2019-04-12 — Abacos

Departing Eleuthera we woke up very early (03:00) in the morning so we went a ahead and got underway. Crossing the Northeast Providence Channel is no small thing. We consider it the “biggest” water we operate on. We have crossed the 50 miles of open ocean in swells so large the entire mast of companion boats disappeared. It is really something to experience. There is nothing to break the waves between here and the coast of Portugal. Note also the depth here can get to 15,000 feet…yes 15. No matter how small the waves are, when water depth goes from that deep to sea level, rest assured “stuff” is going to happen.

Before heading for the open ocean though there was the little matter of extracting ourselves from out anchorage off Royal Island transiting the cut between Egg and Little Egg Island. We had a little moon and been through here in the daylight before so extra attention brought us out in no drama.

The passage to the Abacos was one our best through here and our early departure meant we were not racing the sun to the other side. The passage was actually so good we made the decision to enter the Abacos via a different inlet than normal just to widen our experience a bit. Rather than enter the traditional Little Harbor Inlet at Lynyard Cay we continued up to North Bar and entered there. It was a non event which is just the way we like new experiences. Some day in a BAD situation we may need an alternative inlet and so now we have that in out back pocket.

We actually left Eleuthera sooner than we had wanted because of some approaching weather so after passing by Hope Town we continued on to Marsh Harbor to top up provisions before finding a quiet anchorage to ride out the next days storm.

We found the perfect little spot about 5 miles to the north-east off Man-O-War Cay. We expected to have good protection from the strongest winds from the NE and most important no other boat anchored near by!

We even arrived Man-O-War with time to head to shore and have some lunch, a little walk and of source and ice cream cone. While we were in town we saw a Moorings Charter Boat circling and looking for a mooring ball. (Mooring is a charter boat company where people rent the boat for a weeks vacation — sometime a little scary because of inexperience yet where most of us started) . As we headed back to Magnolia in Blossom (dinghy) we saw they we outside circling trying to figure out where to anchor. A bit later they found their way over towards us…we waved them over, got them anchored so where in the forcast biggest storm of the year we were anchored and ready to ride it out. As anticipated we were well out of any waves, lite swell wrapping in from the north during tide changes and a maximum of 35 knots though 50 was reported in Marsh Harbor…well boats drug at anchor and why we got out of there.

We were able to score a mooring ball in Hope Town (thank you Jay & Will). Annette quickly connected with her “boat ladies” and they set off on a walk around the island and catching up.

Meanwhile back aboard i made some “engine room dough” for grill pizza. We were happy to host the gang from Exuberant, Pegasus, Ilar, Renaissance Woman, aboard Magnolia . It was a fun evening and always good to spend time together.

A “neighbor” caught some lovely pictures of Magnolia on the ball in Hope Town Harbor.

Historic Hope Town Lighthouse is the singular iconic image of Elbow Cay

We met a lovely couple our first season here. J&C were looking to buy a house on the island. One thing lead to another and 2 years ago I was able to help for a few hours lifting and setting some heavy beams. They now have the beautiful cottage with an amazing view. Good people, who worked extremely hard to attain their goals. People who really inspire….so happy for them

Magnolia is the closest boat in the picture.

…and there was ice cream

and walks on the beach

Rod from Pegasus had a BIG birthday while in Hope Town and Mary organized a surprise party. It was a fun evening a great time to catch up.

It was time for Magnolia to get moving and we had one more challenging area before taking on the Gulf Stream. The cut around Whale Cay is very exposed to the ocean and can be very shall we say “rambunctious.” We picked a good day and had no problem.

We always get through the Whale and start looking for the next window to cross the gulf stream. This trip we did make time for a stop at Manjack which is known for the shear numbers of Sea Turtles and HUGE Sea Rays

One thing people do not appreciate about the Bahamas is the variety of “climates” they have…in the south Exumas the country is arid and desert like. Here in the north Abacos there trees and a totally different feel.

There in the middle of the harbour is our trusty steed….and home. Magnolia.

From here we will stop out to Great Sale Cay and depart for the United States from there.

2019-03-27 – Georgetown, Cat & Eleuthera Islands

After having a wonderful trip down the Exuma chain we arrived Great Exuma, aka Georgetown, aka “Adult Daycare.”

Great Exuma – Georgetown — Track to Cat

We caught up with Exuberant and enjoyed hanging out with Burt & Prue

After a couple days in “daycare” and topping up on provisions we were off to Cat Island, about 50 miles to the north east.

