Amps, Watts & Volts

I took a little time today to remind myself of how a DC to AC electrical conversion works. One of my favorite parts of off-shore sailing is coming up with a reliable system to produce your own energy that can run your electronics and provide a regular surplus of energy for entertainment purposes. That could be for simple pleasures of producing hot water for showering and running a refrigerator or something a little more robust like a home entertainment system with HD display and a couple hundred watt stereo and various gadgets. I don’t plan on running a generator to produce electricity except in an emergency to keep navigation equipment running. So far I am considering a single wind generator and four solar panels. It makes sense to have both due to the pressure fluctuations from high pressure, low wind to low pressure high wind and everything in between.


Since I made a commitment to buying my own capable world traveling house and wind rider water skimmer, I have started a planning process that is killing my social life. Phone calls, note taking, video watching, book and article reading have been a priority recently. I need to answer some pretty big questions so I can relax and enjoy the day leading to the physical acquisition. I am planning some weekends to arrange some preliminary upgrades before the big day. I will need to haul it out of the water and have it inspected, hull cleaned and painted and a final launch into the sound to bring it into Seattle.

I’m currently prioritizing the upgrades, a budget and budget timeline plan for ensuring that my finances will be able to cover the upgrades in the next year. I’ve been considering a plan to begin sailing Satori beginning in June 2014. There should be nothing major that would prevent me from leaving Seattle between now and then, assuming I can maintain employment and avoid spending a lot of money.

Right now the most important priority is learning about how others have maintained their Westsail and kept it traveling around the ocean. There is quite a difference in the kind of overhauling people have done and the amount of time they have invested in preparing for a/the voyage. I’d like to hope that it is mostly ready to go but a part of me seems to believe that some major resealing will keep me from getting it further than Juan de Fuca. Fortunately I can push the envelope a bit thanks to the large amount of marinas between here and San Francisco in the event something major prevents me from making a complete voyage. It will be a great shakedown passage and I can keep working when I’m not skippering the vessel.

I leave you with a video series on a Westsail 42 called the Paragon.



Well, the trip was a success. After spending the better part of the day up in Semiahmoo surveying the boat with the original owner, I’ve decided to go through with the purchase. The price is right and I have until September to come up with a plan to get her back down into Seattle. I will probably store her on stands out of the water while I get her ready for the next season. It’s not only cheaper this way but it’s also a chance to make sure that the hull and rudder is completely sound. There is plenty of work to be done so not having her in water right away will be fine by me. There is plenty of replacement to be done with all of the canvas and potentially some hardware replacements but I have even more time to get the basic upgrades started. I will also spend a great deal of time on the interior getting it cleaned and install new electrical and mechanical components that would prepare her for long distance, self-sustaining voyages. First and foremost though is getting her down to Seattle and that alone will not be easy. We decided not to wait any longer than September due to generally good weather. I will need to pull her from the water, clean the last 3 or 4 years of algae and barnacles and then repaint the hull before sailing her down the sound back home. The owner says the sails and sheets are fine and the rigging should be okay but I’m not one hundred percent confident about it. It’s not a big deal though since I could head down anytime this summer and start getting the standing rigging adjusted and then start checking all of the running rigging to make sure it’s all capable of taking force. Now I just need to start figuring out how to come up with the payment. It’s not sitting in the bank unfortunately but it’s also not a huge amount of money so a short-term load should suffice until either a bonus or some extra money comes around. Even if I end up having to make monthly payments, it’s only for a year. Even then I should have enough money left over to start doing the upgrades. The good news is that I have a boat worth much more than he’s asking and I am the only person he cares to sell it to. Now for the journey of planning the upgrades. I decided to buy a book to learn a little bit about offshore sailing so I recruited the help of Beth Leonard and her book “The Voyager’s Handbook:The Essential Guide to Bluewater Cruising“. With any luck it will get my head further into the planning obsession that has begun.