Boat season wrap-up

Short season for us

But first:  My daughter, Amanda and husband, Steven Rainey have created a son, their first!  Only seen via Skype so far!


Back to Boat:  It has been a short boat season for us this year, 2018.  Jess says that maybe we will come pet the boat in July or August and try for the Sea then.  We shall see!

Last post got us to early February.  Since then we returned to Banderas Bay from locations south or there.  Jess did some dental work at a local dentist in Bucerias Nayarti MX.  Where a crown runs around $2000 peso or $108 USD.  WooHoo!  Jim got a case of dengue fever and was down and out a couple weeks.  We stayed at dock in Marina Riveria Nayarit for the dental and fever stuff.

Friends Jeanine and John from SF area came to stay a week in Yelapa, Jalisco MX on the south shore of  Banderas Bay and we got to play with them a hand full of days.  Way fun!

Season ended with a very quiet motor up to Mazatlan, a record breaking short time for boat closing and a couple nights hotel stay to see how the other half do it.  Then a CHEAP flight back to Denver via Phoenix from Mazatlan on American Airlines.

AIRLINE RANT:  The airline people who are making the rules that the people actually doing the work have to run with are the ASSHOLES.  The people we interacted with during our flights were first rate!  Have to say, we did a 5 wee trip on maybe 6 different European airlines last June/July and seating and baggage rules were ALWAYS excellent, not to mention the drinks and snacks which put US based airlines to shame!

Last projects; we find that the port lights remain sound if we keep the rubber seals clean and closed tightly!  Have put replacement seals and a screen and maybe a lens or two on the parts list for next season.   We are finally getting the wood toe rail and misc. teak parts on the boat clean of the varnish and ceatol which we have used in the past.  I think we will just plan to keep them washed when needed.

We found the sealant failed under the salon hatch.  The rope seal we replaced this year did not do the trick so we pulled the hatch up and sealed it with butyl tape.  Worked great!


I am going to blame the leak, 40 years after the boat was constructed, on the method used to install the hatch.  The hatch is screwed down with a coarse wood screw into the fiberglass coach roof surface.  The installer drilled a pilot hole for the screws but failed to make the countersink at the hole surface so ALL the screw holes had spalled around tthe screw hole.  This condition made it difficult to tighten and seal the hatch base properly.  A blow up photo at a spall.

Salon hatch detail

The photos:

Bay with friends:


Boat wrap up:

That last hotel:



Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Been there…

Happy Valentines Day one and all…  For us it was also an Anniversary, 12 years this year! Woohoo!

We been there, south to Barra de Navidad area and back to Banderas Bay, this year and are in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle at Marina Riveria Nayarit doing some boat cleaning.  Jess is doing some dentistry over in Buscerias…

Some photos from Barra de Navidad:


Some photos from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle:



Besides all the bobbing and rolling in the anchorage, we have done some projects, here is a before and after photo of some sun screen material we have had on boat since putting the dodger on board back in 2010.  So we turned it into a dive bag and have another to make from a second piece of screen material:



Batteries – LiFePo4 update:


Boat LiFePo4 battery final few discharge cycle readings, load was between 8 and 15 Amps for these readings  (NOTE this data is just the last hour of the discharge test):

2018 0215 test

The new Shore charger is now pumping at a rate of 40 Amps back into the 400 Ah battery bank again.  Remember that it is an adjustable charger so you can set it up to not overcharge the LiFePo4 batteries above a safe 13.8 volt charge limit (it seems to work well for these batteries):

Marine Grade Battery Charger, Pronautic 30A, 3 Bank 30 amps

So it looks like we may have lost some capacity from the bank, the last check was March 2017 where we had -321 Ah at 12.6 volts during the discharge cycle test.  This year looks like around 290 Ah plus/minus…  That would be around 9.5% capacity reduction.  I think we will run the test again soon as we can to verify this!



In that vane, here is the test starting 2-16-2018 we drain the battery bank again:

2018 0216 discharge LiFePo4

OK, I tried to collect  a little more data this round.  And from the chart, If I had to guess i would say it was probably around -315 to -318 for the 12.6 volt mark.

So April 2017 discharge test we saw at -321Ah about  12.6 V, we did not discharge down to the 11.8 volts mark.

This February 2018 full test was more controlled than yesterdays, and we saw -315Ah  at the 12.6 volt mark.

If we did loose capacity it looks like 6/321= around 2%.

And loads of room for errors in my testing.  Enough for now, not so bad as I thought yesterday!  Worth doing a couple times a season!



Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

SHIPWRECK – Punta de Mita

Thought to blog this information since it is so hard to search the information out online…  I am not a novice at the internet, been online since before Al Gore…  And I find the editing/censoring that goes on in current search engines is pretty tough to work around these days…


On New years eve one year ago, Jess and I were sailing s/vHajime around Punta de Mita and had just turned the corner to make the reach to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle when a couple 100+ foot long motor yachts racing with each other played chicken with us (we were under sail).  The 100+ foot jet boat who cut 50 foot in front of our sailing vessel moving from our starboard side to pass us to our port side (we were under sail).  The 100+ foot  jet boat was found on wrecked on the rocks in Punta de Mita that evening…  Try as I might on and off for weeks afterwards and to this day I can find no online information regarding the wrecking of a 100+ foort jet boat onto the shore at Punta de Mita, Nayarit Mexico December 31, 2016.  Interesting huh???

