This one was for the new drop in lid that will be used for the freezer section of our new box. They make prefab insulated box lids so that all the is required is to remove the existing Formica top, cut a hole on the top of the cabinet, epoxy in the liner that the lid drops into and then reinstall the Formica surface. We'll need to put some form of wood or Formica on the top of the new lid as it is white. Plus, we'll need to install a latch of some type to we can get the lid out when we need to access the box.
Then on to Hyrdrovane for a wind vane steering mechanism. Now while out cruising, from what we have heard, you actually spend about 50% of your time using your engine as the winds can be quite fickle. You get becalmed quite regularly. Unless you are patient(few of us are) and have lots of water and food, you start your engines and go looking for wind on your way to your intended destination. With the engine running, we can use our hydraulic powered autopilot. It uses quite a bit of amps so the best time to use it is when your engine is running. With this new autopilot. it uses no electricity as you sail. It has its own rudder so all we have to do is lock
the main rudder, set the top red vane so it faces into the wind and it will steer your boat for you. No power needed except the power of the wind. If the wind shifts, the autopilot corrects the direction to put you back on course. You still have to be on deck on watch(checking for other boats and things in the water) but you don't have to be at the wheel. There are several of them made but few can take care of a boat Zephyrs size. It will take about 6 weeks for it to arrive as each is made when the order is placed and they have to be shipped from Great Britain. Early March. We're having it shipped to Sea Marine so we'll have a familiar place for the installation. We may have to have Zephyr pulled out of the water again for the installation.
Our next stop was for a whisker/spinnaker pole. Now this can make sailing downwind a whole lot easier. Their main purpose it to hold the sail on the bow of your boat out so it can easily fill with wind and stay full of wind. This will make your boat go faster and that is a good thing when you're out cruising. A whisker/spinnaker pole for the size of Zephyr would weigh easily 4o to 50 pounds and has to be at least 22 feet long. Now that is a whole lot of weight and length to handle on a rocking boat. A carbon fiber pole will weigh in at about 23 pounds. Now for this weight savings you know you will have to pay more and boy you do. We checked around and found out that the folks at Port Townsend Rigging back near where we resided over the Summer will fabricate the pole for a whole lot less than any other company. Since we already had one of the ends of the pole--Brian Toss had installed it during the refit, it reduced our price even more. The biggest problem with these types of poles is that each has to be custom cut and fabricated and that means time and money, money, money. We could have gone with a straight aluminum pole for a whole lot less money, but weight means everything as you are trying to handle this kind of pole. Sometimes to get what you want, you have to pay for specialty items like this.
While at the show, we saw a strange boat that had recently finished sailing to Hawaii. It's made of plastic bottles and the body of an old Cessna airplane on the deck to sleep in.
They set off last June 1 and got to Hawaii on August 27. Equipped with a wind power generator as well as solar panels, water maker, and radios to contact passing ships and Coast Guard planes that flew by occasionally. They have more guts than I do. I think I'll stick with Zephyr. They did this to draw attention to the crisis we face with all the trash we throw into the ocean. The "boat" was made with over 15,000 plastic bottles all attached to recycled aluminum masts and booms that made up the deck. It was quite the attention getter at the show.
Well, it's off to the showers and then more projects. Have a great weekend.