I’m back!

December 17, 2014

After a short hiatus, I am back to writing about my experiences here on my boating blog! Updates to come.



April 27, 2010

My good friend Capt.Jeffy (30 years as a master marine mechanic and licensed Coast Guard Captain) has expanded his marine services to include a specialty in Marine Oil Changes:

Check out his site when you get a chance, and if you are located in the Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, or Monroe Counties here in South Florida, give him and his team a call at 305-772-0943

Installing Raymarine “SmartPilot” Auto Pilot II

April 18, 2009

Success! I was able to run the cables without too much trouble, thankfully I was able to re-use the existing cable-runs from the old Simrad Autopilot that I had installed here earlier:

1. I installed the fluxgate compass in the same location as the Simrad’s compass, in the first step under the stairs going down to the galley:

Fluxgate Compass Install Location

Fluxgate Compass Install Location

It has to be located away from the engines (and any ferrous objects), centerline on the boat, low in the vessel, and it must face to the bow.

2. I then ran the wires through the engine room, wiring tying it every 3 feet to the walls/bulkheads.

3. I attached the new wire (5 mini wires inside) to the old Simrad (3 mini wires inside) with duct-tape and some grease, and then went to the bridge to pull the wire up to the helm where the computer is located.

4. I installed the rudder indictor per the instructions (make SURE you line up the two lines on the backside of the rudder indicator once it is attached and the rudders are in a neutral/straight):

Rudder Indicator installed

Rudder Indicator installed

5. I repeated the process of running the wire to the helm as I had done for the fluxgate compass

I was able to re-use the existing 12v pump for the hydraulic steering which saved me a lot of hassle. I just hooked up the wires to the computer, along with the fluxgate compass, rudder indicator, ST6001 Display, and the NMEA wire from my Garmin 2010 .

All worked as expected; I did the calibration to set it for a planing hull and pump type, and I did do some fine tuning for the rudder indicator. Tomorrow I’ll take her out into the bay to do the sea-trial calibration (set the deviation for the fluxgate compass and then do some navigational tests).

The Garmin unit worked perfectly with the SmartPilot! I put in a waypoint, and you can see it reflected on the SmartPilot display “DTW” means Distance to Waypoint:

SmartPilot display, showing DTW from the Garmin GPS

SmartPilot display, showing DTW from the Garmin GPS

Here is the Garmin screen as a cross reference:

Garmin GPS screen, notice "To Dest" box showing 2.5nm

Garmin GPS screen, notice "To Dest" box showing 2.5nm

Information on the sea-trial to come tomorrow.

Installing Raymarine “SmartPilot” Auto Pilot

April 15, 2009

I am beginning the installation of Raymarine “Smartpilot” auto pilot on the Viking today.

Raymarine Autopilot

Raymarine Autopilot

Looks like before I even started…I have hit a snag! I need to get some more wire, since the fluxgate compass wiring isn’t nearly enough to make it to the bridge…

Updates and pictures to come!

Anchors: Delta vs Fortress

April 14, 2009

There is always a lot of discussion regarding the comparison between anchors.

Of course, it depends on the bottom you are anchoring in; sand, mud, grass, rock, etc.

Here in Biscayne Bay off of Miami, FL, the general consensus is to use the Delta here, considering the sand/grass combination at most spots between here and the upper keys.

I am picking up a Delta 35# to use on my 41′ Viking (32000 lbs). I was advised numerous times to “go one size up” from the manufacturer’s recommendations. However, I am not thinking about a ‘storm anchor’, just something to toss overboard during lunch or at a calm anchorage overnight.

Report to come…

Back in Miami

March 30, 2009

The trip finally ended with a successful delivery to Trinidad and Tobago.

I have a lot of pictures and stores to update, to come tomorrow.

Through the Leeward and Windward Islands

March 25, 2009

The 46′ Tolleycraft “Donna Ann” has made it all the way to Grenada.

We’ve had some great adventures St. Barts, Dominica, and St.Lucia… when I get some time, I will write about what happened and I have a lot of pictures to post.

Coming soon…