Month: November 2015

Update And Navigation.

In case anyone is wondering how things are going here is an update. Tomorrow my friend Patrick and I are getting a Uhaul van to get my stuff from storage. Some of it will come along on the boat and the rest will have to be disposed of or sold. That afternoon I will take everything I intend to bring along and load up the van. Tuesday morning we will head to Dagny, unload everything on the dock and load her up. I expect it will take quite some time. The locks need to be installed so that I can sleep soundly here at home with all my possessions aboard.

There should be time to look at the engine and see if anything is preventing a valve from closing. I am no mechanic, but I need to learn more about diesels and there is no better way than working on one for that. If I fail it will be time to call in a specialist.

My rudder is finished, still drying, but otherwise ready to go.

Thinking about navigation… I have a few GPS units. One is built-in my Standard Horizon (Yaesu) GX2200 VHF radio. It doesn’t display a chart of course but you do get your latitude/longitude on the screen. I bought a USB GPS for my laptop, which is running OpenCPN. My Delorme inReach satellite gizmo also has a GPS, no map display. Then there is my iPhone with the Navionics app. Using a laptop in my exposed cockpit doesn’t seem like the greatest idea. I thought about the iPhone, but my vision up close isn’t what it used to be, and the screen is rather tiny. The logical solution was an iPad. Unfortunately I really can’t afford one. Looking at Android tablet choices, after discarding many no-name cheap Chinese models (loaded with spyware), I came across the Acer Iconia A-830 for a mere $100 on Ebay. Navionics requires Android 4.0, the Iconia comes loaded with 4.1 so I should be good.

Acer Iconia A1-830 with Navionics

Acer Iconia A1-830 with Navionics

The great thing is that it has a built-in GPS. I also ordered a couple waterproof tablet bags from Hong-Kong for that model. Now I will be able to see where I am going! Not to mention that I also can use the tablet as, well, a tablet! I might even get a refurbished one (seen at $70) as a backup. Getting a sextant and learning celestial navigation is still on my list, but it can wait a bit. I also have a Plastimo Compass in a nice wooden box, which I can bring to the cockpit or inside and keep an eye on my heading.
GX2200 Radio Installed

GX2200 Radio Installed

I am still collecting the numerous items still needed for such an adventure; the biggest one will be an SSB Ham radio. It seems like my Icom AT-120 tuner isn’t working anymore, so that will have to be addressed. At some point I will have to leave, ready or not. I do not expect to have everything I need or finish all the maintenance projects on my list. Dreams have been lost by delaying departure too long hoping everything to be perfect; is never is.

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