First stop is one of our favorites in the Bahamas, Fernandez Bay (
https://www.fernandezbayvillage.com ). The anchorage is protected except from the west, there is no west protection on Cat Island! We always meet interesting people and have a great meal…whats not to love?

Prue reminded us it was Fish Fry night in New Bight and also it was Junior Junkanoo ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkanoo ) night. It was also brought to our attention there were 3 Hylas sailing yachts in the anchorage and only one Krogen….which is completely backwards from normal

In the next couple of days we were expecting a lengthy blow, no significant west winds forecast but plenty of east. We also wanted to get away from the crowds so we would have plenty of anchor room. Bennetts Harbor was the perfect fit. A beautiful beach and easy access to a protected dock. What was not to love and it worked out perfect.

We even made it to the famous Yardies (
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g147427-d2092220-Reviews-Yardie_s_Restaurant_Bar_and_Conch_Stand-Cat_Island_Out_Islands_Bahamas.html )

After nearly a weeks slow down in it was off to Eleuthera Island. The trip from Bennetts Harbor Cat Island to Rock Sound CAN be done in one LONG day but why do that? We are suppose to be slowing down. We stopped Little San Salvador Island…known as Half Moon Cay to the Cruise Ship Community.

This particular anchorage is very complicated for me….not to anchor…no not at all super easy, stay out of the way of the ships and get in as close as you can to avoid the North Atlantic swell that is wrapping around the island. First, what they do here is amazing….these ships arrive about dawn…between the two of them what, maybe 10,000 people? They take them all to shore, give them a beach fantasy day to include beach horse back riding and then pile them all back aboard and be underway by supper. An amazing dance in my mind…then I am so very grateful. We get to explore this beautiful island environment for months on end…most of these passenger will be back in hectic world in the next couple days. What we do is not for everyone….but it is not wasted on us…I assure you.

The next morning we departed at first light to be sure we were out of the way of the next arriving ship and sure enough, Carnival Cruise lines was on the horizon….

After that we were off to round the Cape of Eleuthera and up to Rock Sound.

The Cape Of Eleuthera I think has the most beautiful water we have seen.

We arrived in Rock Sound just ahead of the next cold front which was expected to be “sporty” so it was good to be in a secure harbor. Additionally our Bahamian WIFI Hotspot needed a replacement SIM card which was being flown in. We anchored up near the airport and of course the flight arrived as the front was too. I jumped in the dink and beached it a couple hundred yards from the airport, walked into the airport with its typical
Bahamian chaos and a hundred arriving tourists. The whole thing was a bit of out of body experience. I picked up my package, raced back to Magnolia and was back on-board to finish my coffee to watch the rain and a rainbow. It made us chuckle about our life a little asking, “I wonder how others day started out?”

Our next and last stop in Eleuthera was Governors Harbor. We had never made time to stop and enjoy and this was our opportunity. What a wonderful stop. We just wish it could have been a couple weeks later so we could have enjoyed a day or two with Stan and Suzie from the The Pearl (
https://sscruisingadventure.blogspot.com ). Schedules seldom align but we keep trying!

Next stop, the Abacos.

2019-03-19 — Exuma Chain

We departed Fresh Creek Andros eastbound for Highborne Cay of course into a stiff easterly. Magnolia really showed her metal as we still continue to get to know her. As long as I kept my foot off the pedal she plugged right along just as happy as a boat could be, and we were too. It was a long 5o mile day passage but as good as we could have hoped for.

We have not been in the Bahamas for two years so it was nice to be back in the familiarity of Highborne and the Exumas.

Some fellow Krogenites, MV Unforgettable and Privateer were at Cambridge so we skipped Wardwick Wells and headed on down.

Getting into Cambridge Cay can be a little confusing and maybe a little daunting….once you see a 135ft mega yacht go through…you kind of loose your excuses….

Once in the mooring field this is what awaits….just beautiful.

Cambridge Cay — Bahamas Land and Sea Park
Greg (Privateer) and Scott (Unforgettable) enjoying an evening aboard Magnolia
A wonderful afternoon on the shore on at Cambridge Cay – Off to the Conch Nursery – Thank you Lisa (Privateer) for leading the excursion.

From Cambridge we moved down to Black Point, Exumas

The fish cleaning dock always has a variety of guys coming by for a snack on the leftovers. We don’t dangle our toes in case they get confused!

