The Search For Bright Waters

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Last Sea Trial

We brushed the dust off our boat and pulled out of the slip for the first time in awhile. Even with the new dinghy davits adding an extra 4 feet to our stern we managed out with ease. We still got skills. After a quick pump out we motored out into the Herring Bay for our last sea test before we leave.

The engine was running smoothly even at low idle which made us both very happy. We had to configure our Auto Pilot which is a must for any long passage. The Auto Pilot will keep our vessel on course so that we can move about the boat easier while underway. It is almost like haveing a third crew member (third crew member capable of steering).

We did the circle test, pass. We did the straight drive test, pass. And lastly we sat back and watched the boat drive itself for the final test, PASS! We tested the Auto Pilot on the way back in and it seemed to work great. We can't wait to put it to work.

When we woke up Saturday it wasnt too cold and we left the dock in only long sleeve shirts. But it was significantly colder out on the Bay. This got us even more nervous about making the trip down the ICW in January, bbbrrrrrrr.....

We need more layers.

Sunday was our going away party, blog to come!

ps:  the lead pic is Nala learning how to climb the mast insulation, so now she thinks shes a monkey...



Anonymous said...

You will be glad when the waves breaking off the bow blow freezing mist over your boat that you have nice foulies! A good reliable engine can also be the difference between life and death as passing boaters will not be available to help and I wouldn’t be surprised if most tow boat companies go dormant over the winter. I really am curious how amp amps you are getting from those solar panels. I’ve heard many people say that you only get about 30 % of what the manufacturer claims. In your case that would be about 16 amps total.


Joey and Christine said...

Yeah there will be no limit to the number of layers we will put on, topped off with our foul weather gear.

I called our towing company Boat US and they operate all winter and cover the whole US as well as parts of the Bahamas. So thats good to know.

Right now it is just cloudy most days and showing 1.5 - 2 amps. I haven't checked it during a sunny day but based on the customer reviews it averages 6 - 10 amps and peaks at 12. It is rated at 9.34 amps.

We also reduced our usage greatly with things like LEDs so based on my power consumption chart, we should be good most days.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I was looking at the Amp hours instead of the Max amps of 4.67 for each panel. So for now it looks like your getting max of 24 amp hours per day and on a sunny day a max of 120 amp hours per day.

I wouldn't doubt tow coverage south of virginia but I have to wonder if the contractor turn up the squetch on the radio a bit in the winter if you know what I mean. It's not that they won't come but i wonder if they are on their toes or maybe you could expect some delay.