With the boat back in the water the most pressing issue was to get the propeller pitch right. Farron Peffer at Beta Marine was adamant that we should strive to get the max RPM at wide open throttle (WOT) within 50 RPMs of the designed 3,600 RPM. He explained that even though we might never operate at max RPM having the pitch and diameter of the propeller correct would insure the engine was operating in its sweet spot at any RPM and would not be working in an overloaded capacity which could shorten it’s life. The other thing Farron mentioned was you want to make sure you can achieve the full 25 HP if necessary and you can’t do that if you can’t attain max specified RPM when under load. Last, he said it is better to be slightly over max designed RPM than under.Continue reading
Needless to say it was a great day to relaunch the Far Reach after nearly 22 months on the hard. It was long complex project and I am glad it is behind us. She went into the water easily. I checked the seacocks and stuffing box. No leaks. We pulled her out of the slings and secured her alongside the dock. I started the engine and let it run about ten minutes. We shifted into forward and reverse to make sure the linkages were connected correctly. I rechecked the stuffing box and had a few drips. That’s what we wanted but I had nothing to compare it too.Continue reading
This is part IV and the conclusion of the engine installation project.
This post covers installing the inboard engine, installing the fuel system, aligning the shaft, building and installing battery boxes and the batteries and cables, installing the engine throttle control head, starting and test running the engine, stripping and reapplying barrier coat and anti fouling paint, installing the two blade folding propeller and making final preparations for relaunching the Far Reach after 20 months on the hard.Continue reading
Building and Installing the 12v panel and Supporting Systems.
With the engine beds installed it was time to start work on the new larger electrical panel to replace the small one I used for the last five years. I decided to reuse the 8 breaker Blue Seas 12v panel. I only used four of the breakers before: 12v accessory plugs, LED lights (which I added for the second voyage to the West Indies), AIS, and compass light. I also decided to move the panel from its previously hidden location near the inboard side of the quarter berth to under the bridge-deck, where it would be more accessible, and combine it with the Beta Marine engine instrument cluster, battery monitor, and battery switch. The new panel will be hidden by sliding doors.Continue reading
During the six year rebuild of the Far Reach I decided to remove and sell the original Perkins 4-108 50 hp diesel engine (you can read more about the decision process to ditch the engine here). We initially relied on a sculling oar to propel and maneuver the boat for the first year after the launch which included 3,500nm of sailing and a voyage to the Virgin Islands and back to North Carolina.Continue reading
The wind in the SW North Atlantic north of the Caribbean remains elusive. I discussed it with Chris Parker of Marine Weather Center last week. Together we came up with three options:
I was having morning coffee and lounging in the cockpit chatting on the phone with Gayle. I could see the rain coming…a lot of rain. I signed off and sure enough it was a real gullywasher.
My good friend Colonel Steve Davis USMC was the first person I ever heard say “the main thing….” He was a terrific leader and had a unique gift for preventing his unit from getting distracted. He never lost sight of the mission and knew how to keep the team focused like a laser-beam.
I have a fair amount of diving experience. I earned my PADI card when I was 17. I’m also a military trained diver and served in dive billets for nine years. But I don’t have diving gear anymore and I think I made my last dive about 2003. I just snorkel now. But I always think about options….
For the last month or so it’s been pretty easy living. The Far Reach and I have mostly remained here in Elephant Bay, St Thomas until Gayle could join us. The pace of living has been slow and relaxed. There has been plenty of time to read, sleep, swim, eat, study the sky, think, and meet new people.