Windlass failure…

Even though I “baby” it, a 22 year old tired windlass still has a limited lifespan. It is a high current, high torque, device that gets salt spray on it before any other part of the boat does. Corrosion vs. strength is the constant battle.

Three bolts sheared off where the two gypsy halves meet.
These two faces mount together to pull CHAIN or ROPE through the windlass.

Windlasses are expensive, and they are a big project to repair or replace. SO, “baby” the windlass. Use a “snubber” to take the strain off the windlass if there is any wind or current. Also, never use the windlass to pull the boat forward against the wind when weighing anchor. Use your engine’s power to keep the strain off this important piece of equipment on the bow of your boat!

Awake at Cape May…

Several friends reached out to make sure we were OK returning to C.M. It is great to have friends that are looking out for us! TNX

We had a “projects” day, as there are always a lot of projects that need to be done. Cleaning the windlass’s electrical connections from corrosion was accomplished, some cleaning of the decks, etc. study of the weather windows and currents for our next hop took up our day recovering from yesterdays melee with Mother Nature.

We are now looking for an early start on Tuesday, and I think I have the Admiral convinced that one trip to Delaware City makes the most sense for our next passage. Fingers crossed.

Hearing all the USCG Recruits at their “bootcamp” training here in Cape May, 150 yards from our boat, has been very entertaining. Our nephew, Adam Sirois of Edgecomb Maine is likely to be down here this winter at some point adding to the noise in this harbor.

FMI: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jBtJet6kmZ0

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Back in Cape May Harbor

I made the Go-No Go decision last night and this morning to go for the 42nm transit to the Cohansey River / Greenwich NJ on the east side of Delaware Bay, 2/3rds of the way up to Delaware City. Current favored a very early start. Wind and sea state favored a start later in the morning. “But 2 foot seas on the nose should be OK.” Knowing that conditions would be improving, I said “Go”.

Our passage today.

We pressed on for two hours with the weather hitting on our port bow. Then when the forecast changed, AND the ETA changed from noon to 1:00pm, We chose to turn around and take the weather dead astern and make Cape May canal in 90 minutes instead. THAT ride was comfortable, and we knew a large (and FREE!) anchorage awaited us there. It sure was better than taking a beating for FOUR more hours!

Once anchored, we started picking up everything in the salon that relocated itself to the floor underway. What a mess! But there was no damage.

I then fixed the galley sink which was only giving us hot water for some reason. After changing out the guts of the Mowen faucet with a spare “cartridge kit”, which did not fix the problem, I stared looking for simpler solutions. A sharp right angle crimped supply hose was the culprit. Lesson learned: check the simple stuff first!

It was an exhausting day that began at 5:30am so we could leave at first light. Somehow Shelly had the energy to cook up some fresh Steelhead Trout from Aldis with smashed podadahs. This day will be “over” as soon as I put all my tools away and we share a glass of wine!

Lewes DE – recommended port

It isn’t exactly on the Great Loop route, but it is only a 15 mile side trip, which we recommend. There is a “harbor of refuge” anchorage and a canal with a 200ft Lewes City Dock inside. The village offers tons of restaurants and other businesses within walking distance. Major shopping is less than 3 miles away or $13 Uber ride each way. This is a very historical and architecturally quaint town. The people are very friendly. Dockmaster John of the City Dock is very helpful. M.302-245-9360. $3/ft.

The first incorporated town in the first state to ratify the US Constitution, December 7, 1787.
Lewes’ Harbor of Refuge inside the growing Cape Henlopen “hook”. This anchorage in combination with the City Dock in the canal, gives cruisers options to wait for your weather window and timing your next move north or south, or up Delaware Bay, which is our move after Fiona’s wake settles down. .
Click to see video above. White caps this morning in this well protected canal, Lewes City Dock. We’ve got the OK to stay here one more night. Hopefully things settle down tomorrow.

Granville and his wife Anne on Lewes City Dock with Shellerina in the background this afternoon.

Awake on the hook – Cape May

Click to see 2 minute video above.
Arrived in Lewes DE.

