Friday June 11, 2010
Although there were A LOT of things we completed while the boat was in heated storage, work on a boat never ends and we are continuing to do work and make improvements. One of the things we’re adding are solar panels. Not only would it be nice to have one just for sitting at the mooring to have enough power to keep the fridge running, have enough juice for the autopilot and then a little leftover for the stereo and instruments….we will need a power source on our trip to keep these things running every day. By the time we leave we’ll probably have three panels total, but for now we’ve only purchased two and one is going on the boat today. This is a project that Matt couldn’t handle by himself (could you imagine a piece of equipment like that accidentally falling into the water during installation?) so I joined him once I got out of work.
After unloading it from the car and gingerly placing it in the dinghy Matt took us to the boat and dropped me off. He found out that morning while I was gone that he could get the dinghy on plane with only one person in it and wanted to show me. With him and the solar panel left in the dink he cruised around at full throttle showing me how quickly he could zoom around. Finally coming back to the boat he was showing off too much and didn’t slow down when he should have. The side of the dink bumped into the boat, not a big deal because we were using the inflatable, but the corner of the solar panel was protruding off the side and caused a nice little scratch on the side of my beautiful Serendipity. That will be a fun one to fix. And Matt thinks I’m the accident prone one of the relationship. Boys………..
Being extra careful we managed to get the panel from the dinghy into the cockpit. This panel was going on top of the davits we installed earlier this year on the stern of the boat. Working on my acrobatics again I had to position myself so that I was basically hanging off the transom but still keeping myself steady enough to support the solar panel while it was being raised. Luckily we managed to hoist it on the davits without much trouble and from that point my job was more to keep it from moving than to keep it supported. Matt had the panel quickly attached and was running wire to the charge controller which then brings the power to our batteries. Maybe the gods felt bad that we’d already done damage to the boat that day and didn’t want to make life harder for us, but everything worked on the first try! We were taking in power, and from just the one panel it was more than we needed for just weekends out. Maybe we’d hold off on adding the second one until we get closer to leaving. I have to say, it’s not too bad of a set-up. With the wind giving us our movement and the solar panel giving us energy we’re on our way to a very green way of living. Now I just have to count down the days until we’re out of our house, cars are sold, and we’ve joined the cruising lifestyle.