Sunday, September 20, 2015

SEA FEVER by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
Share this text ...?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Active Captain and eBoatcards

I have been putz'g around with the dingy motor all summer.  I runs pretty good right now and starts about the second pull when cold and first pull when warm.  The motor is a four stroke 2.5HP Mercury.  After I replaced the carburetor that was totally rotted out inside the machine has run well. It vibrates too much but I will take that since no lon trips are anticipated.  Just back and forth from boat to shore and back. 
Image result for mercury 2.5 hp outboardI have been playing this evening with and after some weeks after setup I actually have a friend - one single friend.  I cannot seem to find any of the people I know via the search.  I know at least a few are Active Captain members and it is obligatory to have an eboacard account.  If you read this and want to friend me that would be great and interesting.  AC is a real blessing to Cruisers who want to stay in touch in a nautical way.  All my last seasons boat cards have disappeared.  This is too bad since a couple of guys are people I want to keep track of and eboatcards is an easy way to do it - no more lost cards.  Last winter we met 4 couples fro South Africa, several from Canada and many from the USA.  These are people we will probably see again when we get back to the boat in a couple of months. 
I have been considering an non-name brand dingy from Amazon with decent reviews but not real great ones.  It is called Bestway Hydro-Force Caspian 7-Feet 6-Inch RIB Inflatable Boat.  Pretty cheap for about $450.  If it holds air and lasts 4 or 5 years then I can throw it away and get another.  Forget Hypalon and the extreme prices.  Since it will be out of the sun 6 months a year that should help the life.  What do you think?  Comments?

Monday, August 24, 2015

GCS: Big Wind

Lew  PM'd me to say a big wind came through GCS last night and there was sailboat damage down at the pier.  His boat and some others sails and sun shields were destroyed. I think Inspiration II, on the hard, did not have observable damage.  I would hate to make a trip down to fix any damage. Counting down the weeks until we go back down.  About 12 to go.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Inspiration II on the hard

Inspiration:  Our punch list of items to repair is with the Holland Marine but the work on her will not start until November according to Hal & Tom.  The punch list is up to 16 items - some smaller and some medium sized jobs.  I do not think there are any real biggies.  I no longer do above deck and masthead items since it strains things that do not like to be strained.  Perhaps after the physical therapy I can do some of this again.  I miss climbing towers and masts.

This Summer up North here in Indiana is going quickly.  Yesterday we put out a new Hummingbird feeder which has been discovered and visited quite often by a solo female.  New visitors are welcome of course.

We just finished up our work at the 4H Fair and I would call it moderately successful.  We did get to make a round of the animal barns but there were no chicken exhibitions this year due to the Avian Flu outbreak here in Indiana.  The weather could have hardly been better - clear skies, breeze and zero rain.

We will go up to Michigan next week to see our sailing friends in Saugatuck.  We will have a report on that later.  Blueberries are will be ripe and I hope to pick a bunch of Jersey BB's.  Maybe 10# worth. Moore later.

Monday, July 20, 2015

HMS Bounty: Newspaper detailed report (story)

This is a good summary article and human side of the loss of the Bounty.  Here is a shot of the Captain.  This is a good read but it takes and hour or two.

We are back!

We travelled quickly from Indiana to Texas for the May 29th graduation of our grandson David. What an enjoyable time we had.  We stayed at the La Quinta on Texas Street at the A&M Campus edge.  There was a wonderful half price book store near where my son works and I bought a bunch of nautical books: World Cruising Routes and Chapman Piloting Handbook were most notable.  We left Texas and made it back to Indiana in two days.

After a week or so of preparation we left in the small car for Green Cove Springs.  We made if as far as Calhoon, GA and spent the night at a rural motel recently converted from Ramada to Quality Inn. The next day we made it to the boat and opened her up as it was in the high 80's on arrival.  The first night we had both air-conditioners running and did not shut them off until we pulled the boat on Wednesday.  The air-conditioners kept her cool in-spite of the 98°F temperatures: on the next year list of things we need is a fore deck cover that will keep some of the sun off the deck.  Tuesday evening we took the dodger and bimini off and rolled them up to take to the storage facility.

Thursday we installed the "snow" cover  to keep water and sun off the boat from mast to after deck.  It worked out so well last year we did a repeat of the buttoning up.  We talked with Holland Marine and they let usp put it in their yard since we were going to do a lot of the work on her.  I have a punch list of about 15 items I need done before we go on the winter cruise south.  We received some bad news that they are charging us for something we figured we would not be so this will be our first complaint since we started doing business with them.  We stayed the night in the Green Cove Inn Wednesday and Thursday night and left for St. Petersburg Friday morning.

After visiting relatives for a couple of days we left Florida via I-65 Towards Indiana.  We made it as far as north Birmingham, AL the first day and the rest of the way the next day via Indianapolis.  I felt exhausted after this trip and my shoulder hurt badly so a visit to the doctor produced a ticket for a round of physical therapy which has helped a whole lot.

Monday, May 25, 2015

DJ Owens RIP

We will be absent from the blog for a while.  In fact, we have been absent already.  Our grandson DJ was sick with non-Hodgkin lymphoma brikket.  In fact, he just lost his battle and will be buried Thursday.  Truthfully, I feel a little low on energy plus we will be traveling to Texas to my son's house for another grandson's graduation. Therefore, I will not be writing for another couple of weeks.  Regards to all.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Facebook Liveaboard Sailboat page

I am being entertained by the facebook liveaboard sailboat page these days.  I thought it would be just another Yahoo type thing with an oppressive sysop.  After a few days looking at I decided it was a reasonably human site so I guess I will stay for a while.  So far there havve been no earth shattering answers to questions or even real good questions but at least it is a human interest page with a focused venue.  Like it if you like it.

PS: after a few days it is getting on my nerves.  You get those same anal guys that make a big deal of a small grammar mistake and totally cloud the issue.  You get the same guys that nitpick small issues with the same results.  And worst of all the guys making a "funny" comment about a serious issue.  However, all-in-all it is still a decent place to peruse.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Water related fun

This is a just for fun experiment on embedding a video.  Perhaps more of these in the future if the mood strikes.

