2013-07-04 — The 4th of July ALREADY????????

I have neglected to write on this blog much since Memorial Day and here it is the 4th already! This fact could be attributed to 3 things, 1) Procrastination (possible but not normally given to that) 2) Dis-interest? (again possibly, but I do want to document this adventure for all our grandchildren – no kids, going to make the former a harder sell.) 3) In ”retirement” I am working harder now than I ever did in real life.  All three are partially true but heavily weighted to 3). (That’s my story and sticking to it!)

After some really great sailing in late May and early June we have been relegated to so so wind and phase I of the electronics upgrade. During our Mast and Rig work winter before last we had a Raymarine HD Chartplotter antenna installed on the mast as well has, yes a television antenna (not going to be newlyweds forever!!!) Needed to run power cable for the radar from the mast step to 12 volt panel and another from cockpit to panel for the Raymarine C95 Chartplotter. In addition to power had to pull Raymarine Network cables to make all the new hardware talk to each other. With that complete it was time to mount the chart-plotter plotter in the binnacle pod. The pod is a HUGELY overly-priced piece of plastic so the thought of taking a saw to it was rather unnerving. A number of sources recommended this power tool or that for the job. I went with something a lot slower and less likely to result in catastrophic failure. I used this saw that uses a hack saw blade but leaves one end completely open enabling it to cut out the hole to hold the chart plotter.

With the chart plotter mounted it was a relatively simple thing to connect up the radar and the already installed Autopilot. All the Raymarine equipment is  plug and play so that was simply and plug in and turn on. Things usually come apart at the turn on part and it works part! Amazingly everything came right up and worked as expected including that radar that was installed 18 months ago! (The television antenna has been working fine for some time).

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Interfacing the Standard Horizon GX2000 VHF Radar was a different critter all together. I had to use the NMEA 183 ports available on both devices and make a couple adjustments in each of the devices. In the end, worked with no major issues, more stress than issues!

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Admiral inspected and approved the installation. That is rather important since she spends 10 times more than I behind that wheel!

Magnolia will be getting underway this weekend with some of the Steinke Gen IV kids (I am included in that population). More precisely some Mona McAndrews, grandchildren.  Should be a great day. Monday then Magnolia is intending to take Annette and I to Norfolk for a visit. Straight line it is about 115 miles but there never is such a thing on a sailboat! We are looking forward to get going!!!

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Promise to write more when we are off the dock and underway! Be Safe A**2

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