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Old 11-12-2019, 08:27 PM   #161
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My worst enemy right now is my own incompetence. There's just so much I don't know, and the learning curve is awfully steep from where I'm sitting. I need a turbo charged infusion of knowledge and hands on instruction.

.
Wifey B: Wrong. Your worst enemy right now is you, the boss, who is so intolerant of what you the boater don't know yet. Learning curve is normal but it's not the problem, it's you beating yourself up over it. You, the boss, are making the job miserable for you, the boater.

Now, be kinder and gentler to yourself and don't focus 24/7 on the boat, but find some escape. Then get some help in Annapolis. But mainly as boss you keep in mind that boater you is new and hasn't had time to learn it all but will over the months and years.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:35 PM   #162
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Wifey B:
But mainly as boss you keep in mind that boater you is new and hasn't had time to learn it all but will over the months and years.
I would tweak this just a smidge. "Based on my experience of life"

You "the boater" (and human being) will never learn it all. There will always be something new to learn. In boating and in life. The amount of new things to discover or rediscover may slow down. And the discovery process (awareness and understanding) never stops.

Today is just one more day you get to learn something new Ö.. or not. That is your choice.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:19 PM   #163
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Story time

It had a profound impact on me at the time. When I was feeling overwhelmed I would tell myself, "Be the Hemlock" and visualize that little tree shrugging off whatever the winds could throw at it with quiet grace.
QUOTE "Wayfarer" "I owe you all beer and a hugs."

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Old 11-13-2019, 07:56 AM   #164
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Based on wind / tide it looks like first light tomorrow (Thursday) is a great time to run up the Delaware..... if you and the boat are up to it.
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:57 PM   #165
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Hey Wayfarer,

How goes it? Getting some stuff resolved since you id'd the warts?

Hope all's well and you're getting things in place to be comfortably in the "real" job in a bit.

Fair winds!

PS- I thought the following seas stuff might be a bit redundant since you're headed down river.....
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:24 PM   #166
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Dave, sorry I'm not in Cape May to help you out. (In Georgia now) I'm sure we could solve most of the electrical issues.
We will be wondering around Savannah tomorrow but PM me and I'll see what we can figure out.
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:22 PM   #167
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Ahoy shipmates,

It's been a few days since I posted, and in that time, there have been some more mixed experiences. I am happy to say that overall, though, things are looking up.

I didn't get any help from anyone at Summit North Marina on the C and D canal. They were busy with hauling boats. So I left with the same issues I arrived with, but with a little more fuel, and a lot less trash.

The run down the Chesapeake to Annapolis was pretty good. It was cold, but clear, and there was some wind out of the west. It kicked up some chop, but I was able to hug the shoreline and things smoothed out throughout the day. There was almost no traffic. Most of the time, I was the only rube out there. Just me and 975 thousand crab pots. I think I missed them all.

I'd gotten a late start owing to my fuel stop, and by the time I came into Annapolis, I was out of daylight. I got into the Eastport Yacht Center alright, but couldn't find my slip. I looked around in the dark, and tried calling, but no luck. I headed back out into the dark, thankful that I had a good chart plotting software, but still scared of the now invisible crab pots, and dropped the anchor. It was a cold, rolly night, and despite running the engine all day, my house bank was in a sorry state. I made it an early night.

Yesterday morning, with some difficulty, I got the anchor up, and made my way into the dock. I'd anchored in about 40 feet of water, and had run out a lot of chain. Most of my chain, in fact, and it didn't want to run back through the spill pipe into the chain locker. I swore at it a few times, and that seemed to help.

Half an hour later, I was secured at my slip, and had paid up until January. It's a nice place, this. The price is reasonable, and the staff are pleasant and accommodating. I've gotten a bunch of chores done, and the on-site technicians have already started troubleshooting my electrical issues. The problem seems to lie in my inverter/charger. He's got it off the boat and is doing some diagnostic work. Hopefully it's something simple like a fuse, but the whole thing could conceivably be shot. Either way, I hope it's expensive! We shall see. In the mean time, I'm receiving shore power, and have reverted to being a civilized human being again. I have hot water, I can run as many lights as I want for as long as I want, and I can even plug things in! What a fascinating modern age we live in.

