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Old 07-23-2022, 09:27 PM   #1
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Our Helmsman 43E

My wife signed the contract yesterday and it just got real. I thought I’d list a few of the tweaks we are doing.

For basic stuff my wife liked the RAL 5014 stripe. She also chose a light tan for the cushions. The rest of the furniture and interior build is pretty standard.

We’re getting the bulwark doors outside the pilot house. Not sure how often I’ll need them but I like the idea.

We’re skipping the Seakeeper for now and installing a washer/dryer in the space. I can always drop one in later if we need more stability, but where we’re doing most of our cruising I think we’ll be fine without it. We had a good talk with Scott about this.

I’m getting two 12” Garmin MFD screens at the helm. I have that on the Ranger and really like how it looks and functions.

Another big thing for me is music. I’m having a 10” JL Audio free air subwoofer installed in the salon. It will satisfy my need for bass. I’m working on a spot for a subwoofer in the pilot house but there’s less room to play with. We’ll figure something out. I may have to settle for an 8” JL sub there. Maybe a pair of them?

The last big tweak is the ~1kw solar panel kit. When I get back from paragliding I’ll be focusing on how to harvest the sun effectively. I have lots of solar on my van and a buddy has 800 watts on his van. That gives me hope that we can solve that puzzle.

Ooh, and one more last tweak, Starlink. I’ve been traveling the last month in my van using Starlink and am always able to get high speed access the interwebs. I’m a convert. Just need to figure out an unobtrusive location. May end up with a flat mount but not sure I want the signal degradation that causes. Another puzzle.

I can’t wait for next June…

Anybody want a lightly used Ranger Tug R29CB?

Cheers
Scott
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Old 07-23-2022, 09:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by NSM View Post
My wife signed the contract yesterday and it just got real. I thought I’d list a few of the tweaks we are doing.

For basic stuff my wife liked the RAL 5014 stripe. She also chose a light tan for the cushions. The rest of the furniture and interior build is pretty standard.

We’re getting the bulwark doors outside the pilot house. Not sure how often I’ll need them but I like the idea.

We’re skipping the Seakeeper for now and installing a washer/dryer in the space. I can always drop one in later if we need more stability, but where we’re doing most of our cruising I think we’ll be fine without it. We had a good talk with Scott about this.

I’m getting two 12” Garmin MFD screens at the helm. I have that on the Ranger and really like how it looks and functions.

Another big thing for me is music. I’m having a 10” JL Audio free air subwoofer installed in the salon. It will satisfy my need for bass. I’m working on a spot for a subwoofer in the pilot house but there’s less room to play with. We’ll figure something out. I may have to settle for an 8” JL sub there. Maybe a pair of them?

The last big tweak is the ~1kw solar panel kit. When I get back from paragliding I’ll be focusing on how to harvest the sun effectively. I have lots of solar on my van and a buddy has 800 watts on his van. That gives me hope that we can solve that puzzle.

Ooh, and one more last tweak, Starlink. I’ve been traveling the last month in my van using Starlink and am always able to get high speed access the interwebs. I’m a convert. Just need to figure out an unobtrusive location. May end up with a flat mount but not sure I want the signal degradation that causes. Another puzzle.

I can’t wait for next June…

Anybody want a lightly used Ranger Tug R29CB?

Cheers
Scott
Congratulations! You made a great choice.
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Old 07-23-2022, 11:18 PM   #3
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Scott. Congrats. This is a great choice. We are under contract to buy a 2020 Helmsman 38e and under contract to sell our R29CB. Both through Scott Helker at Waterline Boats so we can get the Washington tax break. Our RT29CB is considered a trade in, meaning we subtract the value of our boat from the purchase price of the Helmsman for the purposes of taxes. This helps offset the high sales tax of Washington. Now if you were going to Oregon…

If the stars align, all of this will happen sometime in the next four weeks. I will post details next month—including the new boat name—once this is all affirmed because, well, even cold-hearted, rational, evidence-based, pragmatic scientists like me get all wobbly and superstitious when it comes to boats. If you don’t get superstitious then you have not spent enough time on the ocean.

We are exploring Starlink as our work-from-the-boat option. I need to get my hands on the boat to figure out the best antenna mount and how to set it up inside the cabin. The thread on TF on Starlink has been gold if you have not tuned into it. I was going to order the RV package this next week.

Again, congrats Scott. Another Ranger Tug owner movin’ up. And you will find Scott Helker as helpful as the Ranger Tug factory folks, which is saying a lot.

BTW: after all the zipping around in our RT, I proposed that we name the new to us boat Not So Fast. Rejected with enthusiasm by she who makes the final decisions, but I thought it funny.

Now the waiting begins!

Jeff
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Old 07-23-2022, 11:50 PM   #4
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I think we are going to be boring and name the Helmsman the same as the Ranger, “Hold Fast”. It’s the MacLeod clan motto and my wife really liked it. Maybe “Hold Slow”? : )
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Old 07-24-2022, 02:00 AM   #5
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Congrats! Great choice! Seems like many Ranger Tug people gravitate toward Helmsman, ourselves included! Will be fun to follow your build as it progress!
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Old 07-24-2022, 07:56 AM   #6
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Congratulations!

