1. The solar panels work like a champ, keeping the fridge, which is a battery hog, running at a reasonable temperature, somewhere between 35 and 40 degrees depending on which section. It sucks up anywhere from 25 to 35 amps every night. Not sure why the variation except maybe due to higher or lower daytime temps coupled with the fact that as we eat food, there is less food in the fridge, so it’s probably using more power to keep the excess air cool. One more reason to keep the fridge filled with beer at all times.
2. The wind generator works although it wasn’t windy enough to use it. It likes above 15kts to output anything substantial. The solar was more than enough anyway. It's nice to know we can be independent of dock electricity. The battery bank was typically recharged by 11am most days, and then we charged our myriad, desperately needed, electronics: phones, ipads and laptops.
3. The dinghy worked great, but we used it sparingly since the motor was running a bit hot. The inflatable floor is great for keeping water off your feet while riding. We figured out a way to hoist it onto and off of the boat using a halyard. Eventually we will need to rig lifelines that detach so we can swing it on and off easier and not have to lift so high. The motor hoist Brian built into the radar pole was a lifesaver. Its pulley system kept the motor, and me, from landing in the brink while hoisting such a heavy piece of gear up and down to the water.
4. Our light air code zero was a piece of gear that I initially did not to want to buy. Expensive and yet another sail to contend with, Brian convinced me it was a necessity. It had arrived the day before our trip, we tried it out for the first time and it kept us sailing when our heavy jib would flop in the stagnant wind. Ok, he was right. Again.
5. Our new flopper-stopper was a success. Another piece of gear that is large and unwieldy, this thing is a 3ft piece of metal that gets hung off one side of the boat, either from the boom or a spinnaker pole, down below the water. It bends into a V-shape as the boat lurches from wave action, slowing the boat’s tendency to topple about. Despite its appearance: a freakish metallic jellyfish undulating underwater, and my fears the thing would rise up and get tossed into the hull taking a chunk of gelcoat from its sharp edge, it definitely helped while we were at anchor at Hen Rock in Catalina. It lessened the severe wave action generated by insane powerboaters driving by us at the speed of light (you know the type). I was able to cook and sleep much easier. Thumbs up.
6. We made water in the anchorage for the first time. It was a success, everything worked as it should, and the water was incredibly tasty to boot. We have a saltwater level tester and it was well below normal amounts, which is a good thing. The watermaker will create 30 gallons an hour from saltwater but requires several gallons of fresh water to backflush it to keep the filters clean after each use. We made 8 gallons just as a test. Then tried to backflush it but popped a circuit breaker and had to finish the process back at the slip.
The day we did this turned out to be the worst day ever as we forgot to pull out one of the drainage hoses that should have been draining into the sink during this process. It was coiled up behind the settee where it lives and spurted water everywhere. It drained about 3 gallons into and under our settee and we didn’t even see it until the process was over because the cushion hid the mess. Rookie mistake. After lots of swearing and worrying about what was possibly destroyed, we soaked up a bucket full of water from the locker, dried the cushion all day. We left to go see a movie since we were sure the boat was conspiring against us for coming back from its vacation. I’m pretty sure we won’t forget to do that again.
All in all everything worked as it should. Next week we are hauling the boat to do rigging and raise the waterline due to the many pounds of “stuff” we have added. Then we hope to go on another outing later in September.