We had a fantastic dinner with an old friend, Granville Reed, who used to be Ray’s room-mate in the 1980’s. We’ve stayed in touch over the decades. But it has been years since we’ve seen each other. The stories at dinner were great for us, and very entertaining for Shelly too! Irish Eyes had great food and a live band for us on a Wednesday night! Granville even found a parking spot! It’s all good!

Lewes is a really nice town, and a great protected harbor. We are tied up at the City Docks while we wait for Hurricane Fiona’s influence (6 foot seas) to pass by here. It was flat dead calm today for our passage across Delaware Bay… but it’s gonna get rough out there soon for a couple days.

Granville, Shelly, and Ray at Irish Eyes on the waterfront in Lewes DE.

Late start from Atlantic City to Cape May – 2:45pm departure.

Today’s late start meant dropping the hook after dark in Cape May.

Offshore fishing fleet anchored off Wildwood NJ
How they appear on the chart plotter with AIS.
This fishing vessel’s name is Little River
How it appeared to us.

Wildwood NJ

The helm as we approach the inlet at Cape May.

Fortunately, this is an easy harbor to navigate at night.
Night vision cameras help! showing up here on the iPad.

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Lithium Installation Day

Sunday at Atlantic City NJ, dockside, shore power (= A/C on a very hot day!)… what a perfect day to install the new Lithium LiFePO4 batteries in the engine room!

Two Battleborn GC3 (270AH) batteries fit where an 8D wet cell sat on the port side engine room. AWG 2/0 cables marry the two to form a new bank. The same size cables (from opposite ends of the bank) go to the charger/inverter thru a 250A Class T fuse (+) and a Smart Shunt (-).
A piece of 3/4” plywood mounted atop the new bank enables me to make all the connections to the Inverter/Charger and the two Solar Controllers which bring 600 watts to this new house bank on a good sunny day.
Positive comes off the lower battery, negative off the top. This ensures both batteries are leveraged and cycled equally.

The 3 year old 8D size flooded lead-acid battery is moved over and has a remote battery switch for it to help, when needed, the starboard bank of 3 Group 31 batteries which start the main engine, operate the bow thruster and windlass. Those types of very heavy loads are best kept separate from Lithium batteries, generally speaking.

These Lithiums have a built-in BMS (battery management system) to ensure safe and long lasting operation. They should last 10-15 years, and come with a 10-year warranty. They are the perfect match for our new solar panels, for when we are disconnected from shore power for days.

Summary: 600 Watts of photo-voltaic panels feed 540 AH of storage to support daily living loads as a “House” bank. Conventional wet cells support the boat’s heavy loads, and are charged by conventional means (alternator, shore power charger, etc.).

Future: A DC-DC charger will be considered if we find one is needed. But for now, these are totally separate systems. The generator has its own starting battery and can charge either or both banks.

The original wiring of this boat has the bridge’s electronics on the engine’s starting bank. We have begun to move all those NAV electronics and the IT/Internet network to its own battery as those things are all upstairs on the fly bridge.

Deliveries!!!

While cruising around the eastern United States, on of the biggest challenges is, “Where do you take delivery of “stuff” you need from Amazon or many different vendors. Many times marinas, if you know when you are going to be there will accept packages for transient vessels.

But what if you don’t know exactly WHEN you will be there, or which marina you’ll be staying at? This happens a lot.

Occasionally we lean on a friend to help us out. We have “stuff” shipped to their home and then the bring it to us. That is exactly what we needed for a bunch of supplies to finish our solar project. Rich Holst, a long-time friend and customer agreed to help us out. And tonight we had Rich and his kids aboard for a tour, then we went out to dinner together here in Brielle NJ.

Rich and Alex get briefed on the navigation systems aboard Shellerina.
Sunset on the dock with Rich and daughter Alex and son Rich, and Shellerina in the background.
The Holst family on the fly bridge!
Rich and Alex at dinner with us!
Shelly and I waited a week in Lawrence NY for calm seas to make this open water passage across the Ambrose Shipping Channel into NYC. We saw lots of ship traffic today.

We left around sunrise to be able to dock near slack tide in the challenging port of Manasquan River NJ, very close to where Rich and his family live. Thanks you guys!!!

