Winter Projects

I spent the day working on tying down the work that will be done on my boat this winter. It’s a fairly long list, but I expect it is the last list of this magnitude for this boat. Our goal for the past year was to spend some serious time on the boat, and then make any adjustments we deem appropriate before starting our circumnavigation.

Here’s the list of major items (and, I’ve spoken of all of these before): 

  • Swap out my jet tender for one with wheels. The zodiac jet tender is fun, but I need something light that can be beached and easily walked up on the sand. I did buy a replacement tender, six months ago, that has been sitting in a warehouse waiting for the boat to be in Seattle. Honestly, I’ve forgotten what I ordered. My recollection is that it was only about 8.5’, weighed only about 300 pounds, has really nice wheels, and a 7.5hp motor. It will make beach landings much more fun.
  • Swap out my 16kw generator for a 20kw. I made this decision while we were in Costa Rica and it was a miserably hot day. Sans Souci has a lot of equipment aboard, and the 16kw was really inadequate to run the boat with air conditioning. I’m a little worried that the 20kw will be overkill and I’ll be under-loading it much of the time, but have convinced myself that it’s a non-issue. Were I starting from a blank sheet of paper, I’d have two identical 25kw generators, and perhaps a small 5kw generator to just be used for battery charging while cruising.
  • Swap my Cruisair chillers for Technicold chillers. Nordhavn thinks I’m crazy, but I have had nothing but problems with my current system since it was new. I’ve been aboard the second N68 and watched essentially the same system as I have now work perfectly. Both Nordhavn and Cruisair have offered to fix my system, but I’m swapping these chillers out one way or the other. I’m a “three strikes and you’re out” kind of guy, and these chillers are on their 9th or 10th strike. I’m ready to make a change.
  • Swap my Fleet 77 for a Mini Vsat and a Fleet Broadband. My current method of getting internet at sea has been dependable, but expensive, and slow. I still have a business going, and really need good internet access in order to be able to mix work and cruising. I will be sad to see the Fleet 77 go, but hopefully this is a step forward.
  • Upgrade Navnet 2 to Navnet 3. As computer-centric as I am, I am generally opposed to new technologies. I think I understand how hard it is to get software “right.” New software tends to be buggy. Actually, “tends to” is too soft an expression. New software IS buggy. Were Navnet my principal navigation system, I wouldn’t upgrade, but since it is my backup, I feel looser about giving it a try. It sure looks cool!
  • Add a dive compressor. I originally planned the boat for a dive compressor, but then wimped out and bought a hookah. I’m happy I bought the hookah, but I still need the dive compressor. I’m struggling with where to put the compressor and tanks, but I will sort it out. My original thinking was that I could just anchor the boat anywhere I wanted to dive, and use the hookah, or go out with a dive instructor. This was flawed thinking. For most diving, tanks are essential.
  • Add Tides Dripless Shaft Seals. I really like a dry bilge. Salt water is best OUTSIDE the boat. With normal shaft seals, there is always some dripping into the boat. I have had a heck of a time getting the shaft seals adjusted just right. They always seem to be too loose, with the bilge pumps running every few hours, or too tight, with the heat higher than I like. I’d really like to forget the shaft seals.
  • Upgrade the monitoring system. When I first installed the monitoring system (Simon) on the boat, I asked whether or not the system really worked, and was told that 90% of buyers are back within a year to add additional sensors. I’m now in that camp. I am very happy with Simon, but would do much of the sensoring different. I monitored some things I didn’t need to, didn’t monitor others, and never took calibrating the system seriously. I plan to add some sensors, and tweak some of what I have, and fix some bad sensors. I’ll take a great system and make it greater.
  • Security. I have largely ignored security on the boat. Given that we were actually robbed once, this makes no sense. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but it is a priority to do something. Outdoor motion sensors and audible alarms are almost certainly on the list. I’m not sure what else.

There are, of course, various maintenance and repairs to do, but nothing too extraordinary. Overall, I’m very happy with this list, and impatient for May to arrive.


And.. on a completely different topic…


One of the regular readers of my blog, Ron Rogers, sent me this slideshow of a freighter going aground off Gibraltar. I remember passing the lighthouse shown in these pictures during the NAR. My first reaction was that these pictures were fake photography. I just didn’t believe they could be real. But, after a bit of googling, I discovered that this really happened. The freighter dragged anchor in FORCE 12 conditions, and went aground.


And, lastly, I should probably comment on a rumor that some of you may have heard. Last week, I filed suit against Yachtpath over their failed attempt to ship my boat from Costa Rica to Victoria Canada. It is not my style to sue people, and I have never in my personal or business career sued anyone over anything. I feel very bad to be doing so now, and hope that the litigation ends quickly. Because of the litigation I really can’t comment on Yachtpath, other than to say that you can probably read between the lines that I’m not completely happy with them.


-Ken W


9 Responses

  1. Verification code appears to be fixed! Woohoo!!! (Mind you…it didn’t take me too long to type my last post….whenever I post my next long post, I’ll let you know if I had to enter the code twice 🙂 )

    – John S.

  2. Personally, I never saw the greek text. I’ll let you know in a sec if I had to enter the verification code twice…

    – John S.

  3. I figured out why my blog went out weird yesterday… Somehow I wound up with a font called “Calibri” that displayed find on my computer but was greek on everyone elses. Sorry about that.. It is fixed now. – Ken W

  4. Ken,

    I am seeing the “greek” on the page sent to my e-mail, but not when I access your blog. It appears in the list text, but not in the intro.


  5. John Marshall has looked into alarms since suffering a burglary while he and his wife were onboard, asleep. After Japan would seem to be the beginning of the danger zone. No clue about Russia. Prior to departure, I would install blindingly bright AC-powered lights actuated both by an alarm system and manually.

    Penetrating sound could be used with you inside the pilothouse and the bad guys outside. Earlier, you suggested not discussing deadly means. FWIW, there are shotgun shells which go boom and jet out a flame over 20 feet. There are other scary shells.

    Ron rogers

  6. John: The problem with needing the verification code now seems to be fixed.

    HOWEVER, the programmer, for some unknown reason, added the code that checks how long it takes you to type in your response. Weird.

    I’ll have that taken out sometime this week.

    Is the greek text that was appearing for some people fixed? Do you see it?

    -Ken W

  7. Ken said….

    [quote]I hate computers…[/quote]

    ….careful now there Ken. If it wasn’t for computers and your illustrious (or should I say, “industrious”) past, this blog may never have existed! 🙂 (And without computers, I can pretty much say without a doubt that the blog would not exist today… )

    – John S.

    P.S. – Ken, could the issue with entering the verification code twice be related to the time limit? (Ie – if there is a 240 second time limit, in all likelihood, it takes someone much longer than that to enter their comment, so by the time they enter the verification code, its already expired, hence the need to enter it a second time? Just a thought…..)

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