My work colleague, Pat McWherter whom I knew by name is also aboard a boat making his first trip to the Bahamas. Our mutual friend Byran Metts connected which was really cool

Pat and his crew were heading north as we were heading south and crossed paths here in Black Point.

Orion does not currently have a water maker. Magnolia makes more and stores more than we can possibly need so we were able to give Orion a good fashion style UN-REP (underway replenishment). We enjoyed a couple of cigars and some shared gratitude for the circumstances we find ourselves.

About the time Orion was departing, our friends Scott and Melissa arrived aboard Unforgettable.

A beach walk in search of sea-glass was embarked on.

Annettes Bounty!

Next stop Georgetown, Exumas.

2019-03-05 Crossing Gulf Stream – Palm Beach – Fresh Creek Andros Bahamas

Magnolia has not been to the Bahamas in the last two winters so we were excited to get going. Our plan has been to depart Palm Beach and work our way to Miami area and cross the Gulf-stream when a weather window presented. Completely unexpected but a window presented just as we departed Palm Beach!

We departed Old Port Cove marina, made a drive-by of our friend Mims Condominium.

Waving to Mims!

We anchored just inside the inlet at Lake Worth / Palm Beach. This was two fold in that we could get an early start out on the ocean but more importantly we really like to have a night on the anchor just to make sure Magnolias Systems are working correctly and it just give us, the crew a chance to get our “head in the game.”

First thing the next morning we headed for the ocean to depart the inlet…we had a momentary delay waiting for a arriving passenger ship…

Traffic – it is always there, cars or ships!

Departing the inlet, directly into the sun. Just down the coast is the is the President’s Mara-Largo estate. I was surprised to find a crashed boat on the beach nearby. I assumed it would have been removed like yesterday. Of course there is always one, out of no-where a sailing catamaran crossed our bow, not overly dangerous at this range but certainly rude. As we were preparing to head east off of Fort Lauderdale we had what appeared to be a decommissioned Navy Ship being towed by a tug. We certainly did not want to cross the bow so we had to turn east earlier than we wanted.

The impact of that action can be easily seen..the force of the gulf stream current carried us north in spite of the fact we were headed due east. Just one more care where you simply cannot fight mother nature!

Gulfs Stream Crossing

We ran along the coast and crossed the Gulf Stream during daylight hours arriving the Bahamas Banks approximately 10:00pm. The Gulf Stream is one experience but the “banks” are another. The Bahama Banks is a vast area of mostly sand covered bottom that is 15-23 feet deep. When the moon is full as it was almost the night of our passage there is enough light to actually see the bottom passing below you. It is a very unique experience for sure.

The lighted cruise ship “took our stern” just as we were arriving the banks. The other two photos show the moon setting as we crossed the banks over night. We arrived Fresh Creek Andros about 30 hours after our departure from Palm Beach, a passage of approximately 210 nm.

The first order of business was to get checked in with Bahamian Customs and Immigration. We accomplished that by taking a taxi out to the Fresh Creek Airport. A meer couple miles away. We wrapped the day up with a Head On Snapper Linner (Late Lunch/Early Dinner) and of course a Ice Cold Bahamian Beer!

The real reason we went to Andros in the first place so the Admiral could visit the Androsia Factory there. She provides a detailed report on our visit here: http://a2baker.com/seamlesssailorblog/

Next to the Exumas and meeting up with friends!!!!

2019-02-29 Palm Beach Part #2 — Addendum

I neglected one of the high points of our visit to Palm Beach. Monday nights at the Old Port Cove Marina Restaurant there is a HIGHLY competitive Game and in-spite of the fact that we did not have a Millennial Teammate, Team Magnolia overcame steep odds and won the $30 dollars in drink coupons! Thank you Mims and Ted & Sally (MV Amici) for jumping and bringing this victory home…

2019-02-29 Palm Beach Part #2

As out time ashore was winding down, we welcomed a mid week visit from the Tennars! We kept ourselves busy with a visit to the McCarthys Wildlife Preserve (http://www.mccarthyswildlife.com/). That toured turned out to be MUCH more fun than imagined.

While i wrapped up some pre-departure chores, Annette led the Jupiter Lighthouse tour.

With chores and tours complete it was tie for a stop at the Butcher House…another must stop place added to the list.

Lunch at the Butcher Shop

I am going to do a Varnish wrap up but two lessons learned…1) You do not complete a varnish job…it finishes you…2) Varnish application is an art…I am not yet a artist!!

Mims came for a send off toast! Hopefully we will be seeing her in the Abacos!!!

