Saturday, November 09, 2013
END OF THE SEASON THOUGHTS OF AN ELECTRIC SAILOR
BIANKA is back on land and stored for the winter. It was a fun season though I did not cruise as much as in previous seasons. I did spend a lot of time on the boat pretty much living on board for the past six months. The electric propulsion system is still going strong and has once again been maintenance free all season. The AGM batteries are still holding up after six seasons as well.
A lot of projects I thought I would finish never got started. That's just the way it is when an hunting Osprey grabs your attention or a refreshing swim and a nap take precedence on ones day on board. Though I did manage to rewire the solar Bimini a project which was long overdue. I did add a few new items on board. I decided to replace the Honda BP 2 outboard that got drowned by Superstorm Sandy last fall. It was replaced by an Electric Paddle outboard which I will post a review about in the near future. I also installed an AIMS 48 volt 1500 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter. The inverter was purchased to be able to charge the Electric Paddle battery from BIANKA's 48 volt propulsion battery bank but, I bought a larger wattage unit than those needs in order to use it for other devices in the future. I will post an evaluation on that soon too.
Most of this years action centered around the galley. A spring outfitting discovery of a corroded Gas header in BIANKA's twenty four year old stove caused me to rethink how I use propane on board.
That yikes moment caused me to experiment with alternatives to using the stove on board and I am happy that both Plan A and Plan B both worked out well for my cooking needs this season and so I will probably use them in the future. Another advantage of my new propane usage plan is some energy savings. I plan to spend some time this winter dismantling parts of the old stove to see if I can incorporate the new cooking burner into it's space.
Another discovery from the gallery was using some freeze dried items in meals for the first time. Namely freeze dried Blueberries and Bacon Flavored Textured Vegetable Protein TVP .. Both products look likely to be items I will carry on board in the future as they mean less trips to land for provisions when cruising. The Blueberries tasted good straight out of the can for a quick snack and also worked well when one has a hankering for Blueberry pancakes:
The Bacon flavored TVP added some nice bacon flavor as well as being somewhat healthier than meat based bacon. Also it won't spoil as rapidly and and has no grease to get rid of. It worked well mixed in with scrambled eggs and especially added some nice flavor and texture to old standby meals of Ramen Noodles. With the success of these two freeze dried products I plan to expand the selection on board next season. Though the smaller can of Blueberries runs out quickly the two pound can of the Bacon flavored TVP was still half full at the end of the season. A double order of Blueberries and dividing up the TVP into smaller containers may be the plan for next season.
Now that the off season is here I hope to get a started on some of the projects I never got to during the summer. Because "messing about in boats" is always good no matter what the season.