Monday, April 23, 2012

Off the Grid

Amps coming in
Battery bank filling up nicely
Well, not exactly off the grid yet, but things are looking really good so far. With the storm front coming through, I was able to test the wind generator for the first time. Love to hear all those juicy amps flowing to the new battery bank. It's amazing how well the AirX wind generator (from here on to be known as Jenny) works. We are getting about 15 mph sustained gusting to 25 mph and I am seeing the amp meter show between 5-10, spiking to 14 amps. I turned off the shore power and found "Jenny" keeping the banks up at about 13 volts. I'll take that. More tests and results to come.
"Jenny" doing her thing

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bow Roller Install

Completed the bow roller install today. Had to wait a couple of days for the 1/4 inch stainless wire to come in so we could bend it and have it welded on to serve as a baler. Found the perfect sized bow roller at a mini flea market down at a marina in Green Cove Springs. It's heavy gauge stainless that sticks over the bow perfectly to hold a 22 pound Bruce anchor. We used teak as a base on the deck and a 1/4 inch piece of stainless as a backing plate. That thing is on for good. Of course we used the "drill, fill and drill" technique as not to leave the deck core exposed. Once the epoxy cured, we were good to go and installed the roller in just a few minutes. We used 5200 as a sealer around the bolts and the newly drilled holes.
That's it, one, two, three...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Headliner Installation in Progress

 So the headliner project is underway and we were able to get quite a bit done over the last few nights. Skylark had no headliner, apparently pulled off over the years leaving only the fiberglass "roof." We started by running half by 1 inch strips, 20 inches apart forward to aft. Once the strips were installed, we dry fit half inch insulation sheets cut to size in between and prepared for the planks.
I will post a step by step recount of the project, but wanted to throw up some pics now that the majority is done in the main cabin. So far, so good.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Skylark Has a New Look

After a few days of good weather, I finished painting the deck. Really happy with the results. Went with the West Marine one part Sea Glass Pro and Sea Glass Pro Non-Skid. I can already tell the difference with the temperature in the boat, it's amazing how hot any color on the deck gets in the sun. If you live in the southern climates, I would recommend the white for sure.

So what do you think? Be honest, I can take it. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The To-Do List is Shrinking

So the Air X wind gen is up and waiting final connection to the house bank. In the mean-time I have a few other projects underway that I will mention and post full updates as they are complete.

The reason the wind gen is not fully hooked up to the house bank is because we are in the process of changing the group 27 house bank batteries to 4 Trojan T105 golf cart batteries. This will give me about 400 amp hours and as I mentioned before, plenty of power to run what I have on board. As well, we are updating the entire breaker panel and will be building a custom, built in electronics area into the shelf above the starboard quarter birth. Stay tuned for the post on that install, it will be neat.

We also just finished the installation of a Sea Hood. The basics behind the sea hood is to keep green water from getting under the cockpit hatch in rough seas. I was fortunate to find one from another boat at Sailor's Exchange in St. Augustine for basically nothing. It needed a bit of work to fit the deck correctly, but it now fits perfectly. Once it's painted you wouldn't know it wasn't a factory install. I am really happy with it and is my favorite addition so far. Another excellent job from Ralph. :)
After Paint

Yes, I am also in the process of giving Skylark a new deck paint job. With the heat in Florida and points south, I decided to go white on more blue. You wouldn't believe how hot the blue gets in the 85 to 100 degree days, you burn your feet all the time. So white on white it is. That will also help with the temps in the boat...and when it gets as hot as is did last summer, I will take all the help I can get. Pics to follow.

In addition, the bow roller will be installed as well as a new cleat to tie off the anchor rode. I will have to move the running lights, but it will allow for a straight shot off the bow and hopefully promote a better ride into the wind, not too mention a stellar place to store the new 22 pound Bruce anchor I just picked up.

We are also working on a propane locker that will be built under the aft "seat" behind the tiller or binnacle. If you noticed (I am talking to you Cal 34 owners) there is absolutely nothing under that aft section and will allow a box to be built to hold 2 10 pound propane tanks. The box will be glassed in and a drain hose will run out the transom. We will install a hatch on the "seat" that will fit the dimensions of one tank. The first tank will then be slid to the back of the box allowing the second tank to fit as well. A solenoid will be added and placed over the stove for easy access. Looking forward to that one, it gets annoying always going on deck to connect and disconnect the LPG hose.

Last but not least, we have a very interesting idea for an insulated head liner. Gonna wait to that is done to go into specifics. I want to be sure the results speak for them self.