On a boat, the work never ends. Luckily, most of the time when we are at the marina during hurricane season, the projects are things we want to do. When we are cruising, usually Mark spends most of his time fixing something that breaks. We have been at Sunset Bay for four months, with two more to go. The biggest projects are finished, but the “to do” list is still long. We have wanted to get a new dodger (aka windshield) since we bought the boat five years ago. The one that came from Lagoon with the boat was, to put it mildly, a piece of junk. After a short time, it was impossible to see out of it, unless Mark had just polished the windows. By the time we replaced it, it was moldy and falling apart. The new one was made by G & G Sails and Canvas, which is located a few miles from us in Stuart. The front windows are 80 ml acrylic (Ez2cy) and they are glued into the frame, rather than sewed into it. The side ones are a coated vinyl called Strataglas. The nice thing about acrylic is they can be buffed if they get scratched. They are also as clear as glass. We tried to find someone who would install glass because we lusted for windshield wipers, like powerboats and a few sailboats have, but in the end we are very happy with the results.
At the top of our list was to purchase a wind generator. When Seas the Day was a hybrid, we had plenty of power from the many chargers and batteries, but once we got rid of all of that, we needed other sources for when we aren’t plugged into shore power. Last year, we installed five solar panels on the bimini. They worked great in the spring and summer, but in the fall and winter as the days shortened and the sun was lower in the sky, we got less and less charge from them. However, in the winter there is a lot of wind in the Bahamas, so we decided to add a wind generator to keep the charge up overnight. We got an Eclectic D400, which is the quietest generator with the highest output at the lowest wind velocities. We won’t be able to try it until we unplug from shore power in December and head to the Bahamas. Mark installed it, as he has done with almost everything we have added to the boat. If it doesn’t give us quite enough charge at night and cloudy days, then we’ll add another one next year.