Annette & Mims — Two beautiful ladies who need a better photographer

We had a wonderful full month in Palm Beach truly enjoying our stay catching up with many people and accomplishing many chores….nex stop, Bahamas!!!

2019-02-20 Palm Beach Part #1

Upon our arrival in Palm Beach I had three major tasks to accomplish. 1) Get the water-maker commissioned/operational. 2) Get cap-rail varnish finished. 3) Complete solar upgrade. I am happy to report everything was accomplished plus we had some surprise guests!!

Soon after arriving Palm Beach, Acadia stopped for a visit which to have a minor “Krogen Rendezvous!” It was great evening!

MV Acadia (Diane & Tim) and MV Evermore (Pam & Jim)

Getting right to though Tom “The Water-Maker Guy” came out to take a look. The HRO system installed was one of these one button how many ways could this go wrong systems?

Simplified Water-Maker Pallet

Once we got started, it dawned on me this system was exactly the same as every other system on this boat. Top of the line components configured in excessively complicated systems were initially installed. We removed the water-maker, removed all the extra filters and antiquated electronic systems. This left us with a simple system of one switch for each of the two pumps, a pressure valve to control membrane pressure and a spigot. We ended up with a SUPER reliable, SUPER basic system that produces 25 g/hr @161 ppm! a real win for us!

We had a wonderful visit from fellow GenIV’s Jimmy & Katelyn. We love to host GenIVs so keep that in mind….but back to the visit… first stop from the airport was the local beach Tiki Bar so set the tone for the visit,

We were fighting a a dismal rain forecast but that did not dampen the spirits of our crew.

With crew shirts dispersed and appropriate pomp and circumstance Magnolia celebrated our newest crew members….a small and distinguished group.

In spite of the rainy nuisance we visited the Flager Museum ( https://www.flaglermuseum.us/) in Palm Beach. We were not aware of Mr Flagers before we began bringing “The Magnolias” to Florida. I think he single highhandedly developed Florida.

And then…there was the moment of sunshine…during an ice cream break…

It was a wonderful visit and great fun…so many GenIVs yet to visit!!!!

As I did on the sailboat I had installed flexible solar panels on MV Magnolia. I had to wire them different than the sailboat and that was causing the internal diodes to fail. I decide to replace those with some hard-frame 200w panels

I was very happy with the resulting installation and the performance has been terrific.

I did not wan the panels to be “noticeable” from off the vessel and it has worked terrific.

Still more visitors and more projects to be completed! Stay tuned.

2019-02-08 Holidays In Stuart

Don’t even start!!! I am TRYING to catch up again….you know I write this blog specifically for my old crotchety self and someday I will be complaining to myself that here it is February and you are writing about Christmas??? What the hell Bake!

It is just a simple indication of how much fun we were or are having. We were able to grab out traditional rosemary bush Christmas Tree….you think it looks good there…just wait till I get in on the grill with some chicken and pork!!!

New Years Eve brought together Exuberant, Acadia and Amici who was traveling by car to Marathon this year. It was a great evening and we even stayed up till midnight (cruisers).

My friend Tim on Acadia, a fellow Krogonite and former Naval Officer suggested we visit the National SEAL Museum at Fort Pierce. Little did I know Fort Pierce was where the Demolition Teams originated back in WWII A really great stop, recommended.

We had much catching up to do. Jennifer (left) whose father re-fitted Magnolia last year gave me lots of coaching on the cap-rail project and lots of fun evenings conking and drinking wine. Mims (right) , Annette and I had a terrific Christmas Day Brunch gabbing and catching up1

Annette finished the weather curtains and did a terrific job!

Here Magnolia rests behind Jennifer’s house with her new weather curtains. Looking quite elegant I must say.

A trip to Stuart is not complete without a meet up with Ticonderoga shipmate Mike Camacho. Thanks for making time Mike, I know it was aa very busy time for you and Michelle!

Departing Stuart our friends from Acadia Tim & Diane caught a couple pictures of us departure. Unfortunately I was taking advantage of the moment to do a little sanding on the cap-rail and nearly missed the entire moment!

The Admiral and I anchored a few miles south on Peck Lake and celebrated my birthday with a fine dinner and one our favorite Barborsville!

Of course I was making final teak preps so I could go right to work when we arrived in Palm Beach.

Of course the Admiral went to work as well, putting a fresh coating of teak oil on the furniture.

Next stop, Palm Beach!

