It’s been a long hard winter here on the South Coast of Massachusetts, and even though it’s Spring, big fluffy snowflakes are falling as I write this. It’s so deflating! I have much to do to get Ginger Lee ready for the 2015 boating season. But mostly, I just want to get outside and do something. Cabin fever has infected me.
I have a few projects planned. First and foremost is the solar refrigeration project. I’m excited about this one. The idea is to have full-time refrigeration on the boat without being connected to shorepower, without running the main engines, and without using our generator.
“How do you do this Captain Rick?” you ask. “Witchcraft? Voodoo?”
“Why no dear reader. No sorcery is involved at all. In fact, anyone can do this. All you need is the right equipment.” In my case, about 1,500 dollars worth.
I’m wicked psyched. Do you know how much ice we have to lug onboard for a typical weekend trip? We were constantly looking for the stuff, because as any boater knows, there is no boating without ice.
When your boat lives on a mooring, you can’t just “plug-in”. You have to make your own electricity and store it in large batteries. Power management is critical; you’re screwed if you drain your batteries and can’t start the engines. Solar panels connected to a dedicated battery bank solves that problem nicely, and with no moving parts.
The head needs more work as well. Last year I replaced the old toilet with a brand new Raritan PHII. A real beaut! Standard of the industry and known for its reliability. This year I’ll replace the faucet and shower head.
Check out these props and rudders! Barnacles just adore the warm Cape Cod waters. I haven’t found a good way to keep ’em off the running gear, but I keep trying. Last year it was a liberal coating of STP oil treatment. Obviously with no success. This year who knows. I heard pure lanolin works. Maybe I’ll give that a shot.