Monday, April 27, 2015

I have been spending most of my free time in researching various boat oriented systems.  If I think they are interesting to me for future applications i put them on the blog WaterManWater over at Tumblr.

Today, I was back on the Icom IC-7200 and how to connect it to my computer to be used by RMS Express email client and software modem WinMor.  From what I can see WinMor is really slow - almost as slow as the Teletype days of 110 baud - but it saves you the ripoff price of $1800 for a Pactor 4 modem.

Here is how it is done in very few words.  You have your Icom IC-7200, which has a USB output that is coupled to an internal sound card hardware and firmware that controls that hardware.  If you have a computer that has the WinMor software installed all you have to do is plug in the IC-7200 (USB type B plug) into the computer (USB type A connector).  The radio will do its radio thing and the computer will take the IC-7200 input/output, after a proper driver is correctly installed, pump it through the software modem and out the radio via the USB cable.

The RMS Express client is the software that generates a piece of email, puts that into an outbox, and sends that email via the software modem the USB cable and out the radio via whatever the RMS to the CMS station.  Well, it is not quite that simple but really it is.

You do not need a Signalink, a hardware modem or anything else but the IC-7200, USB Cable and a Computer of some sort with proper software installed.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

New cockpit cover 4 Yellow

I have been thinking of a cockpit cover for Miss Yellow.  I could use a cheap tarp from Harbor Freight but they are usually blue.  A silver on might be OK but I would really like a snap rigged cover that is integrated with the boom.  I am thinking that I will install a topping lift on the boom and this will allow a multitude of options for a cover.

I actually have a real nice cover made from sunbrella and it is a harvest sort of stripe so I could cut this down but am hesitant to do so.  What I envision is a tent version using a topping lift support  but the tent will wrap the mast so as to form and enclosure for harsh weather.  The aft end will over hang the boom and be tied to a cleat near the tiller support.  This way I can close the tent so that in mosquito weather the critters can be thwarted as much as possible.

This is a work in progress but I will try to make it so!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Little Yellow 2015

It is getting time to splash Little Yellow for the summer season.  Several people from the community have told my sister they enjoy seeing it sail the mighty Pleasant Lake. The lake is actually pretty small and part of it is sheltered by the glacial moraine that formed it and the tall trees.  It is a tricky lake to sail and passage downwind is quick it is difficult to tack back to the other end and might take 10 direction changes to make the 1/2 mile trip.  You get to know your boat!

Little Yellow is an American Fiberglass 16' sailboat with swing keel and rudder.  I have a 2HP motor for those days I am impatient and it starts most of the time but not always - drat. This year I brought my 2.5HP 4 cycle Mercury  engine back that resides on a dingy for Inspiration II.  I want to exercise this engine as it has not seen too much use in the last 5 years.  I would guess it needs a carburetor  rebuild at the least.

Ok, it is time to get the day started and the car over for an oil change and the truck ABS diagnosed. Moore later.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A missive of today

As far as we know, Inspiration II is resting at peace in her slip with double lines tied to every possible cleat and position that does not violate nautical protocol.  Steve and others look after her and this gives us comfort.  I hear SAM rattling the dishes above and this means grub is coming soon. Thank God for wives who, doing there duty, with a smile produce food that is tasty and edible but tempsts the palate with things to come.  Thank you SAM.

Friday, April 10, 2015

R/V Arctic Discoverer

This ship was immediately adjacent to us all winter while we awaited the launch of Inspiration II. At first we did not know that this was a famous vessel. One day I was talking with Johnny and he told us a little about her. Later I looked her up and indeed, Johnny knew what he was saying. She was sold for scrap but she is still in the water and floating at Green Cove Springs near Reynolds Park Yacht Center.


We arrived back in Indiana yesterday about 1630 hours.  We quickly unpacked necessary stuff and sort of collapsed into a lethargic state for the rest of the night.  I turned on the Routers and Switches.  Lo and behold it all worked without fiddling.  I am now blogging on this same infrastructure.

Today is a clean up dat and so SAM is washing clothes and I unpacked a bit more from the vehicles.  Most of the rest of the items go into the building down by the lake to be saved for our Fall trip down to the boat.  We left a lot of items on the boat, however; Things like rope, lines and bulky heavier items.

Our truck with the camper on it broke down in Knoxville, TN and it took three days to repair it.  Fortunately, and totally unplanned, my sister was camping nearby so we spent the time with them touring the area that they know very well. We were in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Cades Cove and the Great Smokies. It was very, very crowded with Spring Break families so we did not cover a lot of territory or very fast.  Still it was fun to do this.  My highlight was visiting the Great Smokies Knife Shop in Seiverville. This is an amazing place with a Cabela's type venue.

The remainder of the trip from Tennessee to North Eastern Indiana was uneventful.  SAM & I shared driving of about 2 on and two off.  Still at the end-of-the-day, I was tired and not a little grumpy.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Long Driving Day

We left the marina on the St Johns near Green Cove Springs about 0600 hrs.  It was an overcast day, spitting rain every now and then but we encountered steady, heavy rain North of Dalton, GA.  This continued all the way to Knoxville, TN - in fact, it continues right now.  Actually, I was not quite as tired as i thought I would be so I decided to write this account of the trip.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

end of an Era: Season 2015

Almost packed and SAM is fidgeting about the boat like a Wendy Firefly from Peter Pan. Truck loaded - check. Car on dolly - check. Last minute preps done - check. Excess food - allocated to friends on other boats -check. Water tanks filled completely - check. Internet disconnected and router shut down - check. Battens, rope hooks, lines checked and photographed, My bike given away to worthy exersize guru - check, SAM's bike mounted on Civic - check, all worthy rugs and clothes in lock up storage - check. Still remaining lots of Tom Holland stuff and canvas repair by Dorthy. and the list goes on and on forever.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

An evening wih friends

Jerry & Caroline made a special effort to visit with us yesterday afternoon and evening.  They came up from the Bradenton area.  We enjoyed chatting on various topics from airplanes to the controversial Indiana RFRA.  They stayed in the B&B at Green Cove Springs - I hope they stop by on the way back down to their house so they can tell me all about it.

