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 and were treated to a shocking and brilliant display in the galley. We were so relieved that the batteries and inverter weren't fried, 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 by 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.

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