Our day begun underway at sunrise.
Above and below, dredging in the vicinity of Ambrose Channel.

The ship on the right looks like the one that got stuck in the Suez Canal months ago.

A great cruising day!

How’s this dock landing with 2K of opposing current?!

(Click to see video.)

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We decided upon Battleborn LiFePO4 batteries for our new “house” bank!

My long time friend, Rich Holst of Bohler Engineering, took delivery of a pallet at his home that included a couple of Lithium batteries and accessories yesterday. I rented a car to meet him there. We then enjoyed dinner out together with his son Rich!

I made it back to Lawerence [municipal] Yacht Club about 10pm. It is a secure marina facility in a beautiful residential area here in the metro NYC area. We’ve been anchored in this outstanding basin for days waiting for our weather window to Manasquan Inlet NJ. Dockmaster David Sarnelli told us we could bring the boat in to transfer the batteries from the rental cat to the boat… but that will have to wait for morning.

The marina was gated up tight; I could not get in! So I called Shelly to let here know I may be sleeping in the rental car for the night. I was tired enough as the Friday afternoon and night driving between NYC and NJ was fierce (NOT something I am accustomed to anymore, living on a boat!) We whispered our sweet nothings to each other and we both fell asleep a few hundred yards from each other. She was anchored out in the basin, I was parked outside the marina gate.

About an hour later, I was awakened by a vehicle pulling up to the marina gate, and one of the occupants agreed to let me in the gate!

So, I grabbed the excellent leftovers from my dinner with Rich and his son and rowed out to Shellerina in our dinghy. The heavier batteries would wait till morning when we’d bring the boat in.

Below, here they are, aboard the boat in the salon, physically configured as they will be down in the engine room. Thanks to our friend “Ron” whom we met in May 2021 here on our very first night of America’s Great Loop! We also took on ice and topped off the fresh water tank, and Instacart brought us some provisions! Tonight, we are back out on the hook in this great anchorage.

Negative terminals still have their covers on. Positive ones are removed to make precise cable measurements. These two 270 AH batteries will be wired in parallel to double that capacity at +/- 13 volts. A 250A Class T fuse will reside between this bank and the 2000w inverter charger, as will a smart shunt which we have on all our banks.
The exact cable length is 5-1/2 inches (hole to hole CL) to conjoin these batteries into a single bank. 2/0 AWG cables (custom made by BatterycablesUSA.com have been ordered.
These batteries weigh 80 pounds each, about half of the weight of a crudely comparable 8D which they will replace.

We can’t wait to let the sun start charging these up for daily living aboard Shellerina!

All our “heavy” loads, such as the bow thruster, the starter for the main engine, and the windlass, will rely upon traditional lead-acid flooded batteries which are better suited for those uses. Bridge electronics, Internet routers, etc. have their own AGM battery independent from the rest of the boat; same with the generator’s independent starer battery.

These right-angle brackets are nice! The batteries can be mounted in any configuration.

The “Go – No Go” decision…

For cruisers, every open ocean passage requires a “Go – No Go” analysis. Our next hop is only 33 nautical miles from East Rockaway Inlet NY to Manasquan Inlet NJ.

It isn’t going to be a long passage… maybe 4 to 5 hours, but that can be a grueling amount of time if the sea state is not compatible with the boat and the crew.

Predict Wind is one of the tools we use to analyze the conditions before any open water passage.

Our normal criteria is < 15 mph winds, and < 2.5 foot seas if on the bow or stern, even less if on the beam… for the whole geographical length of the passage. The “period” timing / distance between the waves should be 5 seconds or more meaning they are swells, not actual waves. Looking at the predictions (above) for tomorrow, the wind is “OK” but the 4 foot seas coming out of the East means we’d be taking them broadside for the whole passage. Not very comfortable. The 7 second period is GOOD, but not for 4-footers broadside all day.

Some cruisers say, “For New Jersey, if the word ‘East’ is anywhere in the forecast, it’s a NO GO!”