We continue to visit and re-visit the items we will leave on the boat and that which we will take with us.  I would like to empty out as much as possible so that air flow can take place in this humid environment down here in Florida.  When we leave we will have two fans running on low while she is in the water.  The same thing on land if we can reach power somewhere.

Our truck to carry all the stuff is still not fixed and that is what we are waiting for.  When it is is done we will take a few days to pack it up and start the journey north.  Many things we brought down will return with us to Indiana - I guess I over thought and brought way too much.  All the HAM radio gear was a waste as I never even got close to firing up the gear.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

More Inspiration II

Sunday we drove up to General Rv at Orange Park to buy some new shower hoses, washers and shower head.  On the way back we stopped by Home Depot to get a #70 Delta faucet repair kit. This morning early I tried to take the shower valve apart but it would not budge: The outer ring was frozen fast. I was afraid to torque on it any more for fear of twisting the whole pipe right out of the manifold.  So this became another project for Tom Holland Marine to do in the off season.  There is a list of several minor items (hopefully) and our last venture with Tom was satisfactory and we are glad he is here to adsorb the more difficult projects.

SAM is down in the clubhouse cooking up most of the perishables from the refridge.  It should not be too many days before we leave for the trek back up North.  In a way I will be glad since this season has not been too kind to me ands even now I do not feel fully recovered.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sunshine & 49±°F

I was out early this morning and the air was crisp.  The boat heater ran all night from about 0100 hours right up to the time I shut it off. It must be cold since the aft hatches were sweating.  The forward one did not sweat because of constant air movement generated by the heater.

Yesterday we bought a couple of the less expensive Walmart 12" fans.  We are going to try an experiment to see if the air movement helps the boat while we are away.  Carey wants the boat in the water until June.  In theory, the fans should help move air through the nooks and crannies during this period.  We shall see on that account.

The day was cool but perfect: SAM went to her "sale" with me in tow.  Afterwards it was Walmart to see what 5 1/4" radio speakers they had - not much as it turns out.  From there it was Radio Shack who was closing that day: They had nothing left in the entire store.  Back at the boat we had a visit from a broker and his client but I was too busy trying to fix a shower leak.  This will have to wait until have a positive shutoff valve, new shower head, hose and mount bracket.

Yesterday, we moved the cockpit cushions to storage and will continue to move fabric covered pads there as well.

Monday, March 23, 2015

It is raining

I awoke to rain Saturday late, actually it was early Sunday morning.  I zipped the from rainscreen shut but no rain was coming iun.  I pretty much went back to sleep, enjoying the rain.  It rained the rest of the night but became gradually sunny Sunday.

We drove down to Manansas National Park just to see it on the intercostal.  It was a pretty little park and we enjoyed it.

First Mate stuff

Again, the First Mate is out and about.  I tried to call the cellular phone but to no avail.  She is out with our South African freind helping get her situated for the return to RSA.  They have been here for some years and have accumulated a lot of items.  With their boat sold it became necessary for them to rent half a container to ship everything back to RSA.  SAM just arrived back so I will find out about everything pretty soon.

The high tower fishing boat seems to have left this morning.  They have made several excursions out on to the St. Johns and always came back.  This time they have not.  I believe their destination was New Bern, NC.

I called Sailor's Exchange this morning to find out if they had a marine compass.  They did have a Ritche so I am going to go over to see it this afternoon.  As a matter of fact I will finish this when I return.

ADDITIONAL: SAM returned and we decided to go to Sailor's Exchange to look at compasses.  They did not have too much that interested me so we left and drove back to the Monkey Fist.  Steve had several units but none that I want.  I like the Ritche Navigator series.  The problem is it is too small in diameter so I will either need to make and adapter or buy a premade one.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

First Mates go shopping & I fix things

This morning the ladies of Winsome and Inspiration II went to St. Augustine to shop - for all day!  After they left, I went over to talk with Jim on Winsome.  We had a great chat.  He gave me some ideas for solar panel mounts.  He is convincing me that I really do need the panels for cruising peace of mind.  The generator will charge the batteries but it would need to be run about 3 hours per day to keep batteries topped.  The panels would cut that in half.

The whole day was windy and cool but sunny and later in the morning Mukota Moon arrived and then Polar Bear V then a third boat all coming form Bahamas.  The weather window was open and many returned on this fine day.

I was sort of napping in the cockpit feeling the tropical breezes when the tap came to the hull...Time for the pumpout - one day late.  Well, that job done it was time to get something else done.  I took Abby out for her constitutional and on the way back bumped into Hansen Marine Services.  He agreed  to look at the forward aircon.  He said I needed a new thermostat.  This is the little mercury bulb that goes in the front of the exchanger and out to the control unit.  He said this is what is causing the snapping we hear when the aircon reaches shutoff temperature. He will return.

New Sta-Set X halyard

We installed the main sail halyard this afternoon.  Steve did a wonderful job of making the eye splice for the snap shackle.  It really looks nice. Thanks Steve.

Afterwards, I spent the time to look over the old halyard line and it was quite worn in a couple of spots.  One was near the old eye splice, so I just cut that 4' piece out at the one end.  The other frayed spot was at the mast top sheave and it was compromised so I cut this 4' piece out as well.  Finally, I whipped the ends of everything and, using my heat shrink torch, resealed all of them too.  I now have some pretty good lines for long dock lines and maybe even a lunch hook anchor setup: you can never have too much line.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New Main Halyard Line is in

Mt new main halyard line just came in.  It is 1/2" Sta-Set X and I ordered 150' so there should be plenty of extra line in the cockpit in case a much long reach in needed above or below waterline (e.g. dingy retrevial or person rescue or whatever). It must be in my nature to order a little too much. Steve down the way, who has a Passport 42', is going to splice and eye in the end so I can nicely mount the shackle.  It should be pretty nice when done.

Al is making me some circular plates so I can cover the speaker holes on the arch speakers.  I took a close look at them and found the cones totally disintegrated.  This lets the water blow right into the arch column which goes who knows where.  Hope he gets them done before he leaves for South Africa.  They pulled his boat yesterday for final inspection on a potential purchase.

We are in the clubhouse trying to stay cool.  The boat is too warm for me even with the aircon - I did not get the tent up soon enough to keep all the radiant heat coming through the hatches.  Ok, enough of this missive for now.

