Some New Equipment

We have taken a break from caulking and sealing leaks since it appears we may have corrected most of them. We have been doing our part to stimulate the economy and spent a whole bunch of money on new equipment so it is time to install some of it. The original VHF on the boat is an older Standard unit and although it worked, well we needed a VHF at the lower helm as well as the flybridge. Buying a new radio and putting it on the flybridge would only cost slightly less than buying the radio and installing a remote mic and would be a simple install. In addition, the VHF would only need one antenna and no splitter. I like the Standard Horizon equipment because past experience has shown it to be dependable, well built, easy to interface, and very user friendly. It has all of the features we need and not loaded with features we will never use. The Standard Horizon Quest VHF at the lower helm and the remote mic at the bridge make a great solution and will connect to our Standard Horizon Chartplotter at the helm to give us GPS capabilities for the DSC portion of the radio. Running the single cable to the flybridge was a snap and the remote mic gives us full control of the radio from that location. One cool feature is the intercom setting which allows you to speak to the person at the other station.

The all important entertainment system is partially completed with the TV antenna mounted and connected, the TV mounted on the aft wall of the main salon, the satellite dish cable run and the receiver connected to the TV. I still have to set up the final mount for the Follow-Me or Track-It as it is now known. We have used this unit for years and allowing for its limitations, it has performed wonderfully for us. I have a mount figured out and will post when it is completed. The new stereo speakers are mounted in the main salon but the stereo and CD changer are not installed yet and the speaker wires still need to be run. That is my current project and hope to have it completed in a few days. Our Clarion stereo has inputs for several external devices so once the audio cables arrive that we have ordered, the TV will be piped through the stereo and we will have great surround sound without the bulky entertainment units usually needed to accomplish this. Living aboard a 34 foot trawler has taught us that space is at a premium.

The boat's charging system consisted of an older Guest 15 amp charger that still works but has very limited charging capabilities. I replaced that with a Iota 45 amp smart charger that is not only very inexpensive, but well built, quiet, and very efficient. We may add a second like charger at a later date since this charger can be combined and that would not only give us 90 amps of charging but a back up in case of failure. The Iota charger can equalize the batteries which is another fine feature. At the same time I have begun to clean up some of the wiring and replace some questionable cables. It doesn't sound like much but it is a start. We also found in the process that the adjustment arm for the alternator was broken and the alternator was just hanging on the belt. A replacement has been ordered from American Diesel and we have found them great to deal with so far.

The process of moving everything we own aboard has just about come to an end. Our storage locker is empty and every locker on the boat is full. Our van, which is just a rolling dock box, is very full of the things we don't want on the boat but for whatever reason don't want to get rid of. In the process of moving aboard, we are learning that placement of heavy items affects the trim of the boat, so we are now relocating things to bring her back to trim but the waterline is much lower now.

We are starting to feel less stressed and more at home as the to do list items get checked off. It will feel better when we move from the "have to do" to the "need to do" and then to the "want to do" list. It all takes time and fortunately right now we do have the time. But the cold weather has found us, even here in South Carolina so that too will dictate which projects we work on when.

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