Here is another APP’s forecast for tomorrow. “Windy” is the name of this one. The seas are predicted to be 4.8 ft with a 5.7 second period. They also show the winds to be 20-15 mph during our cruising time. A bit higher than the other APP.

So, tomorrow is a No Go.

Note that a “normal” weather forecast for the area looks pretty benign. (Below).

But we need to incorporate other forecasts and modeling tools when heading out for open ocean passages.

Each boat and each boat’s crew should establish its own Go-No Go Criteria, it’ll vary by boat and crew’s comfort level. Each boat should then use multiple information tools to analyze the conditions they are likely to find once they are out there in open ocean.

NOAA also has weather buoys out there who can tell us what the wind and wave conditions are.

This area is where we want to go next.
This buoy chart shows 6 foot seas pretty consistently all day today just a bit offshore from our next desired passage to NJ.

So there is “real data” available to substantiate and compare to the forecasts.

Using this information is how one stacks the odds in one’s favor when cruising on open water… to keep safe and to keep pleasure boating able to live up to it’s name!

So, WHY is it that the wave heights are so high when the wind speeds are so mild / low?

Answer: Hurricane Earl 2022

Even though he is hundreds of miles away, this hurricane is causing rip current warnings all across the northeast beaches for an otherwise great beach day tomorrow.

This hurricane has been forcing us to stay in-port for days, beautiful cruising days for every metric but wave height (and direction!) for our next passage across to NJ.

Fortunately, we are spending these days (for free) in a wonderful, protected cove on-the-hook! Bannister Cove Boat Basin, Lawrence NY. Bonus: it is very close to Far Rockaway Inlet (aka East Rockaway Inlet). Perfect for when when we are ready to say Go4it!

Never discount the “chit chat” on the dock or VHF. Intel from others who were actually “out there” is very valuable! I dinghy’d in today to take care of some shoreside business items (more to follow), and the firsthand chatter on the dock about sea conditions matched up perfectly with the NOAA weather buoys. The weather has been beautiful… except for Six foot seas.

We are staying put, and like the Dixie Chick’s song goes, “Earl has to die!” LOL

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Gw7gNf_9njs

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Bannister Bay – Lawrence NY

We are anchored here, enjoying some FREE nights on the hook in a beautifully protected harbor.

We are watching and waiting for a good weather window to exit the nearby Far Rockaway Inlet to cut across the Ambrose shipping channel to NYC to make Manasquan River Inlet in Brielle NJ. Thursday or Friday might work.

The sea birds have been feasting on schools of 6-8” baitfish that begin jumping like crazy all around us. Obviously, something is chasing them from below… Bluefish or Striped Bass. So, Ray has a good casting rod ready to go. Nothing yet.

If we start catching fish, we’ll be able to stay here indefinitely… going to the dock for fresh water once a week or so!

Its been raining a lot today, so the solar collectors aren’t earning their keep yet.

Nearby JFK airport was making for a lot of noisy air traffic overhead yesterday. But as the Anchor Alarm APP shows, the winds have shifted making them depend on a different set of runways today.

The Internet here has been strong from both of our providers, the fridge is packed. We are good for several days if need be.

T-Mobile is finally earning its keep aboard this boat, after making Verizon Wireless do double duty for the past few weeks.

3 Lovely Ladies

1- We had a great gathering today … friends came out to see Shelly, Nick, and Ray, as we prepare to head south.

The Romanos: Tina & Steve

The Roses: Andria, Brian, daughters Lennon, and Layla

The Jantz’s: Jane and son Michael

The Fowlkers: Nancy Sielaff & Kirk (Dez’s parents)

2- Ray failed to get a “team photo” for this blog post. Sorry folks. Big Fail!

3- However, a few pics were taken that we love… three lovely ladies:

Lennon Rose
Jane Jantz
Layla Rose
Sisters Layla and Lennon Rose together!

Thank You everyone for coming out today!!!

Nick!

We arrived in Great South Bay SS3 Marina in Lindenhurst and Nick joined us for dinner!

Our son, Nick, pictured here with his new ride! Mazda Six with all the trimmings.
Here he is with his mother back at the boat!
Later, his girlfriend, Desire joined us at the boat!