UPDATE: Steve & Lori stopped by the boat and picked up the halyard line and snap shackle.  Soon as he gets done splicing a tight loop that will support the snap shackle.

At a snail's pace

We have been slowly doing things on the boat.  The weather outside has not been real conducive to motivate us.  There are tons of little chores and bright work to do.  We have found problems at every turn and almost every major system needs attention but most are not a real big deal.

1. We have been up the mast and replaced the spreader lamps with NAPA 4411 bulbs and re-connectorized the ring terminals.
2. While up there we checked the spreader and somone had put a galvanized bolt in place of the stainless steel and not it is totally frozen in place.
3. The main halyard is frayed and needs to be replaced.  I have to measure the length and order that too.
4. The Steaming Light lens is broken and needs replaced and is on order.
5. The Stern White Light needs replaced and it is on order
6. Safety lines need replaced.  I need to characterize and order them.
7. I want to order a new Raritan PHII 1200CW assembly and replace the current on.  Later I will try to rebuild it as a spare but it is a 1200W unit and the plunger may have worn too big of a hole.

Some of my posts are white letters (correct) some black

I wonder why some of my posts come out dark grey instead of white?  If this keeps up Blogger, which I like to use, may become history.  I can manually correct it but what a hassle.  So this little blurb is a test of white or grey

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sailing friends have come and gone

Our sailing friends from up north have come and gone.  What a blessing they were.  First, they are boat people and know the rules.  Second, they match our personalities well.  Unfortunately, Kathleen was down with a cold that had that deep lung sound when she coughed.  We all felt bad for her.

D & K had the forward stateroom and the separate head was nice to have and it added a modicum of privacy.  It was cold and rainy during their stay but we stayed warm and visited many local venues and, of course, Sailor's Exchange in St. Augustine. Dan did a lot of work on the boat and this was a real help.  He also found the stanchion thru bolts and tightened them. I need to make some backing plates so I can put a little more pressure on the stanchions.

All too soon it came time for them to depart for their home up in Michigan.  We were sad to see them leave and wished they could stay another weeks or so. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Preparation Day

We spent most of the day preparing the boat to receive our sailing friends from up north.  They are to arrive on the 25th in the afternoon some time.  The 24th will be taken up mostly by the MRI I am having done on the neck and sholder - one for rotator cuff issues and one for the irritated nerves I have been having all winter long.  

The boat looks nice and should be ready for our friends.  However, we are having an issue with the aft head, a Raritan PHII, that is pumping hard and squeeking a bit.  I put as bit of silicon grease on the pumping shaft and it did change the sounds pumping has made.  For us the season is growing short as we will be hauled in mid-April.  this will allow us time to get up north and start the mowing season, see DJ & the Family and then get ready to travel down to Texas for David's graduation ceremony.

Next year we plan on being a bit more adventurous and using the full tank of fuel we have.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Help from Friends

With a lot of help from friends all over the world, I finally got the wind indicator from the ST60 calibrated to indicate the true wind direction.  I think it is OK but who knows until a calm day occurs with no wind.  Then I will stream in a given direction and set the vane to dead ahead.  However, I am pretty close now.  In this case, it does pay to read the manual page 27 from Raymarine website.

If you have a ST60 or ST60+ then you can set the wind direction by pushing and holding left two buttons until CAL appears then push left button (disp) once only.  This puts you into calibration mode for wind direction.  Now push right two buttons to acheive the direction set.  One button will set a -number and the other a number.  this should swing the wind indication in the direction you chose.  When complete push right two buttons and hold until you pop out of CAL mode.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Maxwell Chain Wheel Selection Guide

Maxwell Chain Wheel

Selection Guide

Please print this page so you have a copy of the form below. Take a section of your chain,
lay it out in a straight line, and measure the dimensions as shown below.
Please complete the table below the drawings with the dimensions and other information
requested, and forward to Maxwell Marine Limited.
Chain Wheel Selection
P = pitch inside link L = length outside the link D = Chain wire diameter
W1 = width inside link W2 = width outside the link L1= inside dimension between 11 links 

Customer Chain Specifications
Manufacturer/Supplier name
Chain standard/code
Chain type: Short link/stud link
Manufacturers specification if known
P - Pitch length inside link
L - Length outside the link
D - Chain wire diameter
W1 - width inside the link
W2 - width outside the link
L1 - inside dimension between 11 links

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gale Time

The wind is howling in the rigging yet again and I am glad for a slip and not being out at anchor some place.  The dock attendants just came by to do pumpouts and I had a rain coat but did not put on the pants.  I became totally soaked from the coat down in seconds.  SAM finally broke out the fleece kayaking pants and even the nylon wind breakers too.  We re-energized out electric fires and closed up the hatches and companionway too.  It is definitely getting colder.  It is hard to get any energy to go in and do the washing.

Abby needs to go out for her 2nd daily walk to the pee post and this is problamatic too.  We are going to have to do something pretty soon and the gale is going to be with us for a while.  I guess it will be a cold wet walk with the dog.  I told SAM we need to get her a raincoat too.

Right now Abby is getting a haircut.  I guess her hair will dry faster if it is shorter and it may be a way to hasten summer weather if we shear her in advance.  She received her bath this morning and liked it until it was time to dry off and get the hairdryer treatment.  For some reason this drives her totally nuts,  Not from fear but from a ticklish point of view.  As soon as the air hits her neck and whiskers she acts like she is getting tickled.   Moore later.

Last night's party

We went to Jim & Linda's boat last night in response to the evening sundown invite.  He, like me is an Electrical Engineer and does a lot of projects on the boat.  Also like me, he is a ham of long standing.  We had a good time.Yesterday, I stayed on the boat most of the day but SAM went shopping most of the day.  However, she returned in time for the party - just in time with 5 minutes to spare.

Last night I was awakened to slapping halyards against the mast and after trying to ignore it for a while and in good neighborly standing I went to the foredeck to find the guilty line.  After a quick jury rig I went back below to finish the sleep.  Upon awakening a bit later than usual at 0745 I heard the piter pater of rain on the cabin top.  After enjoying this for a period of time, I got out of the sleeping bag and fixed my breakfast and SAM's too.