Annapolis marks a bit of a milestone. This is the first place I've gotten to on this trip south that I'd actually been looking forward to. Everything from the Hudson to here was just kind of a commute. I feel like I'm cruising now. I hadn't spent much time here before, but I'd seen enough to know that I liked it, and wanted to come back. I'm relieved to say that I still like it here, and I'm happy to be back.

I got a hot shower, put on my best underpants, got myself a crab cake and an IPA, and went and saw a movie. It was a nice night out. I even talked to people. Tomorrow I'm gonna sleep in, maybe check out the maritime museum that's right next door, and then maybe wander into town. I'm looking forward to spending time here.

I just want to say thanks again for all the love and support. I was having a rough patch, and I really needed it. I'm happy to be a member of the club here. I won't be taking my TF Burgee down any time soon.
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:30 PM   #168
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I got a hot shower, put on my best underpants, got myself a crab cake and an IPA, and went and saw a movie. It was a nice night out. I even talked to people. Tomorrow I'm gonna sleep in, maybe check out the maritime museum that's right next door, and then maybe wander into town. I'm looking forward to spending time here.
As I read your posts, I alternately cringe and chuckle. It's the latter, owing to your continued excellent sense of humor, that will get you though all the cringeworthy moments.

Thanks for sharing it all. Your collective TF community cheers you on! And on, and on...
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:35 PM   #169
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Great response Dave! That’s the Dave that we have all been following! Wait til you break out of the cold. It will get even better.
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Old 11-15-2019, 05:19 PM   #170
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Annapolis marks a bit of a milestone. This is the first place I've gotten to on this trip south that I'd actually been looking forward to. Everything from the Hudson to here was just kind of a commute. I feel like I'm cruising now. I hadn't spent much time here before, but I'd seen enough to know that I liked it, and wanted to come back. I'm relieved to say that I still like it here, and I'm happy to be back.
Wifey B: Oh I love love love Annapolis. We've been there several times and always look forward to next time. So much to see and enjoy from all the sites to just walking through special areas of town. It's a real boating and water community. It's fun. It's got modern and it's got old community.
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Old 11-15-2019, 06:19 PM   #171
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I spent four years looking at Crabtown, as we Midshipmen called Annapolis, from mostly inside the walls surrounding the Academy. The desire for those years to "get outa this place" left me with a less than positive view of the entire place. Not it's fault, but there you have it. If they're let a mere merchant mariner through the gates, there is an exquisite museum in there - hell, the whole place is a museum.
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Old 11-15-2019, 06:57 PM   #172
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Hello, I follow your stories with avid eyes, they are super interesting! I usually donít post much, but sure thing I always look forward to reading more about your adventures! Thank you!
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Old 11-16-2019, 01:48 AM   #173
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I won't be taking my TF Burgee down any time soon.
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:10 AM   #174
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You will need to consider winterizing boat systems when you next leave for five weeks.
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:50 AM   #175
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If you have the time get to the Academy and do the walking tour. The visit to the chapel and John Paul Jones was a highlight for us.

https://www.usnabsd.com/for-visitors/
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:08 AM   #176
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If you have the time get to the Academy and do the walking tour. The visit to the chapel and John Paul Jones was a highlight for us.

https://www.usnabsd.com/for-visitors/

That sounds like it would be a very pleasant way to spend a day. I think I just might.

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You will need to consider winterizing boat systems when you next leave for five weeks.

Yep. I was hoping to have gotten far enough south that I wouldnít need to, but alas. Iíll add it to the list of chores Iíve hired out.

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Hello, I follow your stories with avid eyes, they are super interesting! I usually donít post much, but sure thing I always look forward to reading more about your adventures! Thank you!

Why thank you very much, kind stranger! I appreciate that, and Iím glad you enjoy it

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As I read your posts, I alternately cringe and chuckle. It's the latter, owing to your continued excellent sense of humor, that will get you though all the cringeworthy moments.



Thanks for sharing it all. Your collective TF community cheers you on! And on, and on...

Thanks for reading! Writing about this trip has been a more important and enjoyable part of it than Iíd expected.

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Great response Dave! Thatís the Dave that we have all been following! Wait til you break out of the cold. It will get even better.

Iím very much looking forward to that!

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I spent four years looking at Crabtown, as we Midshipmen called Annapolis, from mostly inside the walls surrounding the Academy. The desire for those years to "get outa this place" left me with a less than positive view of the entire place. Not it's fault, but there you have it. If they're let a mere merchant mariner through the gates, there is an exquisite museum in there - hell, the whole place is a museum.

