Monday, October 26

It’s a boat…Care and Repair

This past weekend I went up to St Augustine, Florida for the weekend with my Dad to do some sailing in and out of the inlet. The first day I motored north on the ICW to get to St. Augustine and picked up a mooring at the St Augustine municipal marina. The mooring was on the north side of the Bridge of Lions, near the bridge. Next time, and I would recommend anyone that requests a mooring, not have it near the bridge, it was a bit noisy on the weekend, not too bad to make me want to request a move, but in the future I will request something a bit farther away.

This being my first cruise on DON’T PANiC some issues came to light. First it was discovered that the engine alternator is not charging the batteries while running. Lucky, I had brought my portable generator to run the AC at night, the boat generator being a bit too loud to run and try to sleep. I ended up using my portable a bit more than planned and barely had enough gas to run it for the weekend to keep the batteries charged and run the AC, I had only planned to use to for the AC at night.

The other incident to occur was my fault, the outboard for the tender took a quick dunk. The line holding the engine to hoist is up slipped and down it went into the water. It was only for 30-60 seconds and just barely submerged. As soon as it was back aboard, I rinsed with fresh water. This did put the outboard out of commission for the weekend, but lucky it was never needed for the rest of the weekend. It was taken in for service today (Monday) and after looked at very little water damage was found. Though also found was an oil leak. So, the engine will get a cleaning, repair, and service/tune-up.

Day two

The next day we went out the St Augustine inlet to do some sailing. Going out the inlet was non-eventful (as was the return) and I motored out to the safe water buoy before raising the sails. Sadly the wind was not cooperative. While the predictions were for some better winds, we found only 0-5kn. The swells were creating more wind for the sails, the sails flogged back and forth with the swells. Not to make it a total waste, I used the time to get used to maneuvering the boat under power. DON’T PANiC handled everything very well. We returned in the early afternoon because storms were expected in the afternoon…of course this ended up being incorrect. I bet if we had stayed out they would have appeared.

The journey back

The next night was uneventful and we headed back south. While on the way back I made some attempts to do fuel consumption mappings. It’s a start but I will do more readings in the future to get better results.

It would be nice to say it was uneventful for the rest of the trip, but it wasn’t. While running the engine at various RPM, at or near WOT my CO alarms started going off. The engine room had filled with exhaust. After reducing throttle and opening everything to vent the alarms ceased. For the rest of the journey I kept the throttle below 2000rpm and the problem did not reoccur.

Other issues found on this cruise, the shake-down, were that the forward head refilled after being emptied, the refrigeration stopped cooling, and the transmission had issues shifting into forward. So, did this ruin the weekend, not one bit. My Dad and I had a wonderful weekend on DON’T PANiC. She handled everything wonderfully. We both look forward to more journeys aboard DON’T PANiC in the future.

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