As we get closer to the equator, and we have more sun, the solar panels are beginning to prove their worth. On a clear sunny day I have seen a peak output from the solar panels of more than 40 amps at about 14 volts. The total amp-hours collected during a typical day are between 250-350 amp-hours. That's the equivalent of running our generator for about 2-3 hours every day. So far we haven't needed the generator much. We need it for heavy electrical loads, like heating the hot water tank, doing loads of laundry, baking in the convection oven, and recharging the batteries after a cloudy day or two. The solar panels are keeping up with our refrigeration systems (two refers and a chest-style freezer in the galley countertop). The solar panels can even power our 12 volt water maker almost every day for enough time to replace our daily water usage (if we aren't doing laundry, which consumes way too much water). The solar panels are proving to be a great investment.
We have traveled more than 2000NM (more than 2,300 statute miles). That's just about how far it is from Seattle to New York City! In than time I (Steve) have had some maintenance to do, some repairs, some installations, and some modifications to already installed systems aboard Adagio. Here is a partial list of the stuff I have worked on:
- Changed the oil and filters twice on the main engines.
- Replaced a few dozen primary fuel filters during the initial stages of our trip due to dirt in the fuel tanks. The fuel tanks are now clean and I haven't needed to replaced a fuel filter in about 700 miles.
- Replaced two raw water cooling impellers (one engine, one generator)
- Replaced the raw water cooling pump on the starboard motor when it started leaking water. Boy am I glad I pack a spare of just about everything.
- Rebuilt the raw water cooling pump on our large generator when it started leaking water.
- Cleaned out the engine sea strainers once
- Chased and stopped several oil leaks on the main engines (Detroit's are notorious for leaks)
- Installed our AIS transponder (the device that lets other boats see us on their chartplotter)
- Installed our satellite phone
- Finished installing our SSB long range radio
- Setup the weatherfax (SSB to PC) for obtaining weather forecasts from anywhere
- Modified our watermaker so it would work reliably when underway. It was sucking in air along with the sea-water causing the pump to become air-locked. I built an air/water separator out of PCV pipe and fittings. Now, the air is removed from the feed to the watermaker and we can run the watermaker when we are motoring. We arrived today at Santa Maria with full water tanks, which is a very nice feeling.
- Repaired our "flopper stoppers". One had a hinge pin fall our, the other had a hog-ring fail
- Replaced the fuel line coupler on our dinghy outboard when it fell apart at the dock in San Diego. I saw a part fly off, hit the water, and sink out of sight.
- Added dinghy security cables and locks so we can lock the dinghy to a public dock
- Added improvised light shields to our spotlights and floodlights so the light doesn't hit the foredeck of the boat. Greatly improving nighttime visibility
- Replaced the holding tank vent hose when it became plugged. It was not pleasant
- Installed an automatic battery watering system to the house batteries
- Made a shelf for our computer printer to sit on so it doesn't eat up valuable countertop space
- made a shelf for our salon table to increase our storage capacity
- Mounted the Wii and connected it to our TV for the kids
- Installed engine oil temperature gauges to the main engines
- Installed Transmission temperature gauges to both transmissions
- Installed fuel pressure gauges to both engines
- Replaced several inner tubes on my bike
- Made a lot of adjustments to our bikes (brakes, shifting, handle bar angles, etc)
While this might seem like a long list, I am feeling very good about our boats performance so far. We have experienced no boat issues along our travels that gave us any concern or worry. The boat has performed flawlessly, and continues to impress us with her solid performance. This is a well designed boat built to go places, and it shows....