I quickly headed for the shower to beat the morning rush that has occurred with the arrival of 12 more boats that were kicked off the Green Cove Springs Marina long pier.  Why this occurred no one seems to know but they are here and half are projected to stay forever.  It is a lot more genteel down here at this end.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

V Berth discoveries

We were prowling around the front V-berth compartment last night and SAM found a new little cubbyhole which has been untouched by human hands in a while.  Inside was a heavily rusted ammo can that contained wire products withing a perfectly maintained clean environment.  Also was a nice emergency start booster that had a completely dead AGM battery that so far has failed to respond to any charging attempts. Also, a wobble water pump similar to the one we had on the old Inspiration and a Y Valve but both are untested so it remains to be seen if they have any value.  The final find was two small sails of a type that could be used as a stabilizing sail in an anchor situation to keep the boat from moving from side to side.

This l,ocker area has great potential as a repository for a new battery to drive the windlass.  The solenoid/switching box is in this area now so adding a 12 VDC Deep Cycle Battery would result in a very short run to the windlass.  I even have an extra port on the ProMar charger to keep it charged. Yea, a small win.  Now to get Al to glass it into the area.  I was thinking of a hand carved Styrofoam block encapsulated into a fiberglass mold and then this whole assembly being glassed or epoxied into place up forward to support the battery - hum, thinking again.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Another bright, sunny work day

The day dawned for us at 0830.  I made the daily Oatmeal breakfast for the both of us and put the obligatory nuts, cranberries, raisins and local small honey producer honey.  After that, but quickly, comes the strong coffee I make for myself and the rest of the pot is to be diluted to whatever the day dictates.

Just as a note: the Poo Powder came in yesterday so the immediacy of running to the clubhouse may be over.  We do not want to put our more or less solid waste into our holding tank, which we can enjoy again when we retire, so inventive ways to avoid this are dreamed of by every cruiser.  Hence, the Poo Powder that is supposed to rid us of this malady.

Moore later but SAM beckons to yet another water intrusion point of old origin, thank Heavens.  I have a distinct aversion to water leaks from any source.  Any sailor can relate to this statement.  Backtracking, the night was cold but the morning was bright and sunny.  As the day warmed so did our spirits and those at the clubhouse.  We all reluctantly departed for our tasks of the day. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Life on a boat

No matter the size, life on a boat is a bunch of compromises and confrontation.  It is how you accept and bow to these situation that defines life on a boat. An unbending will against the unmovable object does not work.  Fortunately, the Captain is always right and things go proceed.

I took a shower today and it was well needed.  It even felt good and I luxuriated for several minutes as the warm fluid pounded by neck and back with a moderate force.  I only wish it was warm forever but even I, the captain, know better.  In the near future, I shall luxuriate in one of the two onboard showers.  One exits to the bilge and the other to a pan to be dumped as grey water overboard.  I like the idea of bypassing the bilge so that is the one I will use.  On to the future, for which reason, I bought the boat called now Inspiration II.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Clean up day

Today I awoke early and went down to the clubhouse.  Later back at the boat I mapped out the day to SAM.  I was going to the camper and clean up and move stuff from the car to the truck.  Also on the table was to get the truck out on the road and drive a few miles.  Upon return from the little jaunt SAM and I loaded the camper and re-organized.  We also put air in the tires and pumped up the air shocks.  She is sitting pretty now.

Later we organized the boat and partitioned stuff to go to the "lock up".  Still latter we lounged around the cockpit and watched the sun go down and the chill starting to creep into the bones.  Right now SAM is fixing the food and it smells great.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Missing days? What!

I thought I was posting some blogs to this line but apparently this was not the case and I am days behind.  Bummer as it was good stuff.

The day dawned with wind in the rigging but overcast skies and lower temperatures.  SAM & and I had breakfast and a leisurely coffee before I headed to the clubhouse.  Not too much was going on so I came back to the boat and started working on the LED Fwd Head project I started yesterday.  Before long I realized I needed some parts from the local ACE Hardware so I headed out to buy some crimp connectors and a simple hole saw drill bit.  Sans drill bit I headed back to the boat to finish as much of the project as I could.

About noon I rounded things up but still needed the 3/4"+ hole saw.  SAM & I headed for the Home Depot and got the very expensive Milwaukee mandrel and 3/4" saw and headed for Steak n Shake for lunch (My 5 way Chile was reasonable but SAM's burger was mediocre).  After lunch we haeaded back to the boat with a stop in between.

Back at the boat, I finished the forward head outboard fluorescent conversion to LED White/Red conversion.  I finally got a chance to use the white butyl putty to hole the wires into place while I mounted the lens.  Afterwards we tried the light and it worked AOK.

SAM is now down at the clubhouse cooking the fishe we did not want to stink up the boat cooking locally.  Not too sure where she is as it is now fully dark.  Probably working on the crossword puzzle.  NOPE HERE SHE IS WITH THE FOOD!  BYE.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Beautiful day and lots of activity

This was a mentally busy day.  We awoke about the normal time and I made the oatmeal porridge with some good things added and then went to the clubhouse.  No one was there so I returned to the boat and just waited for our visiting people to call for lunch before (they were scheduled to leave for Tallahassee).  We had a great lunch of excellent pot roast at Sweet Sensations.  After we went to a yard sale plus looked for an auction.  Later they hooked up their rig and headed out.  We were sad to see them go.

Later in the afternoon, I called Al to see if he would go up the mast since it was such a nice day.  He said he would be over in a few and showed up a bit later with his bosun chair. I used the electric winch on slow speed to hoist him up and SAM tended the safety line with three wraps on a smaller winch.  He replaced the wind vane arm with the one I ordered from Ultimate Passage.  It appears to work ok now but said in the tech manual I need to do two complete revolutions of the boat next time out to calibrate it.