2019-01-21 — Solar Panel Sensor Board

Promise this is the last tech article for a while. I just need to get these caught up. We have been busy so I have lots to catch up from since Vero!

This all started with the purchase of a RaspberryPi and I installed Signal-K. I added Whilhelm SK (https://www.wilhelmsk.com/) to an available Apple Ipad and said “this is cool.” I do not have easy access to display data from my solar panel output so the next step was a no brainier. If I could get current and voltage data onto the Whilhelm SK display, now that would be REALLY COOL.


1) The collection electronics would be contained in a weather “resistant” container located in the fly-bridge area.

2) Data collection system must have a wireless connection to the Raspberry Pi (RPi) and the Signal K Server (After last years overhaul, I am done pulling cable)

3) Must provide current collection for each of the 6 solar “banks” we have installed.

4) Temperature and humidity data inside the weather “resistant” container must be reported. (Make sure we don’t have moisture intrusion)

5) Voltage of the power source powering the data collection system must be reported. (This happens to be my dinghy hoist battery which is charged by a separate solar panel.)

I quickly decided the collection system would be centered around an Arduino Mega board. After some research the following shopping list was made. All the following components were ordered from Amazon.

A) 24V to 12V 5V DC Converter, DROK LM2596 Buck Power Converter 5-32V to 0-30V Step Down Adjustable Output Voltage Regulator Board Power Supply Module with LED Display Voltmeter Screw & Heatsink — $15.83 –

B) SunFounder Mega 2560 R3 ATmega2560-16AU Board Compatible with Arduino – $14.99 

C) 20A range Current Sensor ACS712 Module – $4.60 each (one for each monitored panel/bank is required)

D) WINGONEER 5PCS Max 25V Voltage Detector Range 3 Terminal Sensor Module for Arduino – $6.99 for 5 (Only two are required in this implentation – 5 was just the number in this offer)

E) Gowoops 2 PCS DHT22 Temperature Humidity Sensor Module Digital Measurement for Arduino Raspberry Pi 2 3 — $9.99 (Only one is required in this implentation – 2 was just the number in this offer)

F) Aideepen ESP8266 Serial Wi-Fi Wireless ESP-01 Adapter Module 3.3V 5V Compatible for Arduino – $6.99 –

G) HiLetgo FT232RL FTDI Mini USB to TTL Serial Converter Adapter Module 3.3V 5.5V FT232R Breakout FT232RL USB to Serial Mini USB to TTL Adapter Board for Arduino — $5.99 –

H) SMAKNÂ DC 3.3V 1A Switching Power Supply Adapter 100-240 AC — $5.99

I) DIYmall ESP8266 ESP-01 with Breakout Board breadboard Adapter PCB for Serial Wifi Transceiver Network – $7.99

J) Male Barrel Plug 6-Inch Wire 5.5mm x 2.1mm for LED Strip Light, CCTV Security Camera, DVR, and Other Low Voltage Applications – Used to connect Buck-Converter to the Arduino for power. – $3.49

K) Elegoo EL-CK-002 Electronic Fun Kit Bundle with breadboard Cable Resistor, Capacitor, LED, Potentiometer (235 Items) – $12.86

The first step was to get the WIFI adapter working with the Arduino. I accomplished this task using the YouTube tutorial: “Arduino Mega 2560 with ESP8266 (ESP-01) Wifi, AT Commands and Blynk” –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLKEZtLhfZo

Assemble the circuit according to the diagram below. Note the buck converter is set to output 10.8 volts. See Buck Volt regulator is Handy Gadget for under $10, Step Down LED Driver product review: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7DVyas-lkw).

The wire connection list is as follows:

1) Buck Converter Input – requires a fused (10amp) 12volt input – DO NOT forget the fuse! The Buck Converter provides a regulated voltage to the Arduino and sensors. Output is set to 10.8 to ensure sufficient voltage is available for sensors.

2) Mega 2560 Input – Connect the output from the Buck Converter to the appropriate connetions on the Male Barrel Plug, and plug into the Mega 2560

3a) Mega 2560 Output – Connect the negative pin (pin closest to Pin 52) to the negative bus of a Breadboard

3b) Mega 2560 Output – Connect the positive 5v pin (pin closest to Pin 22) to the positive bus of the Breadboard

3c) Breadboard – DHT11 sensor into the breadboard as shown.Connect the negative and positive pins to the negative and positive bus. Connect the data pin to the Mega 2560 Pin A8.

