Yep, it seems we’re living the mantra of the Latitude 38 magazine’s BajaHaHa rally. For 20+ years we’ve all read that their event is most known for giving people a clear deadline for getting boats ready to cruise. Well, we left San Francisco but now in LA we’re squeezing out one more use of tools & supplies from home. Soon all this building stuff will end, and future boat work will be repairs, maintenance and upgrades along the way.
So, the solar rewiring finished up. Now the two starboard float deck panels are in serial, running one 36volt branch back to the MMPT controller. The two port float deck panels are also set that way. And the wiring is in place to add a third branch via new smaller panels on hard dodger top. Anton, if you’ve got any ideas for making a monocrystaline 36volt group, I’m all ears. Not interested in the flexible panels.
Mounting the new solar panel flat boards over the curved float decks is tricky, mostly because we’re trying to reuse the holes from the flexible panels’ old direct mounting. Needed longer thru-deck bolts but type 316 stainless steel is hard to get. As I fretted over how many days it would take to get a McMaster Carr order delivered, turns out the west coast hub is 20 miles away and open Sundays. Pilgrimage to Mecca, man!
One doesn’t get to wander the aisles, but from the bit I could see it’s every bit as tidy and efficient as their amazing website. Same day Sunday will call was great. And the counter guy was really nice, and intrigued by a first-visit from a long time customer.
Today Damien came over and on bolt #1 of 24 we could see the odd angles were going to be a problem. These mounting panels need feet! We’re in a fancy, tidy marina, not a working yard. Hmmm, go get some aluminum angle stock? That’s a lot of electrolysis trouble. Sure would be nice in plastic (fiberglass). So a quick Home Depot run for $6 of wood, some screws and packing tape to make a bracket form. Ugh, it’s 9pm and we have to build this inside the pretty boat!That’s a scramble of glass and carbon fabric scraps that I happened to throw in the box for this trip. It was thankfully just enough to form a long strip of angle bracket material. Pretty sure tonight no epoxy spilled where it doesn’t belong. The morning will tell.
I did take a dinner break in the wonderful company of Beth and Damien at their awesome Catana 431 catamaran BritoYou guys will probably see a lot more about them in a couple months as we make plans to buddy up in the Sea of Cortez. Along with a tasty dinner they walked me through their Iridium Go satellite comms system with built-in PredictWind forecasting. I think we’ll copy what these guys did! Gotta hurry to get the antenna and base installed later this month.
Forgot to snap a photo, but Brizo boat dog Bella is a kick. She’ll be video worthy in Mexico. Stay tuned for that one.
Off to sleep with epoxy fumes now. G’night people.