Thursday, September 02, 2010

Fixing one's boat in (not so) exotic places

We are out of the boatyard and back in Alameda, at least for a while. We got our radar adjusted and our autopilot configured and our echo charger replaced, so that was all good. Then, as if they'd just been waiting for us to address everything we thought was a must do, our wind instruments completely shut down. Dead, deceased, not of this earth, no longer living. The yard guys came out in their little fast boat (God, I love KKMI), but once it was apparent it was not just some easily solved wiring problem, we turned around and headed back to Richmond. Ron was able to get the instruments going by resetting the controller (one of those special "only if you're a marine electrician because it's not in the manual" menu items, I guess), but now we're worried.

See, the wind instruments aren't essential (though they're certainly nice), but the same controller thing that Ron reset also runs our knotmeter and our depth sounder. Now, the knot meter I could almost really not care less about, as it's largely been supplanted by the more useful speed over the ground (as opposed to speed through the water, which is often, especially in the San Juans, quite a different number) from the GPS, but about the depth sounder, we both care a great deal. Because a boat is supposed to, y'know float, which it can only do in sufficient water. How do you know how much water you're in? Ding, ding, ding: the depth sounder. So that's a fairly critical thing to have working, and, well, that controller is old enough to drink and it's apparently getting flaky.

We installed a new wind sensor (of course, compatible only with B&G gear) when we were in the yard in Bellingham. But replacing all of our current gear with new B&G stuff would run probably twice what replacing it with Furuno instruments (everything else on the boat is Furuno now, save the VHF radio), although the labor would be more for the Furuno approach, because we'd need to haul the boat to put new transducers in the hull and go up the mast (OK, we would not personally be going up the mast, but someone would) to replace the windstrument. We could also sell the very expensive and almost brand new wind sensor if we got new gear it wasn't compatible with - apparently likely for quite close to what we paid for it. Assuming Ron can get us onto his schedule, I think we're going back in the yard. Again. What we'd be installing, we're not quite sure, but the wind/speed/depth instruments are fairly surely on their way out.

It's like they know, the instruments do, somehow. I hate them.

Other than that, it's been a nice few days. We've seen lots of family and old friends, and are, in fact, going wine tasting in Sonoma with one of those friends tomorrow. We've had several really nice sails - we haven't seen wind like this since we moved to Washington, and while the Bay is definitely deficient in cruising destinations, it is one hell of a nice place to just sail. It's been lovely, really. Just more expensive than we'd hoped. But, as I keep reminding myself, we'll have a far better boat for all this work stuff we're putting into it.

I am so ready to do something that doesn't involve moving the boat around tomorrow.

And we're having fun, dammit.


Doug and Carla Scott said...

Agreed - although it is not something you want to deal with, it is much better to get it over with while you are in the States. Promise - the work stuff is almost over!

Jaye said...

We're thinking along similar lines WRT the advisability of getting it done here - and the work stuff has to be almost over, because if we do much more, we'll be replacing new stuff!