Saturday 20 June 2015
All work and no play today. First I had to take apart the mast and lower it (again). It’s the only way to get to the dagger board slot. Pulled out the old dagger board to assess the damage. I’m thinking this thing is beyond my capability at the moment. Still, me and Keith throw out a few ideas as to how I might try rebuilding it. Regardless, I’ll post pics of it on the MacGregor forum and solicit their advice when I get home.
Second project of the day was to install my Garmin 547xs chart plotter/gps. It’s truly the first time I have ever drilled a hole in my boat. The install itself was relatively painless. I have an old junky depth finder that never gave a reading when I needed one; it would just read “- -“. I left the unit installed on the pedestal for now as I don’t have any way to cover the hole. I did use the power wire from it to wire into the new gps and noticed what appeared to be a rat’s nest of wiring. One of the wires looks like something from a lamp cord. I see a future re-wiring project coming up sometime. In the meantime, reusing the same circuit allows me to keep everything on the same fuse. I don’t have any spares, so along with rewiring everything, I’ll also be installing another fuse panel. Everything lights up and the gps pinpoints me within 30 seconds.
Project three was my new solar panel installation. I have shore power available on the boat and my batteries recharge whenever I’m connected. However Keith has been so kind as to give me free dockage that I certainly don’t want to mooch power from him as well. So for Father’s Day my wife let me buy a 100 watt solar kit from Amazon.
I choose the sliding hatch to place the panel. I know some folks think that the boom and sails get in the way but I disagree with them. When docked, even though the panel isn’t getting hit at 100%, there’s enough to keep the batteries completely topped off for my weekly excursions. While sailing, I seem to be turning one way or another all the time so it seems like there’s always sunlight on my cabin top. I guess if I ever get some kind of enclosure, I’ll have to move the panel. For now, it’s a good spot.