3d) Breadboard – Insert ESP8266 ESP-01 with Breakout Board Breadboard Adapter with the mounted ESP8266 Serial Wi-Fi Wireless ESP-01 Adapter Module. Connect the negative and positive pins to the negative and positive bus.

– Connect the Mega 2560 Serial Tx1 Pin 18 to the Rx Pin on the Breakout Board Breadboard Adapter

– Connect the Mega 2560 Serial Rx1 Pin 19 to the Tx Pin on the Breakout Board Breadboard Adapter

Note: The Transmit and Receive pins need to be connected to their opposites (Tx-Rx and Rx-Tx) between the Mega and ESP8266

3e) PCB Board – Insert a Red and Green Led into the PCB along with a 220 ohm resistor in serial. Connect the positive side of the Red LED to PWM Pin 12 and the Green LED to PWM Pin 13.

3f) There are two voltage sensors. The Solar Array (panel) voltage sensor us used to measure the voltage output by the solar panels. To determine the actual energy (power=watts) being produced by the array requires both the voltage(V) x Current (I) = Watts (W).

The second voltage sensor measures the supply voltage being provided to the Buck Converter input. I use a battery and seperate small wattage solar panel to power the sensor board.

3g) Connecting the solar panels is pretty straight forward. First thing all the solar panel negatives are connected together and tied to the negative connection to the charge controller. I used a standard block for this. The individual solar panel positive connections are then connected to the input side terminal blocks before installing the individual fuses. (Size fuse to size of solar panel/bank)

I used the WhilhelmSK to build the below display screen for the solar panel application. As you can see right off the bat I uncovered a couple of issues with my system which I will be going to investigate!

The setup is not perfect. I am still working to improve the accuracy of the current sensors. I have not decided exactly what I am going to do. There is an opprotunity to solder an additional capacitor but not sure my skills are that could. There is certainly more tweaking in software to do.

Speaking of software, the code and this document will be available on GitHub.


2018-12-21 – LED Strip Lighting

Saloon Lighting Starboard — “My Lights Rock”

I have had several inquires regarding the interior lighting we are using. I used the same set up on sailboat Magnolia as well so we have learned what does and does not work for us. In addition, our friends on Kindred Spirit have done similar and will include their detail as well.

I “might” be a bit eccentric but there are few things I despise as much as seeing a light bulb. I want my life lit up, I just don’t want to see how! I am a HUGE fan of in-direct lighting and we spent a lot of effort on different solutions on the SV Magnolia before settling on our current solution.

Saloon Lighting Port

Saloon Lighting Port (Visible)
Pilothouse Fwd.
Pilothouse Aft

Pilothouse Aft (Visible)

The installation ideas are really endless, limited by your imagination. Below are the items we used in our installation. These are all available from Amazon Prime so parts are easy!

Step-1:Installation is really straight forward. The lights come with a 3M adhesive backing that is pretty good. I have found times though where it has failed and in those cases use Scotch Outdoor doubled sided tape to augment where needed. I chose this tape because I had some on-board already. Just use an inch here and there where required. (Trim width to light width and not even noticed. I do not use this on finished wood, I do NOT know the outcome…be warned. The lights have a little mark every couple of inches where you can cut them with a pair of scissors. You can cut to any length, just do it on the marks! Apply the lights to the location you choose. Note: I DO NOT use these outside, only inside where dry.

Step-2: Electrical: These lights need a 12v supply and draw about 2amps for a full length, full brightness strand. We seldom use the full brightness so our consumption is some where closer 1.25 amps. I encourage you to fuse each strand at the supply with an inline fuse. My runs are not very long so I use the 18 gauge wire. Any run longer than 10 ft should should probably upsize to 16 or even 14 gauge.

Step-3: Connections: Using the CCTV connectors connect the wiring and insert the dimmer controls at the desired locations. When you connect the wire to the connectors, pay attention to the “+” and “-” on the CCTV connectors. The LED Lights are polarity sensitive and must be honored. If your installation requires you to go around a corner just cut the light strip where marked and and snap in one of the 90 degree connectors.

After the initial Pilothouse installation I came across a different kind of dimmer switch AND an unused outlet box. Poof the installation was complete. Very happy with this modification! The switch is also available from Amazon.

Whats next? Well I have not done an installation in the stateroom or in the berthing compartment. Those are on the horizon. A far as upping the control system…I am looking at potentially adding voice control through a Alexa type of device but that is still in the research stage.

Kindred Spirit is mothballed for the winter but Captain Al sent me some of interior pictures for some additional ideas.