Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For you technically minded out there, here is a shot of our new electrical panel. I hope there were plenty of oohs and ahs, it is quite beautiful. The panel also drops down now, a huge improvement because you can work on it without squeezing yourself into an impossibly small space that is shared by the vented loops from the head! Barry wanted to take a picture of the back as well but we have put a hard plastic shield over it to protect from any moisture that may accumulate in said space. The Link 10 on the bottom left is the only not new thing on the panel, it tells us the health of our batteries and is working fine (touch wood). One very nice feature of the new panel is that it lights up with a greenish light so you can read what you are switching on at night. It is great because switches have been moved around, whereas before I knew that the bilge pump was the third from the top on the second row, and could turn it on by feel, I have not become familiar with this panel yet. This on the other hand is our new hydraulic auto pilot. The gizmo in the middle is the rudder post so the auto pilot can push and pull the rudder hydraulically from this location, which is at the aft or rear of the boat under a cockpit seat. The hydraulic pump is partially hidden under the boards It is run by a computer which is attached to a control head which is mounted at the other end of the cockpit under the dodger. The last control box was located right in front of the wheel mounted on a stainless steel grab post, it was a little more convenient because it was closer to the wheel but Barry is able to reach over with his long arms and use the control head. I hope the sighs of gee I wish I could have one of those were not too loud. It, of course is also controlled by our new electrical panel. With the auto pilot you can steer the boat mechanically while under sail or motor, it of course takes power so when there is wind we prefer to use our wind vane. It will be very helpful for putting up and taking in sails, single handed as well as steering under motor and when I want help raising the lowering the spinnaker, Barry can just put on Otto, I hope he and Wendy get along!
This particular item was a HUGE bone of contention between Barry and I. I wanted to install it in Fiji but he refused saying we could not afford it and now all of a sudden he thought we could. This has been good for many well thought out and reasoned arguments!!!