I understand completely. I feel the same way about New York City, for exactly the same reasons.
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Old 11-16-2019, 11:19 AM   #177
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I got a hot shower, put on my best underpants, got myself a crab cake and an IPA, and went and saw a movie. It was a nice night out. I even talked to people. Tomorrow I'm gonna sleep in, maybe check out the maritime museum that's right next door, and then maybe wander into town. I'm looking forward to spending time here.
If you haven't already, you could probably find some decent conversation at Davis Pub, easy Eastport walking distance from EYC. Carrol's Creek ($$$) and Blackwall Hitch ($$$) restaurant, also easy walking distance,are both very good. Almost any restaurant you find on the Annapolis side in/near the Ego Alley/Main St. area will be decent (Pussers being only slightly further down the scale, and Buddy's best to reserve for a really hungry brunch). And if you find yourself at loose ends one evening, a night at the Ram's Head (West St., not far from Church Circle) could be good for a laugh.

We'd have offered beverages ourselves, but we're already further south in NC now...

-Chris
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:48 PM   #178
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I need to vent.

I have not been enjoying the last several days of this adventure. I spent most of my time in Atlantic City just trying, and failing, to do simple chores. I knew everything was going to take a little longer and more effort living aboard, but actually living it has been really frustrating. It took me all morning to get my laundry started, after wandering around an enormous marina, trying to find someone who worked there to give me the code, then wandering around a casino trying to find change to make the broken machines work. Getting groceries and making a failed attempt at picking some things up at the hardware store got me to sunset, and by the time I'd eaten something and cleaned a few things, I was spent for the day.
Vent away sir. Boat life is very different, has a steep learning curve, and as you have come to find out all marinas/towns/marine service centers are not created equal. You've taken the most dramatic step - no-boat to liveabord, and I think an even more dramatic step than many, the professional mariner to smallboat owner/operator. I'll comment on that below. Regarding the marina frustrations, help there is what the guidebooks and forums are for! They are definitely not all created equal. Additionally, in my neck of the woods, I've found that one person's recommendations do not necessarily suit MY idea of ideal. For example, I'm halfway handy. Some are not. A recommendation for a "GREAT" mechanic for me will be someone willing to talk technical details that I can bring a piece of equipment that I've removed from my boat that is beyond my ability to repair because I don't have the specialized shop or tools. But someone who relies on a mechanic to look at it, tell them if it needs to be fixed and to fix it and to get it done will have likely be talking about a different person than the person I rate as a "GREAT" mechanic.

You're going to have those substandard marina/town/marine operator experiences. They suck, try to look for intel on where you are going so you might be able to avoid or minimize your negative experiences.

Dirt life has evolved over years to make daily living convenient and easy. By default boat life is not that easy. At first. It will take time. How many collective or continuous have you had aboard? You're still in that learning curve of a major life change; and you're doing it alone!


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The next morning, I checked the forecast and decided to make a run across Delaware bay. The forecasts I'd seen were calling for 1-2 footers. I did not find 1-2 footers. I found steep 4 and 5 footers. I tried for a while to see if I could find a comfortable course and failed. I got my ass handed to me. When the coffee grinder destroyed itself in an epic explosion of beans, I bravely turned tail and headed back to anchorage.

I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out why my propane system won't stop beeping at me. I could not. I also tried to figure out why my tank tender isn't accurate. I could not. It was another frustrating day, and I found myself questioning my life choices.
.
I'm really curious to hear your introspective look (when you're in a better place) of the transition of professional mariner to small boat liveaboard. I see a lot of people in forums touting their long time captain experience when discussing their opinions on navigation or maintenance, but at the time they are posting on the forums they are usually decades into owning their trawler. You sir are going from a mega perspective on wind waves to a micro (my guess is that at work you think of 1-2 or 4-5 ft wind waves as roughly the same thing, nothing) one where now there is a HUGE difference. And also at work there is a crew, with a chief in charge of taking care of all these maintenance issues - likely to the point you never worry about them. As the single hand owner/operator/liveaboard - you have to do it all. One guy, provisioning, route/port/passage planning, fueling, business planning, preventative maintenance, emergency maintenance, navigation, helm, deckhand, etc.

