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Saturday, December 31, 2005


GPS Position: 30° 50’.220 N 86° 44’.270 W

Well, Christmas is over and all of the kids have gone home and back to work. We also learned that we have a wedding to go to in June, as our oldest daughter is getting married (one down, one to go.)

We hadn’t been over to the boat since the first part of the month, so we loaded the family into two cars and took everyone over to the boat for a look-see. All of the interior items had arrived since our last visit, so we finally got to see the boat with everything in place.

The first thing we noticed was the bed coverings were not as ordered. The material was correct, but St. Augustine Marine Canvas used a welt cord on all of the bed coverings that was totally different than our samples. The welt cord was supposed to be a solid gold color, but they substituted a three-color cord that was in Halloween colors of black, orange and tan. To us, it makes the boat interior look cheap.

After a cursory inspection of the rest of the interior, we found some additional items that, while not noticed at first, now stick out like a sore thumb. Probably the two worst are the way the main hatch is cut at two diffrent levels and the damage to the interior where it's let rain water inside.

I’m pretty sure that a ¾” gap is going to leak and allow air, water and bugs into the boat. I’m also sure that it needs to be fixed before any more of the interior is damaged by water.

The second is the fabric on the sofa. It’s the right texture, but it’s the wrong color. It’s more of a peach color instead of the light brown color of our sample. It makes the teak interior look brassy and cheap.

Once the holidays are over, we plan to come back and spend a day or two doing a complete inspection and list all of the issues that need attention; both inside and out.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


GPS Position: 30° 50’ .220 N 86° 44’ .270 W

Since the Thanksgiving holiday, things have been progressing well on the boat. Most of the time we’ve spent on board has been devoted to the installation of the navigation electronics.

For what is to be our boat, we’ve chosen RAYMARINE brand, E-Series chart plotters (E-80 & E-120 joined by a SeaTalk link), GPS receiver, 48 mile RADAR, Autopilot control system, Depth Meter, Wind Speed Indicator and Boat Speed Indicator. All of these units integrate to form a complete network that monitors and displays everything relevant to the operation of the vessel at both the helm and at the nav-station down below. In the event the navigator is visually challenged (like me) the chart plotter will display all data on the 23” flat screen TV that is mounted on the forward bulkhead in the main salon.

Additionally, the RAYMARINE units use NAVIONICS®, Gold and Platinum, electronic charts. The charts are issued on a SANDISK compact flash card and are available for all US and most foreign waters. The NAVIONICS electronic charts are supposed to be the best available, but we shall see whether that’s true or not. Just in case, however, we’ve backed up the NAVIONICS charts with MAPTECH electronic charts and the full version of MAPTECH OFFSHORE NAVIGATOR® electronic charting software.

We’ve also downloaded the raster charts for the entire US coastline from the NOAA website, which display seamlessly using the MAPTECH software. If this fails, we still have paper charts for all destinations and a sextant that we’ve had (and used) since the mid 1980’s. If it takes more than that to navigate this boat, then I guess we’re lost.

The only thing left to complete the electronics and navigation systems is a LEWMAR MAMBA DC motor for the Autopilot Steering System. This particular motor, which is the only motor that will work on the 45cc steering gear, is in short supply and will take at least six weeks to get here. Once we have the motor, which is on order from the UK, we’ll be able to take the boat out and test all of it’s systems on Choctawhatchee Bay. We’re looking forward to seeing how the boat will handle under sail, power and using the automatic navigation systems.