Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day off from the sun

After three days in of too much sun we decided to stay aboard the boat for the entire day. A tough decision with all this pristine reef and 200' of underwater viability. The painful sunburn on the back of my legs, from too much snorkeling, reminds and encourages me to stay below decks and work on boat projects all day.

My number one nagging project has been the water maker. Its a Spectra Catalina 300 (12 gallons per hour at 15 amps/hr making it very efficient). The system is pretty complicated and I've spent many tens of hours reading and trouble shooting each of the many components with limited success. Today was a major break through when I found two blown seals under the annular rings. A most unlikely location that that allowed a undetectable high pressure leak. On our last trip to Florida I sprung for a water maker rebuild kit ($400 overpriced bag full of o-rings) so I had the spare I needed. With our extensive solar array we should be able to make water daily without running the engines to generate power. We are now really off the grid and independent of fossil fuels. Except for our dinghy which has a generous 25hp engine... our one small excess.

Since beginning the journey in 2005 we have managed just fine without a water maker even during the 15,000 nautical mile passage across the South Pacific. The water maker is a luxury for sure, but another complicated and expensive system to maintain. Think how many bottles of water I could have bought for the $400 bag of o-rings.

As a reminder we are anxious to sell 'Pacifica' our PDQ 39 (yes, we currently own two boats) 'Pacfica' is wonderfully outfitted and ready to cruise the Bahamas or beyond. She is located in Stuart, Florida.

Our new boat 'LightSpeed' is far more complicated and I spend four times more time just keeping things maintained. More is not always better... We look forward to simplifying many of the complicated and expensive to maintain systems on 'LightSpeed' such as the electric flush toilets, twin A/C units and complicated engine driven charging system. Less maintenance = more fun.

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