While we're not liveaboards, we set up NWD as if it were our second home, not a boat we load everything on each time we take an overnight trip. We increasingly find going to the boat, working on her, traveling on her is easier and easier because she's ours, has our stuff how, where and in the manner we know and expect all the time, every time. Our stated goal is to show up with perishable food and leave. We're not quite there yet but getting close.

But like others have said, we all have your trials and tribulations. Right now NWD (again, my "second home") is sitting at the dock, unable to move due to steering and even if it did unable to keep us warm at anchor. I can't turn the helm because a steering pump is off and at home, it self destructed inside and needs major work, and I will probably have to replace it due to the damage. My diesel heater simply won't consistently work and we will likely have to break down and replumb the fuel lines (instead of running through the same filter array as the generator, it will have its own very short line with its own dedicated filter.

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Ok, I just couldn't NOT go there....




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It was another frustrating day, and I found myself questioning my life choices.

This whole enterprise is starting to feel like a huge mistake. I'm feeling very disappointed, and very lonely.
Think you've already seen you're not alone; not only do we all support you, we've all been there. First night at anchor on NWD we found the batteries draining before our very eyes. We tried running the genset during the night to keep my CPAP running and almost asphyxiated ourselves due to a failed exhaust hose. Then the one working toilet plugged, and we didn't know that the plunger the PO had on board wouldn't work on a marine toilet. And we'd already paid everybody for everything, it was our mess now.

Whether its a huge mistake remains to be seen - if boat life is not for you (or dirt life, or your career, or anything you do) is part of living. My guess is that the time and dreaming you've spend on this forum are a decent indicator of your passion for this life, and you have a steep learning curve that you probably hadn't anticipated would look the way it does for you.

I think one thing we can all agree on, we are all still jealous of the fabulously well found boat you've acquired. You just need to learn her like a lover.
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Old 11-16-2019, 01:42 PM   #179
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Iím gonna go out on a limb, with no real data whatsoever to support my claim, and guess that your battery bank might be toast.
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Old 11-16-2019, 04:21 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
If you haven't already, you could probably find some decent conversation at Davis Pub, easy Eastport walking distance from EYC. Carrol's Creek ($$$) and Blackwall Hitch ($$$) restaurant, also easy walking distance,are both very good. Almost any restaurant you find on the Annapolis side in/near the Ego Alley/Main St. area will be decent (Pussers being only slightly further down the scale, and Buddy's best to reserve for a really hungry brunch). And if you find yourself at loose ends one evening, a night at the Ram's Head (West St., not far from Church Circle) could be good for a laugh.

We'd have offered beverages ourselves, but we're already further south in NC now...

-Chris
Davis' Pub was my first stop. It came highly recommended by the marina staff, and didn't disappoint. Thanks for the tips, I'll certainly be sampling some other local spots before I go. Hopefully our wakes cross at some point, and we can exchange beers then!

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Vent away sir. Boat life is very different, has a steep learning curve, and as you have come to find out all marinas/towns/marine service centers are not created equal. You've taken the most dramatic step - no-boat to liveabord, and I think an even more dramatic step than many, the professional mariner to smallboat owner/operator. I'll comment on that below. Regarding the marina frustrations, help there is what the guidebooks and forums are for! They are definitely not all created equal. Additionally, in my neck of the woods, I've found that one person's recommendations do not necessarily suit MY idea of ideal. For example, I'm halfway handy. Some are not. A recommendation for a "GREAT" mechanic for me will be someone willing to talk technical details that I can bring a piece of equipment that I've removed from my boat that is beyond my ability to repair because I don't have the specialized shop or tools. But someone who relies on a mechanic to look at it, tell them if it needs to be fixed and to fix it and to get it done will have likely be talking about a different person than the person I rate as a "GREAT" mechanic.

You're going to have those substandard marina/town/marine operator experiences. They suck, try to look for intel on where you are going so you might be able to avoid or minimize your negative experiences.

Dirt life has evolved over years to make daily living convenient and easy. By default boat life is not that easy. At first. It will take time. How many collective or continuous have you had aboard? You're still in that learning curve of a major life change; and you're doing it alone!

