the Annapolis Sailboat Show so we will wait till then to make sure it fits. Our next problem is the amount of light produced by cabin LEDs. We put a nice one above our stove that will help with cooking at night, but the don't seem bright enough to read by. LEDs are bright to look at but they don't really light up the room. So we will look around at the Boat Show for options. We still want to replace both lights in our V-berth, our one halogen bulb in the cabin, our 12'' florescent kitchen light, and figure out a good light for the cockpit. Any advice is always welcome!

We also purchased a new main halyard. This was on our to do list since we got the boat surveyed and we kept putting it off. Well now is the time to complete the important to dos! It wasn't so hard of a project. We just took the distance of our "luff" (distance from boom to the top of the mast) and tripled it to account for going up, coming down and running to the helm. West Marine let us borrow a piece of line to make sure it matched out current line and fit through the blocks. However, West Marine was charging $1.14 per foot and at Bacon they had the same line on sale for $.80 per foot. So we got a good deal there and bought 120 feet. To run the new line in I sewed the ends of the new and old line together and then just pulled it through. It was quite easy and looks great. We are gonna take the old halyard and use it to replace our 4th halyard that is even worse condition but is only used to lift boat items like the dinghy.

We are also having bilge problems. I spent 3 days cleaning it out and getting the bilge pump to run but even now it is kinda faulty. i have to wiggle the switch on and off to get the bilge to really catch and suck water. Since the bilge can really be worrisome, we will be replacing that pretty soon before we leave.

We have a big weekend ahead of us with a boaters party, another wedding, football at a friends house, and the Boat Show to attend! One other item we just discoved is the TheWirie. It is a internet antenae for cruisers. We are gonna keep an eye out for it at the boat show. Does anyone have any experience with it?

84 days left!



Anonymous said...

I sent some LED info and my cell number to your email address. We're headed to the boat show too, maybe we can get a drink. -Brad

The Ceol Mors said...

So happy to have found your blog! I look forward to hearing how you sort the lighting issues as we have that on our to do list as well.

Mike said...

Hi Guys

A word of caution about the LED replacement bulbs. They are not all created equal. I just had to go up the mast again to take out the Victory brand steaming light replacement bulb that I purchased for 50+ dollars. It was causing major interference in our VHF and SSB radios. Good thing I saved the original bulb.

For LED fixtures I recommend:

Search for "bebi" on our blog to see what we have installed.


Captain Dan (Dock Bum) said...

Great Blog, I also sail a 37' Seidelmann out of the Sassafras River Area. Owned my boat since 1991 "Trinity" is my pride. You can check it out at I've done most of the upgrades you are starting on. So I might be able to help. Good Sailing From: Captain dan DockBum.

Joey said...

Thanks for the advice. We ended up finding at the boat show. They were a couple from Canada who cruises and sells lighting for cruisers. The actual LEDs are from
The festoon LEDs were $10, the square LED and halogen replacement were $25 and $30.

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