It was a great night.

Saturday: Brunch at Toast!

Rafted up with ‘Adverb V’

Today in West Neck Harbor we were joined by one of our new close friends and followers, Harry Verby and his GF Jill. Aboard his express cruiser Adverb V out of Riverhead, they picked up long time friends and dock mates Tina & Steve Romano. So we rafted up in this popular weekend anchorage.

Shelly, Ray, Harry, Steve
Tina & Jill soaking it up on the bow of Advent V.
Just the boys!
Shelly and her pumpkin muffins.
Gr8 pic of our boat.

Here is a video (below) of Advent V crossing our stern in preparation to raft up!

Click to see video.

This is a very popular weekend anchorage…

An entrepreneurial captain, to be sure.
Nearby Sag Harbor attracts some big pleasure craft (PCs). See the one above… outside our little anchorage, the 288 foot yacht Fountainhead. It is owned by American billionaire Eddie Lampert (Sears, Kmart, etc.).
Tough ol’ life. (For big boats … and for small!)

One of my favorite blog posts was written here about 5 years ago… on a less busy day … right here in West Neck Harbor: Https://shellerina.com/2017/06/14/waking-up-on-the-hook/

Girls & Boys out on the town in Mystic…

Shelly & my cousin Joyce
The boys gettin’ their hair cut by Karen!
I could tell Bob has let Karen cut his hair a couple times before. I think Karen and Bob both use the same florist to adorn their places of business! Beautiful touch.
She exclaims, “Its my personal mission to keep the men in this town as good looking as I possibly can!“

Karen did great with these two guys today.

After our haircuts, Bob Helbig gave me a tour of ALL the boatyards in Mystic and Noank. “I gotta keep an eye on my competition.” Because of his new car, no one recognized us or who he was… so we got to go in everywhere! LOL.

We also got to meet Ron & Andrew (Bob’s sons) who are General Managers for these three boatyards. Nice wheels!

Where we stayed for 2 nights.
Shelly, Ray, Joyce Jauch, and Bob Helbig heading in for some dinner together.

Cuttyhunk Island MA

Lots of people insisted, “You gotta stop at Cuttyhunk Island!” “Cuttyhunk is my favorite place on the planet!”

We reserved a slip last night at Cuttyhunk Marina. We found fixed docks which Shelly was able to negotiate to get on and off the boat. We assumed (never ass-u-me) that we’d find at least one nice sit-down restaurant ashore, easy walk from the marina, NOT.

Our departure for Point Judith RI was on-time this a.m. but once we cleared this island there was a 4 foot swell hitting us nearly broadside. So we turned back and anchored in the outside harbor with several boats.

Nice sunny day on the hook. Some much-needed rain yesterday was gone.

This yawl passed close to our stern this eve so they could make it into this blog post before the sun set.
We are glad they did!

Marina Sandwich

Tied up on the Cape Cod Canal, this is our first time hooked up to shore power in 12 days. We’ve been on Richie’s mooring or on the hook since leaving DiMillos August 10!

The solar panels helped with that run! However, they are not very productive this afternoon, as we are getting some much needed rain, heavy at times. We’ve observed that they don’t work at night either, for some odd reason.

The stern of our dinghy gets lowered so it does not collect rainwater.
Video above: Cloud to ground lightning strike captured by our stern-facing CAM. (Sorry, no sound. We cover the mic and speaker holes to keep the water out.)

Shelly was in the small building just to the right of the launch ramp when this hit.

Have you ever heard of Brant Rock MA?

How about Green Harbor?

Neither had I!

But this small, busy port is famous this week for having the cheapest fuel on the coast of Massachusetts!

Taylor Marine’s diesel is cheapest on the dock in the Commonwealth today! $4.65 ain’t bad when other docks are up above $6.00/gallon

This is a sweet harbor and beach community that no one has ever heard about! They even have a Safe Harbor (brand) marina a bit further up into the harbor.

There was no room to anchor, and no transient mooring balls. So, after taking on fuel and ice, we headed to the Plymouth-Duxbury Bay area and anchored in behind Clarks Island.

