Thursday, October 24, 2013

San Diego: painted, paneled, pad-eyed

                The two new solar panels arrived Monday, prompting me to put the second coat of non-skid paint on the deck Tuesday in the belief that it would be easier to do before they were installed and had to be painted around.
When a month ago I mentioned my intention to put a second coat of paint on the deck I left out a ‘d’.   Zane in New Zealand emailed that he wouldn’t want to go skiing on his deck, either.  
I appreciate the correction, Zane.
(My favorite all time typo was when I wrote from Tahiti to a friend that I was reading WAR AND PEACH.)
Not having to paint the cockpit, non-skidding the deck only took two hours and less than a quart of paint.  Painting white on white in bright sunshine, subsequently I can see a few places I missed on the second go around, but overall the deck looks better and easily passes my viewed from a boat length away test.
Yesterday I installed the two new solar panels.
This was easy.  I took measurements, but still don’t think I have them precisely parallel to the centerline.  They are close enough.  Certainly with my vision.  GANNET now has 150 watts of solar panels on deck.  This is only 35 less than did THE HAWKE OF TUONELA, and GANNET’s are considerably less obtrusive.
Wiring was simple.  I had only to splice into existing connections.  I tested the circuits of all four of the forward solar panels, and all showed full output.  Today has remained overcast.  When we next have bright sunshine, I’ll go around deck, covering each panel sequentially with a towel and observe whatever changes appear on the SolarBoost 1000e regulator.
Although I seldom even take spray on deck when sailing here in San Diego, I know that in the future there will be times when waves will sweep GANNET.  On EGREGIOUS, RESURGAM and THE HAWKE OF TUONELA, waves snapped vanes on Aries and Monitor self-steering devices and washed tiller pilots from tillers.  So I bought a folding pad-eye at West Marine a few days ago to tie down the tiller pilot. 
I knew at the time that it is bigger than I need, but it was the only one in stock and was on a hook showing a price of $24, so I bought it, along with several other bits and pieces and didn’t look at the receipt until I got back to GANNET when I found that the pad-eye actually cost $66.  I could have taken it back, but didn’t.  It has a safe working load of 3500 pounds, more than enough to lift the entire boat if bolted to a strong enough part of the structure.  I think it will adequately secure a tiller pilot.
I also installed four eye-bolts beside the v-berth, one on each side in the partial bulkhead forward, one on each side in the main bulkhead.  I’ll run lines fore and aft between them to secure bags and jerry cans, so everything won’t slide to leeward when GANNET heels.
I can’t think of anything else that needs to be done, so I’m going to walk around to the other side of Quivira Basin and eat a fish sandwich for lunch.