Afterwards, Carol came over and we had a cockpit party as the temperatures were balmy.  Al brought me a HP Slate 7 to see if I could fix the microusb port that was broken.  I did a quick search and came up with the following link but it does not look all that easy but at least it appears possible. Later after everyone had left SAM washed my hair in the tub so I feel clean and fresh as I write this blog line.  Night all!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

More rain and 14kts N wind

i awakened about 0530 this morning to the sounds of water and surging; therefore, I was on high alert listening for issues but a few minutes of listening produced no sounds worthy of alarm. However, I was awake and there was no turning back to sleep mode.  Now, I am writing  and slightly cold  as the heaters are not really keeping up with this size of boat.  I have an estimated 3KW running and this is about 10K± BTU's which is not sufficient to do more than take the chill off.  Still I am happy for this and am feeling like making some coffee on the stove to add a bit more heat.  BFN.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Thread the needle

We moved into our slip today AM as Holland Marine wanted our spot for business purposes.  We did not get too much advance notice so we had moved in less than 15 minutes using the HM crew.  Kyle was the pilot for the move.

We are in slip 4B and it was lie threading the needle.  Once into the slip it seems OK but we will find out in the next gale.  I have every fender we have on board deployed to starboard but they could be easily moved if the situation arises.  I will spend the next few days getting the wired internet working and maybe even the cable TV will work too.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Almost, almost there - drat one more thing or two

This is the first time I have sat on the boat writing on the computer with all systems running including airconditioning/heat pump.  Yea, and here we are many $1000's later. Marina just changed antifreeze (not needed but gives me assurance), oil (probably not needed but again those assurances) and adjusted valves that definitely needed attention ( a burn valve would be just around the corner.  To-Do is to add a solenoid that assists existing starter manual solenoid so as to allow a much more direct connection to the battery as the generator was not starting so good.  Also needs a new start 12VDC Battery.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Oh no not again

This morning before I had returned from the clubhouse I saw the lift moving Inspiration towards the water.  I jumped in the car and drove down to the launch site.  There she was sitting pretty in the water.  I was watching for a few minutes and saw the bilge pump spew out a large quantity of water so all was OK on that front. After a while I saw the bilge come on again: Not Good.  A quick check showed that a large quantity of water was coming in via the depth transducer thru hull. Out come the boat for the the third time - DUH.

SAM & I decided to light the stove to check propane levels while waiting for the bilge pump to come on again. No gas was coming out of the stove.  With a muttered curse, I opened the propane locker to check if the valve was turned on.  It was so I removed the tank, the only one I could, and then started to pull the connected tank forward so I could turn on the gas:  It was already on.  Back at the stove, I turned on the LP Gas switch and it clicked just like it should.  A few more on-off-on cycles and everything appeared normal but still no gas at the stove. I took the two cylinders to Ace Hardware that has a refill station right in GCS.  The Tech was real nice and very informative with some appropriate knowledge.  The grill tank had 2# of gas - about half of a tank.  The one stove tank was totally empty and the one that was connected had 7# of a total of 12#.  The tech guy explained to me that for the past 20 years or so that there is a pressure switch that closes when the brass probiscus is removed and you can open the tank main valve but no gas will flow until the probe is inserted and tightened.  BINGO: some lights turned on in my head.

Back at the boat I carefully inserted the probe and tightened while turning on the main tank valve.  I could hear gas escaping all was good to the electric valve. I went below and still no gas but the solenoid  was turning on and off.  As I back tracked I found another in-line manual valve that was off.  After turning it on all was AOK. One success for the day.  I went back to the Hardware and had the empty tank filled to the 13# level. I also painted the bottom of the tan k because it was getting rusty and tank would not expire until 2018 so it was worth trying to save it.  I will do the same with the other two tanks if the expiration is 2018 as well.                                                                                                                                                     

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

To the water and back again

We awoke and followed our usual schedule of eating breakfast, then police up the grounds in and near RV, down to the club house for tea or coffee and then back to the boat for some work.  Today was different because we went to the storage facility to deliver a trunk load of goods and to bring some back.

While at the storage we re-packed the smallish area we have to better utilize the small square foot but large cubic foot area.  The locker goes up to the ceiling if you can figure out how to use it.  We added a whole trunk load of stuff and removed Jerry's dingy plus the side curtains for the cockpit enclosure.  As such we returned more fully loaded than when we left but were better organized.

Upon return to Holland Marine SAM noticed the boat lift was snuggled around Inspiration II and was suspended in the sling.  Since it was 1230 hrs the workmen were off for lunch so we hurried to the Rv and had a quick sandwich of cold meat and returned to the boat just in time for them to start moving the boat towards the water.  I took a bunch of pictures with my phone so I will post some on this blog line later.

With the boat in the water it was time for leak checks and indeed we found one on the water speed transducer.  Tom Holland determined that the boat should come out and the thru-hull be re-bedded.  As of this writing it was finished and was waiting for the 4200 to set.  So I expect to be in the water tomorrow morning.

The temperature is supposed to drop to 36°F tonight so frost is expected.  We are snug in our RV with the electric fire churning out sufficient heat to keep us plenty warm.  Earlier we went to the club house for coffee and had a nice long chat about solar, tiny houses and off-grid plans of a guy who built his tiny house right on the property.  It is 24' x 8.5' x 13' high and is road-able.

Monday, January 26, 2015

LED Lighting re-done

I pulled the fixture down today and added 4 more LED modules.  I also added a ton of tie wraps to no avail.  You can still see the wires thru the fixture translucent panel.  I guess that will be bottom line for this panel.  The next one I will drill holes and run the wires to the backside so they cannot be visible.  I may replace the panel with the newer design if it looks good.  The heads have the old fashion 20W linear fluorescent tubes and I think making these will be easier.  I think 4 white modules and three red ones will fill it from end to end.

I spent an hour this morning downloading drivers for the wireless printer in the clubhouse and was ultimately able to connect to the wireless HP 6600. I printed out a FedEx return lable as my first document.  Anyway, I was pleased that it worked since copy document to a thumb drive and printing for the clubhouse computer was a pain.