We have not paid under $5 since back in April in NY. (Only paid over $6 once! And that was by mistake, we pulled in and fueled up as their advertised price per gallon was very low. However, this outfit did not include tax in their advertised price as everyone else does. Very Shady. (Naming names: May 22, 2022 at Safe Harbor Onset Bay, south end of Cape Cod Canal). Not cool people!

Marblehead Light…

My brother Steve and I remember climbing on the base/structures of this lighthouse when we were young kids. One rounds this light when coming into Beverly, Salem, or Marblehead Harbors from points south (Boston, Cape Cod, etc).

Steve asked for pics of this when were coming north last spring. But we were already past it. Fortunately, this morning’s sunrise cast some great light on this same place burnt into Steve’s and Ray’s psyches.

Marblehead Light. Sixth-Order Fresnel lens, fixed (not flashing) GREEN light at 130 feet AMHW. Visible for 7 nautical miles.

How this Lighthouse appears on traditional NOAA charts.
It is often said one can walk across Marblehead Harbor by jumping from boat to boat! See above right to understand why!

So long to all the family we got to spend time with in Salem and Beverly this past week+. Thanks to all, but especially to Rich, Donna, Pam, and Peter.

See you again soon!

A while later, we saw the Provincetown Ferry blasting by us at 28 knots!

New “suicide knob”

I ordered this new S/S knob for the steering wheel on the upper helm. They are not legal in cars for most states (thus their nickname), but they are perfectly safe and legal in boats.

(Slightly retouched photo)

I had to choose between one of my favorite manufacturer/vendors [Edson] for marine equipment, and an inexpensive alternative on Amazon. $150 vs $16… I went with the inexpensive alternative, and I love it. Smooth turning, no wobble or “play”, polished 316 S/S knob. Thanks to Donna for taking delivery of all our packages this week!!!

So much better than no-knob!

Someday, maybe I’ll have $150 I don’t need for fuel, and get the Edson. Maybe Edson will lower their price due to very respectable competition!

Dinner aboard with the Barrows Bunch!

We finally get Sue McKay and Peter Barrows out on Shellerina!
Chef Shelly, Marie Barrows, Sue McKay, Peter Barrows. Sue & Peter were not in Maine last month so we invited them out for Friday dinner. Marie & Bill became welcomed stow aways! Shelly prepared plenty of Chicken Parmesan; but everyone brought something to contribute. Needless to say, “Nobody left hungry!”
Just the girls!
Bill and Marie!
Bill & Ray… Sue is really good at finding unique composition shots. The new lead off pic on this blog post was also taken by Sue this eve: https://shellerina.com/2022/08/03/330pm-et-our-refrigerator-freezer-is-hooked-up-to-solar-power/
It was nice to let others take all the pics for a change!
The sun didn’t stay up forever.
Here is a pic of Shellerina after dropping off our guests at Beverly’s nice public dock.

Productive work + projects day!

We had two good customer calls this morning, then I tackled 3 electrical projects that I’ve been equipped to complete, but have not been able to fit them in.

Power analyzer by Powerwerx installed today on our largest DC load: our fridgerator-freezer.

Over a relatively short period of time, this gadget will tell me exactly what the Amp-Hours consumption is for our biggest consuming DC appliance when on the hook. This will help finalize the battery storage requirements.

Also shown above is a separate volt meter to show me, at a glance, what the voltages are for the house and starting battery banks.

We have also been carrying this device around with us for MONTHS! Finally, it is deployed. It is a battery switch which is down in the engine room, but the remote switch is up here in the salon. Low current wires between the remote switch and the beefy relay battery switch down in the engine room is all it takes. There is zero consumption of energy with this device inserted in the circuits, other than the momentary switch action.

Solar Controllers are not like multi-bank chargers. They only charge ONE bank. So if you want to occasionally charge two banks a DC to DC charger is commonly used. But those are “one-way” devices. They assume one bank is ALWAYS going to be the one charging the other. Contraire mon Frere! There may be times I want the starter bank to get a boost from the house, and on cloudy days underway with the alternator running, we may want the house to get a boost from the starter bank! This switch enables me to control it either way.

