Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dennis E. Hadley RIP

Dennis Hadley, former skipper of the 42 ft. cutter Traveler died today June 29 2011 at his home in San Marcos California.  Dennis and his wife Joan lived aboard for 15 years and cruised 4 of those years in Mexico.  Dennis and his brother brought the boat back to San Diego in December of 2009 bashing up the coast from Mazatlan .

Here's a quote from Dennis, "Hanging on a hook in Chacala, or sitting on the bow in a 30 kt. blow in Bara De Navida is something you just don’t put out of your mind when you come back to the states. It’s something you can explain, you have to live it to appreciate it to it’s fullest. We have Traveler on the market for sale, and yet I don’t think that’s what I really what to do. I want to come back down to Mexico and hang out in some bay and think about all those other people in the states that have to work every day and can’t go cruising because of whatever."

Friday, June 3, 2011

San Diego - June trip

My fifth trip down now and I’m cashing in air miles with Alaska Airlines. Alaska has a great non-stop from Seattle to San Diego that takes only 2.5 hours. Got in late, rented the car, picked up the bottle of rum, and found the boat. Saturday morning the jets woke me and I cleaned up the boat while waiting on Brad to come by with my new charging system.  He did and we pulled out the old sweaty batteries, acid dripping down the sides and on my pants and on the deck and on the dock….

I cleaned out the battery boxes and Brad removed twenty pounds of wiring and assorted regulators.  Then off we went to West Marine to trade those eight nasty wet cell batteries for two big 8D 245 Amp/Hour AGM house batteries.  By then end of the day Brad had me back on a 12 volt system powering the house circuit.  Sunday I cleaned the boat of all the shore grime from sitting on the hard for a week. 

Monday Brad brought me a Group 27 AGM starter battery and he spent hours rewiring and installing an automatic charge relay, an alternator regulator, a battery/solar monitor, and a solar regulator.  This now is a simple system that has smart charging from solar panels, alternator, or shore power.  Whether from the sun, the diesel, or shore, the incoming current will charge the batteries in three stages:  bulk phase for rapid charging with constant current, absorption phase for topping the batteries off to 95%, and float phase to hold the batteries at full charge without overcharging.  I’ve got enough coming in from the solar panels to keep the house bank and starter battery charged.  All this with running the refrigerator, some lights, music, and some navigation gear.  Can’t wait to try it all out.  One of the unknowns here is the auto-pilot. I’m not sure how much it will draw on extended trips. Everyone says you should have a wind vane steering system.. but I digress.

My charging system consists of the following:
(5) 2.5-amp solar panels
Blue Sky Solar Boost 25 amp charge controller
Heart 1200 watt inverter
Blue Sky IPN ProRemote charge controller and battery monitoring system
Balmar ARS-5 Voltage Regulator
Slue Sea Automatic Charging relay – Isolates house loads from engine cranking
ProMariner 2 bank, 20 amp battery charger
Two -8D 245 Amp/Hour AGM house batteries
One Group 27 – 92 Amp/Hour AGM starter battery

On this trip I also cleaned up the dinghy and mounted my Tohatsu 8 HP outboard that I had shipped via Fed Ex from Seattle to Mission Bay.  When I opened the cover on the old Nissan outboard that came with the dinghy I saw the carburetor was totally rusted out.  There was still gas in the tank, gas in the carb.  The engine is probably useless after being exposed to the salt for all this time.

Next trip we attack the engine.  I need to replace the rusted exhaust and the exhaust manifold gasket.  But the engine itself might need rebuilding or replacing.  I’ve having an oil analysis done and can only hope for the best. 

We won’t even think about those teak decks yet… Cosmetic, right?

I need a new battery for the epirb.  Must put together a laptop with navigation, AIS, GPS.  Get the radio licensed. And I’m sure 18 other important items.  There is so much stuff to think about!

Now I’m about out of money and need to concentrate on getting this house fixed up and sold.  With Connie working full time and me working full time we don’t seem to make enough progress.  But we will push onward and with luck will be able to leave this fall.  Or maybe we will have to keep the boat in Ensenada for the winter and stay in Seattle and work through another cold miserable winter. 

No matter what, we have to move the boat to Ensenada September 10 -14 before the state of California slaps a use tax on us.