We have set the date to launch Inspiration and the slip 4B has been assigned.  It looks sort of narrow so tonorrow I will ash how wide it is from the aft guide paost to the dock.  These are floating piers but the stern will face the open water and this will lead to some stern slapping by the bigger waves.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Required Visibility - Navigation Lights USCG

I just ordered a new bow light made by Attwood with following specifications. It is for boats up to 20 meters / 65.6 feet. Meets USCG CFR 183.810, ABYC A-16 requirements and all applicable standards as tested by Imanna Laboratories, on 3/6/2007. 2 nautical mile visibility.
Type of navigation lightLight beamAngleType of boatBoats < 12mBoats < 20mBoats < 50mBoats > 50m
Starboard112.5°Sailing & Motor boats1 nm2 nm2 nm3 nm
Port112.5°Sailing & Motor boats1 nm2 nm2 nm3 nm
Stern135°Sailing & Motor boats2 nm2 nm2 nm3 nm
Masthead225°Motor boats2 nm3 nm5 nm6 nm
All-round360°Sailing & Motor boats2 nm2 nm2 nm3 nm
Bi-colour2 x 112.5°Sailing & Motor boats1 nm2 nm
Tri-colour2 x 112.5°+ 135°Sailing boats1-2 nm2 nm

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday: rain to clearing but cooler

The temperatures are trending lower throughout the day with promises of 38°F tonight.  The day was a lazy one for us but we managed to go grocery shopping at a couple of local stores where we find good prices and sales.  That took way longer than I wanted but the First Mate is in charge of that detail so I find it better to keep my mouth shut.  Total bill today about $140.

When we returned to the RV we FM SAM put stuff away and we had rotisserie chicken with other pieced thru items like Artichokes, and bread with Almond Butter and Blueberry Preserves.  Afterwards I took a nap and FM went down to the clubhouse for quite awhile to work on the picture puzzle..  I was just coming around when she returned.

I went to the boat to do some work and made an aluminium cake dish into an air filter assembly that will filter the incoming air for the engine compartment squirrel cage blower.  Looks like it will work pretty good but we will be testing the design over time.

While at the boat I tried the new Attwood Louver vent plate but it did not fit.  It was too big by 1/32" to 1/16" in the height direction.  I just got thru putting  a new 1495 ventilator and 1491 collector box into my Walmart basket as well as 4 Stearns Type II vests.

FM is now making spaghetti for the crew and it smells good.  Abby is whining around wanting dinner too.  So the bottom line is that I did do some work today but not as much as I dreamed about last night.  With that I must go because the dinner bell is ringing.  BFN.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jobs completed & started today

I installed some of the remaining sta-set line on the boarding ladder to use as a retracter to stow the ladder.  I'll probably change this setup so I can deploy the ladder from the water should the need arise.
Fully Threaded Hanger BoltsSAM applied the second coat of Cetol to the decorative trim under the caprail and it looks real nice.  We were thinking about a third coat today but we were tired so we went to Home Depot to get some Hangar Bolts.  I want to use these to hold the cabin light assembly in place.  It is very difficult to install the wood screws while holding a couple of fixture parts in place.  The hangar bolts will serve as a guide for the fixture base and I bought wing nuts to allow quick access.  They are pretty expensive items.

I mounted the curved base cheek block on the whisker pole today using 3/16" Stainless Steel pop rivets and installed the 1/4" red fleck sta-set line  from the wire pendent.  Let me tell you those rivets are very, very tough to set and took all the strength I possess. The job is complete and I extended the pole all the way and retracted it then stowed it away on the mast track. I am glad to have this little job done.  I must admit that I would like the cheek block sheave to be a larger diameter because 1 1/16 is pretty small.

Instant Zipper- Set of 4 Replacement Zippers in Black
The "Snap" Instant Zippers arrived today and with great excitement I brought them aboard.  Miracle of miracles they actually worked and this is the best $10 I ever spent.  I also ordered the fixnzip but it has not arrived yet so I may try to cancel the order.  Anyway, these things absolutely work and work well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Update 3M 4000UV

The first round of caulking with 3M 4000UV is complete and SAM applied the Cetol Natural Teak today.  I must say we have learned how to apply the materials.  The second and third days were a breeze.  The battery powered Ryobi did a fine job once you dial back the flow rate and cut a better hole in the tip. The key to success was laying down a 1/8" bead not the 1/4" we started with.  We also used soapy water to finger smooth applied caulk.  The material goes on perfectly.  I ordered 4 more 10 oz tubes from Zoro to apply on other areas of the boat ($14.84 per tube no shipping if you order >$50 and no tax in Florida).

Today was the end game in our saga that started a month ago to put Cetol on various trim pieces before we put Inspiration II into the waters of Alantic side of North Florida.  Cold, rainy, overcast weather dominated the period so we felt stymied much more than once.  Everything goes in series so it just takes time and more time.  She will look good in her new dress.

We had one failure this week.  We were going to have the fuel polished but when the truck arrived to start they could not find a suitable entry point for their input and output hoses so they left with a statement that we need to cut a hole in the fiberglass tank.  This is not a bad idea so maybe at the end of this season we will epoxy a cutout ring onto the tank and then at a later date cut the inside of the ring out and install a hefty SS plate on the ring.

While we were working we noticed two hatches that were leaking and since we are having friends and relatives in a continuous stream we cannot tolerate leaks in the sleeping areas.  I guess you can say we are becoming domesticated.  We hope to splash the boat early next week.

Alpha Test: Fluorescent to LED retrofit

I accomplished my first retrofit of the boat's fluorescent lighting.  I performed the alpha test to night.  The red light looks OK but the Warm White lights look like they are not diffused sufficiently.  I guess it is back to the workbench tomorrow to add a few more modules to try and make the light look a little more uniform.  All in all I am happy with the test but want a better look. Currently I have 6 white and 5 red modules mounted on a piece of Aluminium flashing.  The red string is not intended to be bright by design.  The white I want as bright as the circular 9W fluorescent tube.  At present iot is not quite as bright and it is a little warmer than the fluorescent: I am guessing at about 3000°K.

The LED were purchased on eBay in strings of 20 modules and each module has 4 LED's.  The module input is 12VDC nominal and there are 4 LED's per module arranged in each corner of a 1.5" square.  I have not made any current draw tests yet but the fluorescent draws 0.7Aand the LEDs about the same. More on this project later as I go into Beta testing.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Active Captain, Polar Navy and NOAA

Yesterday  I installed Polar View for Windows.  It uses the free NOAA ENC vector charts.  I spent the whole evening downloading various charts. This software integrates Active Captain data so it is a very handy application to know how to use properly.

