Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Boat Stuff

This has possibly turned into the most boring blog in, well, in the whole blogosphere.

It's not such a big deal since I obviously don't get paid for this thing and I know very few people read it, and it's not like it was ever very exciting but it still bugs the hell out of me how stale it's gotten. However, one of the reasons I post here is to keep track of the stuff we've done to the boat and it's also helped us settle some minor disputes like, "That's not at all what happened, don't you remember...?" "That happened the day before Wilbur jumped overboard" or "Before you fell overboard!" or "Before the sun pad flew overboard."

Dear god, a lot of stuff has gone overboard the Knotty Cat. Maybe I better shut up before...

Well anyway, on to yet one more boring blog post.

Our inverter died right around the time we installed our wind generator. This inverter both charged our batteries and allowed us to use our outlets while motoring with our Diesel engines. Luckily, the battery charging part works but without shore power or our Honda generator we could no longer use our outlets for charging phones, computers, etc... Damn, it's always something.

A new inverter would cost us around $1,000 so we decided we really didn't need one because at anchor we could always hook up the Honda on an as needed basis. And then Hans got the bright idea of buying an RV inverter (the outside of the box states: not designed for marine use, but since when do we follow the rules?) Actually, he bought two of them. A small DC one that can charge phones, computers, etc... and a bigger AC one that can actually allow us to make coffee and still keep our refrigerator running. Along with battery cables the bill came to around $140.00. We tested this system the other morning after disconnecting from shore power. After unfurling and connecting the solar panels we then accidently touched the inverter cables together resulting in a shocking and brilliant display in the galley. The fact that Hans' scheme worked almost paled in comparison.

The inverter mounted under the companionway steps.

A view from afar.

I forgot to take a picture before mounting it so here's a picture of the box.

This is the smaller DC unit. It can charge our computers and even (be-still my heart) run our TV. Talk about getting away from it all.

I put a pen beside it so you can see how small it is.


It has a USB outlet and an AC outlet for regular plugs.

Here are our solar panels, at the bow, atop our tarp covered dinghy (and, no, I don't need to be reminded that the tarp is wrong side out!).

Since they're portable, we can disconnect them, roll them up...

...and store them in a locker.

Of course these little gizmos will only work if we have 8 or more MPH of wind (wind generator) or sunshine (solar panels), but at least they now keep our batteries topped off so we can run our refrigerator and anchor light all night long.

We could continue to add layers of systems to the Knotty Cat but I think (except for regular maintenance required gy those who own boats) we're pretty much done.

Unless of course I talk Hans into a 'so easy even your wife can install it' water-maker.


  1. Great idea for the inverter! We don't have one yet, so I'll definitely pass this on to Ken. With the savings, you could be a new one several more times! We purchased $40 car speakers and installed them in our cockpit, exposing them to the weather, almost four years ago ... they still work great!

  2. Cheryl, as long as safety isn't an issue I know a lot of people use RV/auto parts instead of marine parts. Our music radio is a dashboard car model. I admit our wind generator is marine although friends of ours installed an RV unit.

  3. I feel your pain as far as feeling things have become stale. I suffer this same feeling about ours. However, you can add me to your list of faithful followers!! Even when you're just sharing your latest, "dry," this-is-the-recent-addition-to-our-equipment post, I am always entertained. I'll also admit that we haven't updated our trials and tribulations of boat remodeling for probably a year. While I have displayed the list of.. Let's call them "chores." It's actually been quite extensive. I'm sitting in a barn as I type this on my phone, waiting for Evan to get back with paint thinner, so we can start priming the deck. We have done a ton of deck repair, removed all the hardware (except the chain plates. We don't want to tempt fate.), and sanded everything. It's been 3? 4 weeks? Now we get to start painting! Hoping to be out of here the end of the week. Then we get to do equipment fixes. Put all the hardware back on, flush out the cabin, and then maybe we'll be ready to launch? Hmmm.. We'll see. Anyway.. He's back! So, my point: LOVE your blog. See you around! ~Debra