Captain’s Corner: Equipment Review And Other Thoughts

So far So good….

There is not much to report on equipment failure etc.  All the replaced systems are doing well. There are a few things which were not replaced that are having issues,  but all have been easily identified ahead of time and repaired or monitored, not causing any real problems.

Some people have asked about anchor selection and performance after Caroline’s post.  The anchor is an 88# Rocna attached to 400′ of 3/8″ chain without a swivel.  This might seem like overkill, but I wouldn’t change it at all.  I like the weight of the heavier chain, up to about 15 knots the anchor doesn’t do much.  After sustained 30 knots for days and gust to 46 knots:

The solar array has been fantastic, even on cloudy days.  660 watts takes up our entire pilothouse roof.  It averages around 170 Ahrs. Good days are over 200 Ahrs, and an average cloudy day is around 60 Ahrs.  It does not eliminate generator run time, but significantly reduces it and gives a lot of flexibility as to when I want to run the generator.  We do laundry etc. on the sunny days when we have excess energy.  The other benefit is if we run the generator in the morning, the batteries only take bulk charge to 80% (after that we shut down the genny to eliminate light loading), the solar then brings them up to full by days end.  This greatly improves battery longevity.

Our watermaker from CruiseRO has been great.  Model# SM30 regularly has been producing 36gph of product.  We run it at anchor and underway, using the inverter when needed.  Our only complaint is that the water is noticeably soft when showering, but that means it is working!  Our water consumption is higher then expected, I contribute it to using all residential fixtures instead of marine fixtures during the refit.

The Paravanes have performed as expected. The only downfall is deploying and retrieving.  Except for Charleston harbor, we always seem to have to bring them in before we reach sheltered water, due to depth.  However, at a total cost of under $10K, vs. $50K, compromises were to be expected.

The  Kadey Krogen hull has been good to us. The layout is great, I couldn’t imagine having the widebody.  The salon is plenty roomy, and walking around the boat on both sides for one reason or another is a daily activity.  The widebody would also not allow use of paravanes.  Head seas are not the best, following seas are wonderful.  It is also too easy to load up the cockpit and lazzerette, causing the stern to drop down because of its underwater shape aft, but that is what gives it the efficiency.

I am really happy with the engine room layout, after moving components around.  Do not skimp on lighting!  I have plenty of access and storage for everything that goes on down there.  Because it is so nice, I find myself not reluctant to go down there, which keeps everything in great shape.

The Raritan crown heads, even though a bit loud and primitive, are working very well.  They macerate right at the bowl, preventing clogs of any kind developing downstream.  They also save us freshwater.  As for the raw water flush smell complaint:  The secret is too flush vinegar through the inlet line right at thru hull on occasion.  I think people pour vinegar into head itself, thinking that the smell is at the discharge end of things.  Small amounts of living organisms get stuck and die on the intake side and under the rim. This is where the smell seems to originate, and is easily eliminated by the vinegar flush through the intake.

More to come, as we go along.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”