A pair of 12 inch MFD instead of one 16 inch is an interesting idea.
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Old 07-24-2022, 10:12 AM   #7
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Congratulations!!



We're in the process of having a Helmsman built for us as well (details to come).

The build process is fun! The planning helps to get through the waiting.
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Old 07-24-2022, 11:29 AM   #8
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Congrats!

Scott and Lisa are wonderful, gracious people who run a class operation.
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Old 07-24-2022, 12:30 PM   #9
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An interesting mini trend.

We are in something of a recession. Falling boat sales has been the prediction.

But the observable thing from the small sample here, is not folks backing down from a 43 to a 38, but in fact more 43’s being announced than 38’s. Powering up not down.

So much for theory.
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Old 07-24-2022, 12:45 PM   #10
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An interesting mini trend.

We are in something of a recession. Falling boat sales has been the prediction.

But the observable thing from the small sample here, is not folks backing down from a 43 to a 38, but in fact more 43’s being announced than 38’s. Powering up not down.

So much for theory.
Well, I for one might at least in part be corroborating evidence of the theory.

A couple of months ago, as we were deliberating our own Helmsman order, I thought a lot about the 43. I ended up ordering a 38, for several reasons.

Going with the philosophy (which I believe) of getting the smallest boat that meets your needs.

Ease of single hanging, since even when the Admiral is on board, I do almost everything.

No need for a second stateroom (we literally have never had an overnight guest even once in the past 25 years when our boats could have accommodated one).

Accepting the unpleasant realities of aging and decrepitude, with a smaller boat being easier to handle and take care of.

But one consideration was also the looming economic recession, and the uncertain (though negative) impact it will have (already is having) on personal finances. Not just initial purchase price, but ongoing maintenance and care.

Even though we could have afforded the price difference to a 43, given the darkening economic (and thus personal financial) forecast, I was more comfortable spending less.

In a couple of years I might have some regrets. Especially if I happen to be tied up next to a 43. Or when slogging through a particularly nasty ‘Block Island Sound Washing Machine’, and thinking how nice a few more feet in length, and freeboard, would be at that moment.

But probably not. The 38 will almost certainly be the nicest, best, boat I’ve ever had.
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:39 AM   #11
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A quick update on our solar. Roger is looking for the actual build dimensions but using rough measurements based on pictures I think I can get four 270 watt panels with the long axis running along the beam. They will be mounted on the forward part of the pilot house roof to minimize shade. This panel set should provide 500 amp-hours of recharge with sunny conditions for half of the year. That allows me to run the washer/drier and pretty much everything else without running the gen. More to follow.
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Old 08-12-2022, 12:11 AM   #12
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Well I got the roof dimensions and it’s a wee bit smaller than I initially thought. However I think I can get three 225 watt panels across the front and a 175 watt panel on each side of the hatch. This gets me just over 1kw of solar. I’ll sketch it up and get it back to Roger for papal blessing.
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Old 08-12-2022, 10:04 AM   #13
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Old 08-12-2022, 04:43 PM   #14
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Well heck, it looks like I can't squeeze more than 735 watts on the pilothouse roof. Two 140 watt panels on either side of the hatch, and one 175 watt up front. I used Custom Marine Products dimensions as I've heard their panels are good for the marine environment. I'm open to suggestions on other rigid panel providers.
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Old 08-12-2022, 05:13 PM   #15
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Look at solar panels on top of your Bimini. They are flexible. But first, I would get the boat and use it. If you need more that is an avenue. I think you will be surprised by the available energy.
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Old 08-12-2022, 07:47 PM   #16
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I used Custom Marine Products dimensions as I've heard their panels are good for the marine environment. I'm open to suggestions on other rigid panel providers.
I would say any panel that fits is fine. Why pay the marine premium? Homes on or near the water don’t.

Rob
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Old 08-16-2022, 09:41 PM   #17
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I installed 2 x 385 watt panels on my 38E. There was enough room for 2 x 440 watt panels but unfortunately supply chain issues prevented that from happening.
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Old 08-16-2022, 10:59 PM   #18
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I am 3 years in with ordinary panels. No signs of any corrosion or any other effects from the environment they are in. I didn't know of any "marine" panels. Don't know what they might have that is different, mine are aluminum frames, all connectors seem corrosion proof.
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Old 08-16-2022, 11:40 PM   #19
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I've seen "stacked" solar panels on a van where a solar panel was mounted on something similar to drawer slides below a fixed mounted panel. So two panels one on top of the other. Driving around the lower panels were secured below the upper panels but once parked you pull out the lower panel and double your solar panel footprint. Kinda of like just pulling out a drawer. On boat I could this stacked concept being helpful to increase the solar footprint in calm conditions or a way to reduce windage in a blow. They could also be rigged to offer additional shade once anchored.
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Old 08-22-2022, 04:55 PM   #20
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After several attempts I think I can squeeze 905 watts of solar onto the pilothouse roof. One 225 watt panel, two 200 watts and two 140 watts. I sent the sketch to Helmsman and we'll see if they concur that it will all fit.

I'm sticking with Custom Marine Products solar panels because that's what Helmsman already uses and it's easy to get their stuff installed at the yard before they ship the boat over. Path of least resistance...

And I'm getting FLIR installed too. What the heck.

Cheers
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