Disastrous 3M product application

Hopefully, we can chalk it up to inexperience with 3M 4000UV but todays work was not so good.  SAM had previously taped the teak that we wanted to apply the sealant.  The stuff is pretty fast to start firming up and we were not ready.  Also the taped area is to seal the cap rail to the decorative teak that butts to the underside of the cap rail. The bottom side of the decorative strip is to be sealed too.  Starting tomorrow we will make the bead area smaller from 1/4" to 1/8".  We will also change our work efforts to a more coordinated effort: I will use the caulk gun and SAM will do the finger smoothing and remove the take immediately.  This should help spread out the usage of the expensive stuff.  Our tape was too old as well and it stuck tightly to the teak.  OK so I ordered 4 more tubes because we will use a lot of the stuff to bed various other areas.
Raymarine Masthead F/ST60 Only
While all this was happening I happened to look up the mast.  Guess what?  The wind direction indicator is missing ca-ching $350 more please. I ended the day depressed and tired.

After a few hours my sense of humor is returning and I do not feel so bad except I am missing the coffee I left in the clubhouse.  I put a free sign on my leftover coffee in the pot but someone extended the free to mean a whole bag of expensive gourmet coffee.  Boo.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Look at the big picture

In the grand scheme of things today was just andother day filled with normal successes and frustrations.


  • Ordered the wrong Ryobi Battery which should have been a One+ but is not
  • tried using the zipper slides we ordered and failed to get one to work
  • The #10 yellow marine grade wire was 75°C not the 105°C
  • It was cold, rainy and no sun the past 3 days
  • The marina and I had a little issue today about computers & print privileges 
  • Got to use the new plywood to keeep out the rain
  • Met some new friends and had a good talk
  • Shoulder felt better most of the day.
  • The First Mate cooked a great dinner topped off with fried Plantain.
  • One zipper in the aft head worked after a little persuasion.
  • The marina IT guy called to say the HP Cloud print worked 
  • The new squirrel cage blower was so quiet we can leave it on at will
All in all it was a good day despite the immediacy of frustrations.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ryobi Smart Charger arrives

We received the Intelliport charger today and I could not wait to plug it in and charger the battery.  I am supposed to be able top charge a One+ in an hour.  I hope so.  Another NiCad battery is on its way.

Ryobi 140153004 ONE Plus 18V IntelliPort 1-Hour Ni-Cd Battery Charger

Today's boat work

Today, on this cold, humid, dreary day we went to the boat to trace back the water supply for the airconditioners.  We were worried about a seemingly crushed or flattened hose at the aft airconditioner unit.  It turns out that the flattened hose goes to the bilge and must be an efluent discarge for the condensate.  Anyway we now know this little area of the boat.Size 60 Rollstop Hatch

SAM then proceeded to clean an area that was used to hold solvents by the Nav Station and she did a fine job.  By the time we finished with this task lunch was at hand.  After lunch we went to Home Depot where I bought wood to use as a hatch closure when the hatch is removed.  I am making one for the size 60 and one for the size 40 hatch.  Total materials was $20.  These should last for a while and be used in rotation as I either send in hatches for repair or repair them myself.

I am going to try and find a local supplier for the cut acrylic so I do not have to send the hatches all the way to Michigan (SONSET) or South Florida (Florida Rigging and Hydraulics).  If I can get the cut material I am sure I can bed them myself for a fraction of the cost.  The ones I send in I am going to get new handles installed by the repairer (a handle kit is about $60 complete with the right and left handles and outside fittings).  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Blower Installed today

We received the new b lower for the engine room this morning.  We immediately set out to install it and it was more difficult to  install than we thought it would be.  However, we got her done and will test it tomorrow.  The blower is an AC version and it is attached to the "B" subpanel. and we did not have a shore power line availab le tgo test this afternoon. The primairy use would be to remove heat from the engine room after engine shutdown.  Man, I hate stuff that does not work so it was on the list.

Rainy & Cool.

It has been very rainy, overcast and in the 50's 0 60's this week past.  I spent one whole day researching various parts and Things-To-Be-Done.  I ordered electronic and electrical parts such as shrink sleeve, SS washer kits and crimp terminals.  Nothing special but necessary items to be sure.

The Ryobi Caulk Gun arrived and we went out and bought some butyl rubber sealant and painters caulk ( just to practice with the  device.  That is on the list for tomorrow.  The butyl sealant is to try and reseal the aft hatch that is leaking pretty good.  All the hatch part arrived today so I can start installing outside hatch dogs and rubber O-rings for the hatch handles.

As soon as Lee A arrives with the ages old closed end pop rivets I can re-attach the dog down plate in the aft head hatch.  I was lucky the other day and the old rivets just popped out  - no problems. Lots of work but it is regarding work..

Friday, January 2, 2015

Converting Fluorescent to LED

A good video for converting to LED lighting.:

A successful day

Today we fired up the new ProMariner battery charger and it we as it should (I think).  These new smart chargers are smarter than most people can be. It started in the Condition Mode and continued like this for at least 6-7 hours gradually declining in charge current from about 8 Amps down to 3 Amps and then switched to Ready Mode where it was 2.1 Amps.  The device started in the default mode of Sealed Battery.  Just about dark I switched the mode to Flooded, Profile 2 mode and it popped back into Condition Mode where we left her for the night.

After dark we turned on all the lights and everything worked on the interior. Tomorrow I will try the anchor, steaming and bow/stern lights. I also want to let out all the rode just to check the integrity and to measure all the lengths of the chain and line. Our previous boat had 100' of chain and 300' of 8 plait nylon since I wanted to be able to anchor in 70' of water we encountered at S. Manitou Island on the Great Lakes.

 I did notice that the VHF radio did not turn on so I have to check this out tomorrow.  I intend to purchase the new Stand Horizan GX2200 MATRIX AIS/GPS Fixed Mount VHF Radio.  It is a bit pricey but it does have GPS and AIS included. One of our friends has one and likes it so it has a good testimony from him.  I do have to check the antenna system and cabling for loses and VSWR since everything we have encountered is marginal and therefore suspect.

It was a good day indeed.