There is nothing–absolutely nothing–half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.
Kenneth Grahame The Wind in the Willows
On this forty-year old boat, there’s always something to do, and I like it that way. I need to keep busy lest I become a beer swilling layabout. Well, more so than I already am. I’m comfortable with my current L.W.R. (Layabout to Work Ratio.)
I finished the solar refrigeration project and it works! Yes! The new refrigerator runs full-time on solar power. This is big! I feel so civilized! All the comforts of home! The hardest part, aside from shelling out the money, was finding a place to put four huge lead acid deep-cycle batteries. I had to split them up because their weight would cause to boat to list if kept all on one side.
I wired all the batteries to the inverter with 4 gauge wire. Saved a ton of money by buying a set of 30 foot heavy-duty jumper cables and cutting the clamps off.
Next on my list was to repair the broken anchor boom. I got the new one in two days just as the manufacturer promised. I feel fortunate that I was able to get a direct replacement for a forty-year old part.
Removing the old broken boom was an adventure; the nuts had all turned into rusted blobs. I plugged my electric angle grinder into the new 1500 watt inverter and hacked away. The bolts had also deteriorated. This thing was ready to fall off!
The new part was considerably beefier and came with stainless steel hardware. Nice upgrade.
Another nagging problem was the old transom stairs. They tended to fold up if you didn’t step on them just right. My wife and I have both stumbled, so they had to go. I built new ones out of three-quarter plywood which I stained, polyurethaned, and screwed together with stainless steel hardware.
Next, I plan to install another fuel tank which will bring our total capacity up to 200 gallons. But first I need to relax in the sun with a cold beer. Don’t want to throw off my L.W.R.!