I'm really curious to hear your introspective look (when you're in a better place) of the transition of professional mariner to small boat liveaboard. I see a lot of people in forums touting their long time captain experience when discussing their opinions on navigation or maintenance, but at the time they are posting on the forums they are usually decades into owning their trawler. You sir are going from a mega perspective on wind waves to a micro (my guess is that at work you think of 1-2 or 4-5 ft wind waves as roughly the same thing, nothing) one where now there is a HUGE difference. And also at work there is a crew, with a chief in charge of taking care of all these maintenance issues - likely to the point you never worry about them. As the single hand owner/operator/liveaboard - you have to do it all. One guy, provisioning, route/port/passage planning, fueling, business planning, preventative maintenance, emergency maintenance, navigation, helm, deckhand, etc.

While we're not liveaboards, we set up NWD as if it were our second home, not a boat we load everything on each time we take an overnight trip. We increasingly find going to the boat, working on her, traveling on her is easier and easier because she's ours, has our stuff how, where and in the manner we know and expect all the time, every time. Our stated goal is to show up with perishable food and leave. We're not quite there yet but getting close.

But like others have said, we all have your trials and tribulations. Right now NWD (again, my "second home") is sitting at the dock, unable to move due to steering and even if it did unable to keep us warm at anchor. I can't turn the helm because a steering pump is off and at home, it self destructed inside and needs major work, and I will probably have to replace it due to the damage. My diesel heater simply won't consistently work and we will likely have to break down and replumb the fuel lines (instead of running through the same filter array as the generator, it will have its own very short line with its own dedicated filter.

Think you've already seen you're not alone; not only do we all support you, we've all been there. First night at anchor on NWD we found the batteries draining before our very eyes. We tried running the genset during the night to keep my CPAP running and almost asphyxiated ourselves due to a failed exhaust hose. Then the one working toilet plugged, and we didn't know that the plunger the PO had on board wouldn't work on a marine toilet. And we'd already paid everybody for everything, it was our mess now.

Whether its a huge mistake remains to be seen - if boat life is not for you (or dirt life, or your career, or anything you do) is part of living. My guess is that the time and dreaming you've spend on this forum are a decent indicator of your passion for this life, and you have a steep learning curve that you probably hadn't anticipated would look the way it does for you.

I think one thing we can all agree on, we are all still jealous of the fabulously well found boat you've acquired. You just need to learn her like a lover.
Thank you sir. She's a fine ship, and I'm lucky to have her

I think you're right in that it's mostly been just the sheer size of the adjustment that's made for such a dramatic transition. Life aboard is FAR less convenient than life ashore, and there are a LOT of things to get used to. I think I'll be able to, but it would have been absurd to not expect some growing pains in the process. Just not having a car is a massive change all on it's own. It is all still quite new. I think I've only spent a grand total of 30 days actually living aboard at this point, so I'm sure there are plenty more lessons to learn.

This bears no resemblance at all to life on the ship. Very little translates directly. I'll be the first one to admit that just because I can drive my ship, doesn't mean I know crap about anyone else's boat. Very much to the contrary. On the ship, despite being responsible for the whole operation, the tasks I generally perform are just a very small part of the operation. I just drive the boat, and take care of some of the administration. I don't have to fix or maintain or clean anything. I don't have to tie the boat up or secure everything for sea or carry supplies. Here I have to do all of that, and it's a lot to take care of on my own. In some ways it's good in that it keeps me active, which is not something I've traditionally been good at. (I have been sleeping really, really well aboard this boat so far) Sometimes though, It sure would be nice to have a deckhand on the bow pulling the anchor up for me.

Weather wise, I would feel almost no difference between a flat calm day and a 5 foot sea on the ship. That is most certainly NOT the case here. A two foot chop can be downright unpleasant on this rig. The 16 footers I've seen at work would straight up Gilligan's Island poor old Sylphide.


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Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
I’m gonna go out on a limb, with no real data whatsoever to support my claim, and guess that your battery bank might be toast.
I'm certainly not going to bet against that. I do think there's an issue with my inverter/charger, but I think there's a very real chance that whatever that issue is, it probably hasn't done my batteries any favors. I've cycled them really deeply more than a few times now, and I know that's not good for flooded lead acid types. They've got some years on them. They're not ancient, but they're not new either. I've already started doing some research on what I'll eventually replace them with, and I think I'm leaning toward AGM Firefly types.

On a somewhat related note, I've determined that the ultra obnoxious propane system alarm that I keep getting is due to low voltage, which is a relief. Whenever I get to the bottom of the battery/charger issue, it should solve that one too.
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