These are great additions to our boat’s operation that I have wanted for a long time. Finally, these projects are DONE! And they enhance to current use of solar and planning our next steps with that system.

DiMillos Marina!

Long Wharf, Portland Maine
Floating restaurant can be seen on the right.
As seen from the restaurant. We have come here countless times over the years, always looking forward to one day coming by boat! Today is the day! On Shelly’s 60th birthday!!!
Shelly’s usual when we come here: cup of clam chowder + steamers

Generator rehab…

Rick, our mechanic, is here installing a “like new” heat exchanger and new impeller on our generator. The flow should be substantially increased once he is done. We had an anomaly with the thing shutting down after 30-60 minutes (4 times in the past month). There are no gauges or indicators to tell us why. So I’m hoping the apparent low flow of cooling water was the culprit, and this should fix that.

Rick is going to see if there is a way to hook up this generator “backwards” so that it produces diesel fuel from the excess solar power we have on sunny days. That would be sweet!

Our refrigerator-freezer is hooked up to solar power!

Photo by Sue McKay!

It is official now, one of our biggest goals has been accomplished. The large load of our refrigerator-freezer is now powered by the sun!

When out on the anchor for the day or for overnights, our batteries really take a beating from the fridge. This afternoon, we have totally isolated that load, as well as my work’s laptop and monitor, and all the Internet connectivity. That stuff is no longer on the boat’s main battery bank.

At some point, I’ll move the cabin lights off too.

The aft two panels are producing 4.7A at 35 vdc, the solar controller converts that to a voltage that the boat and battery can safely use (12.1A at 13.26 vdc).

Below you can see the battery is fully charged so only a small amount (0.76 Amps) is flowing into the battery. The rest of it is being consumed by the fridge, laptop, monitor, Internet routers, etc.

Key components of the solar project:

Qty 3 Solarland Monocrystaline Panels 300 watts, 19 volts, 13 amps, 61.8 x 27.8 x 1.4 inches (rigid panels), 25 year warrantee. $367 ea ($1.835 per watt)

Victron MTTP 150/35 Solar Controller max 150 volts input, max 35 Amps output. This is hooked up to two aft panels wired in series (36vdc/13A). $323.

Victron MTTP 100/20 Solar Controller max 100 volts in, max 20 Amps output. This is hooked up to the third panel up forward. $167.

All the wire, mounting hardware, taxes, and shipping added up to another grand. So, it was a $2500 project. The vendor, https://www.emarineinc.com had the most helpful website, and knowledgable staff to assist in the system’s design.

The storage was already on the boat: one Interstate 8D flooded lead acid battery (2 years old). Estimated 300 AH (150 AH useable). With the ability to temporarily jumper it to a second bank when needed.

When the time comes, the 8D battery will be replaced with more capacity. Our current yacht insurance (Markel) is not “friendly” to Lithium batteries. So, my guess is QTY 4 Group 31 flooded lead acid will be what we go with. 6vdc golf cart batteries will also be explored. Our agency is exploring other carriers as well.

Solar has arrived!

One of three 200W solar panels ready to be installed on Shellerina.
The two others.
Two controllers. One for the bow unit, one for the two going on the stern.
This is what the one up forward will look like. Despite appearances, it misses the hatches. It’ll have its own MPPT controller.
This one aft will have a second one just like it along side and just aft of it. Antennas will have to move. People 6 feet tall will have to duck coming up the stairs.
These two will be wired in series, and share their controller. The radar mast can still be lowered and it’ll miss the panels.
Shelly shows off the final configuration.

We still can lower the radar mast if necessary, and we have not lost our sun deck space!
A teak frame built above the starboard railings are what we attached the PV panels to.

https://www.geminiproducts.net/ is the manufacturer of these nice cast and polished stainless steel railing clamps. Rockland Maine.

All the final mountings of the two aft panels have been completed with the help of our dear friend Linda Klein. We forgot to take pics with her. So we hope to make up for that tomorrow.

