Wow. Lots of good stuff here. Waterman46’s point about refrigeration
is excellent and well taken. I took my consumption
figures in Sweden
so fair cop there.
I really like the davit idea. I was planning on just blowing up the dinghy
as and when and then deflating it and stowing it in its “garage” under the forward berth. That works well for us with summer cruising with only occasional anchoring
but I can see how it would get really old over the duration of a year cruise
I would never tow a dinghy
except in an emergency
. I have seen way to many cockups that began with a towed dinghy.
And I can see how nice framed high quality panels
over the davits
would be relatively free of shade, out of the way, and would also protect the dinghy and partially shade the swim platform. Hell I could mount a shower head
holder on it and use it to aid showering on swimstep which I think is just the greatest luxury. I can even accept hscrugby’s point that such a thing might be made aesthetically chic in a functionalist kind of way. However I’m sitting In my cockpit
and I am struggling to see how to do it.
As you can see from the picture, the entrance to the swim platform is set quite far off to starboard and there is not much that can be done about that. Either the starboard davit goes right up against the pole with the radar
on it or it goes very close to the centerline. In the latter case that would necessitate having the whole assembly asymmetrically off to port. Not very attractive or practical. In the former case it would mean the davits
are spaced five feet apart. Maybe that’s a fine spacing for davits but it looks a bit wide to me. It would give me a big platform for panels
though so it might work
. Even so access to the swim step will be a little tighter than it is at present.
An arch is out as it would be major surgery, it would increase the airdraft with mast
down (which is a problem for multiple reasons I won’t bore you with, the present pole folds down). I like the radar
where it is as I can gimbal it manually to a fixed position by just reaching up from the helm
, and I hate radars on masts (had several before and they always caught lines and worsened rolling).
If I also needed a Bimini
then I could maybe see the point of an arch but Na Mara is a true pilot house with great ventilation. If it gets hot the pilot house roof is our bimini
. Basically an arch is a sledge hammer to crack a nut in our case.
I have already come to the option that I will need more battery
capacity and that my original estimate was low. Also I think I may be going to lithium for the big trip rather than just adding more FLA.
But no matter what I do with the solar panels
I am going to need more, and more reliable, charging for underway. I need 200Ah a day over a four week period for the crossings guaranteed. The only thing that gives me that is the Watt and Sea, a fat alternator, a fuel cell
, or a generator
. Not doing a generator
as one ICE on a sail boat is practical necessity, two and you might as well buy a trawler
cells are neat but their life expectancy is crap and they are as much as the hydro generator. I don’t like running the engine
to power my electronics
for sailing as it’s sort of admitting defeat. So that just leaves the watt and sea. Yes it’s an expensive extra set of holes in the hull
most of the time, but being able to power the auto and instruments indefinitely on long trips without resorting to the engine
is priceless for me.
It does however leave me short at anchor
so I do need solar
as well. I think I’ll talk to my guys and try and get something along the davit line sorted out. I’m now going to google
image the hell out of it for inspiration.
Cheers and thanks from Na Mara