Thursday, March 29, 2012

Air X Wind Generator Install

400w Air X wind generator
Had a really productive day on Skylark. Besides finishing the install on the new sea hood, blog post to follow, Ralph was able to install the Air X wind generator. To do correctly, this is no easy task. To start, we set the 9 foot main pole and 2 supporting poles in place with a couple of screws. After everything was in place, we pulled all the hardware off the deck and did the "Drill, Fill and Drill" technique since we were going through the wood core. It takes a little longer but is a must to protect the wood core from water damage down the line.
Drill, Fill and Drill
The basic principle is to "Drill" out the holes you will need larger than the bolt going through it. You then "Fill" in the hole with epoxy resign by putting tape or a piece of wood underneath so you can fill the hole to the top and let it cure. At that point, you can "Drill" the holes you need through the epoxy and not have to ever worry about water getting into the wood core. It is the right way to do the project, so always look to the Drill, Fill and Drill technique anytime you drill into the wood core.
Ralph in action
Ralph still needs to finish the wiring, but I decided to re-do the main breaker panel, so it will be a few days before all of the switches are in place to control the generator and it's hooked into the house battery bank.
Once everything is hooked up, I will update this post with pics of the finished electrical connections, break panels and the juicy Amp flowing through the meter into the batteries. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Neighbor in Town

You scraping the bottom today?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Air X Marine Wind Generator

In addition to the solar panel, I decided to add an Air X Marine wind generator to help keep the house battery bank charged when away from the dock. I am going to be switching out the 2 group 27 batteries I have now and go with 3 group 31 batteries for about 300 amp hours. This should be plenty to run the fridge, tiller pilot, VHF and chartplotter. Found a great deal on Craigslist, gotta love that site, and will pick it up next week. I have some specs below if you are interested. Pics to come...

Product Applications: Sailboats and seaside locations
 Supplies power for refrigeration, auto-pilot, water maker,
 navigational equipment, communication equipment.
 Designed to withstand hurricane force winds
 Can be installed on transom or deck in just a few hours 
Product Features:
 Carbon fiber composite blades
 Aircraft quality aluminum alloy castings.
 Exclusive Brush-less neodymium based sealed alternator.
 Sophisticated internal battery charge regulator.
 Maintenance-free - only two moving parts.
 Exclusive Auto-brake feature slows the AIR-X to a silent
 spin when the batteries are charged, extending bearing
 life & eliminating noise
 Marine powder coating and stainless steel fittings for
corrosion protection in a marine environment.
 High Wind Safe Mode - Automatically slows turbine in
potentially damaging winds. Reduces noise and distractions
for peace of-mind when on or off your boat.
Corrosion Resistance: Acid etched castings double coated with marine grade
powder coat for superior protection from the environment.
 Anodized hub.
 Tuff-Gel coated fasteners to prevent seizing of components.
 Tin plated wires.
 Sealed alternator.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Quote of the Day

Makes sense to me...came across this quote on a sailing forum but certainly think it applies to every one.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company...a church....a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes.” 

― Charles R. Swindoll

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sweet Smell of Victory, er, Chili

Skylark Chili
Fleming Island Marina likes to hold fun events for the gang here from time to time. So today, it was a throw down, a throw down of the chili kind. That's right it, was a chili cook-off and there was a prize on the line, a $50 gift certificate to where else, Chili's. Of course I couldn't just sit back and not make a batch, so I made my way to Walmart for chili makin' supplies. I didn't have a recipe in mind, I just went with some stuff that made sense and tried to recall the days of going to chili cook-offs with my friend Dave and his father back in high school. $49 dollars later, I was good to go.

It was a hot day to cook
The judging started at 3:00 and it was 11:30, so I had my work cut out for me. I  had the galley going at full strength while trying hard not to pass out from the heat. Yesterday here in Jacksonville, it was 86 degrees. It has been an incredible winter here if you want to call it that. Anyway, with the temps the way they were and 3 burners on the stove going, it got hot...about 95 degrees if you can believe it. But there was a prize on the line along with the coveted title of FIM Chili Master. (actually I just made that up)  By 1:00, all the chopping, mixing, sauteing and can opening was done and a full pot of Skylark chili was simmering. It was time for a beverage, one of the ingredients of the chili actually, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Good stuff. Please note the pic of the galley is a bit blurry due to the fact I was half conscience from heat stroke at that point. :)

Entries ready for the judges
Entries ready for the judges
At 2:30, 7 entries were brought up to the pavilion and made ready for presentation to the 3 judges. Besides the normal crew here at the marina, there was also the North Florida Cursing Club on hand as they had a race earlier that morning and use the marina for a meeting point. With a full keg of Yeungling on hand provided by John, the owner of the marina, we were ready to go. The judging was to be blind, so I received my number, 4, and prepared to hand in my three bowls to the folks who would bring them to the judges. (We are so professional). When all of the entries were presented to the judges, the flood gates were opened and about 50 folks hit the pots of chili hard. There was also corn bread, veggie platters, chips & dip and a huge desert platter. We were doing well.

Folks having fun at the pavilion

About 30 minutes later, we were called to attention by John as it was time for the results. Let me say before I go any further that every single entry was incredible. They really were, and everyone enjoyed them. I certainly had my favorites and knew there was some serious competition.

The head judge started with 3rd place, which was my favorite. This entry was submitted by the folks on s/v Baby Bluz and had some real nice ingredients that I had not had in chili before.
2nd place was won by Luareen and her family. She works here at the marina in the office. Her chili too was excellent.

Well, by now I am sure you figured out where this is going. When the winning number was called, I had no inkling that it would be number 4. It was funny actually, when the judge called number 4, there was silence for a few seconds before it sunk in that I had won. At that point, I raised my hand and yelled Yeahhhhhh.... freaking everyone out. It was kinda funny and had everyone laughing. My buddies here still can't believe it and one who had entered insists I cheated somehow. :) All in all it was a great day and a lot of fun. But the best part of it all, the gift certificate to Chili's! The only down side, there wasn't a spoonful of chili left and unfortunately, Skylark was one of a kind.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!