No loss of use of the sun deck. We still can lower the Radar mast

Brackets for the forward panel were cemented to the deck this morning. After 24 hours the 3M 5200 quick cure should allow me to attach that panel to the deck/brackets. Wire was “fished” for aft and forward panels, again, with Linda’s help. With luck the solar controllers will be mounted and wired up in the a.m.

Up forward too.
A bit more mounting hardware was added for longevity, as shown below.
Good friend, Linda Klein came to assist with the installation. Thank you Linda!
We also got a chance to jump into warm 77F ocean water here in Maine, and have some of the local fare. ($4.99 / pound!!!). Uncommon numbers in both cases.
$4.99 # Lobsta!

Addendum Tuesday Aug 2:

After work, I finished hooking up all the wiring in the engine room then connected things up at the aft panels. The aft two panels started producing right away, even at 5:30pm.

Two aft panels are now feeding the system! 75-130W even late in the day!

It was too dark by the time I finished the forward panel. We’ll see what time it kicks in in the a.m. Very exciting. This should make anchoring out easier and more economical.

There is still “clean up” and “finishing touches” on some of the wiring to give everything a professionally done appearance. But functionally it is all working and so far, everything tests out great.

Tomorrow, I can’t wait to move the 12vdc fridge circuit over to the Port Bank… the one which these solar panels charge.

Pumpkin Muffins!

Shell succumbs to one of her favorite high calorie foods… burnt into our boat’s culture.


Shelly aboard Pumpkin Muffin.

To be clear, we also have healthy foods aboard:

We even have an herb garden!

Nonetheless, we are both looking forward to breakfast tomorrow!!!

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Barrows Boothbay Bash (cont.)

Sunrise!
Another day begins with the Barrows at the head of Linekin Bay. Video above of the sun rising.

Grammy Barrows (aka Aunty Peggy) (88) comes down the gangway to join in the fun!

Aunty Peggy with the rest of the girls on the dock!

After boarding Shellerina, Peggy signs into the log book with everyone else!

Later in the day, Shelly was zipping around in her skiff, the “Pumkin Muffin”
Colin taking it all in!

Click for video below:

Later, Colin, his Mom and sister hang out on the bow for a tour of Boothbay Harbor, a small, little known anchorage just west of Linekin Bay.
We all took a sunset cruise on Saturday night too! Bill, his wife, Marie, and Shelly.
Maisey & Shelly on the sun deck.
It is hard to wear out these Barrows’es. Last night they continued their traditional “Burmuda Triangle” … a tour of their 3 favorite establishments in that tiny Boothbay Harbor anchorage.

Thanks to Julie for all these extra pics!!!

Cousins Reunion at the head of Linekin Bay!

Bobby, Shelly, Colin, Jenna, Maisey, Ryan, Heather, Ray, James, Jess, Billy, Janelle, Johnny, Marie.

Not shown are photographers Grammy Peg and Julie! Thanks you guys.

Maisey and Colin with Dad, Bobby.
Maisey at the helm of Shellerina
Clearly a young lady who means business if entrusted with the controls!
Colin stands his watch at the helm too, as Capt Ray needed an extended break this afternoon.
Jenna and Heather hang onto their younger cousins as fierce waves were breaking over the bow.
Ryan and Janelle were hanging out up on the sun deck!

A fantastic venue at 87 Murray Hill Road in East Boothbay, Maine. Head of Linekin Bay.
James, Julie, Shelly, Bobby coming up from the boat.
Grammy, Jess, Colin at the park.
The Aylwards: James & Julie!

Day ends with a camp fire and a moon rise.

Heather, James, Julie, Jenna, and Jess!

Cuckolds Light & Fog Station

One of Ray’s favorite light houses, Cuckolds is on the southern most tip of the Boothbay peninsula in Newagen / Southport Island Maine. 2 white flashes every 6 seconds.

Cuckolds Light- Remarkably close to sea level.
Click for video of Cuckolds above.
Soon after we left Cuckolds, we saw the Isaac Evans, skippered by friend Captain Josh Jacques exiting Linekin Bay where we were headed.
They had an impressive full boat on this Friday morning.
This shows the relative position of Cuckolds to our destination for the day. The entrance to Boothbay Harbor is right in between the two.