So since I thought I would document what I could on the vessel that ran aground recently here at Punta de Mita, Nayarit MX.



A sailing vessel recently wrecked on the rocks at Punta de Mita, Nayarit Mexico, the NW point of Banderas Bay, Puerta Vallarta area and the word on the docks is that they were using the Garmin charts for their main navigation aid…

Here are some photos of the wreck:

Here is blog from a prior owner of the vessel:

Here is a link to the current owner’s blog:

We are saddened by the events and our hearts go out to all those involved…


Garmin charts have gotten a pretty bad reputation from the cruising community in Mexico:  The accuracy of the California/Mexico charts VUS021R is poor.  This is the Garmin chart we just purchased and updated to the 2018 release on s/vHajime.

We are/have been trying to send Garmin Error reports when we can in order to help get the charts updated…

Error report link:

Garmin has been responding to the reports and we hope to start to see some of the chart errors revised as soon as possible…  I’ve already blogged some of these issues if you look back to the last few blogs, here are some more screen shots from our recent trip down to Barre de Navidad and back:



Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Week #?… Oh who cares???

Been on the water since leaving Puerto Vallarta, mostly,  until breakfast today in Barre de Navidad, best chili rellenos con camerones ever!  Oh yes, and a beer!  Maybe it WAS closer to lunch time…  Yes there is helado in MX but it’s just not the same!

Where now?

PV to Chamela to Tennicatita to Playa Cuastecomates to Barre de Navidad…

2018 0117 max.PNG

Image result for barra de navidad    Related image

Stuff that broke this week:

  • I tried to get the the hand pump to pump better… and tightened a fitting too tightly and broke the plastic pump body, hope to get friends to bring a new one down in March…  Image result for hand pump marine fynspray
  • Got the sewing machine out to re-stitch some canvas.  The sun just eats the stitching up.  This is the second time in 7 years to re-stitch, so not too bad.  Broke the thread tension spring on the Reliable Barracuda 2000u-33 sewing machine, hope to get friends to bring a new one down in March… Reliable BARRACUDA 200ZW Portable Walking Foot & Zig-Zag Sewing Machine  
  • Not broken, but squeaking!  We greased up the windlass and it does not squeak any more.  Manual says do this as an annual maintenance item! Anchor Windlasses lewmar 6656411108 102
  • POS $120 Xantrex Echo Charger took a dump.  Replaced it with our Wagen DC/DC charger est $15.  (When you start an engine you use a very little amount of the charge from the starter battery and using the alternator on the engine to replace the charge you just used is rather inefficient.  The AMPS would be much more appreciated in most HOUSE battery banks! This is how s/v Hajime is wired.  But you still need to get that 2% or so AMPS back into the starter battery.  A DC/DC charger is a nice way to do this.)  By the way, every Xantrex device we have had on the boat has broken in normal use!

Xantrex Heart Echo Charge Charging Panel - 82-0123-01  


Took some MORE  sunrise and sunset photos, I know – I know, but what else do you do with them?  Jessica had a night shift with bio-luminescent dolphins!  She said you could try to describe them, but they just refuse to be photographed…



Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Left PV for sur…

2017 Jan 14, we have been in MX since the 10th of December and are heading south (sur) down the coast for Chamela, Tennicatita, Barre de Navidad, maybe Santiago Bay and maybe Zihuatanejo this year?  I’m writing this blog from Chamela bay, we just arrived this morning.  Hurricane Patricia in 2015 came ashore over Chamela, Jalisco MX …

Since last post we moved Hajime from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle anchorage onto dock at Marina Vallarta. Had a lovely week visiting with Jess’ dad’s cousins, Bob and Bobbie Berger.  We did do a snorkeling trip with friends from Devil’s Bar out to the Arches, (Los Arcos)   it was a blast, but alas no photos…   a link to google photos…   And the tree house is on the golf course near the marina, thought it was cute!

We did get a little work done, finally got everything waxed, got a gallon of 303 fabric guard and sprayed all the canvas avert washing it well.  Got a new antenna for VHF (we have two) and installed it. Zaragoza chandlery has most everything you might need and sometimes prices are not too bad.  I think the Shakespeare 5215 classic was like $84 usd minus 7% pay with CC or -10% pay cash.  So $76 USD.  If you bought it in USA and paid the 16% import you would be real close to that!  And you get to climb the mast and photo the marina a bit…

Interesting thing happened on leaving Marina Vallarta, you pass through the commercial port and a USA Coast Guard Cutter was docking.  Seems everyone should be on ch 13 and wait for the port captain to open the harbor again…  We were hailed be a gentleman in a fishing vessel and schooled on the protocol…  Nicely done.  We circled in the harbor with the rest of the fishing boats until the all clear was given, maybe 5 minutes…

And a lovely sail/motor south 90 Nm from port to bay…  Some whales, hand a handfull of vessels of interest.

We were hailed after dark and complimented on our running lights visibility and shared via VHF radio and email  the details on them, they are inexpensive Attwood Marine LED lights we put into service in 2015/6.  The mounting we dreamed up with spare parts, never throw anything away???


And finally, I wrote in an earlier post that I was corresponding with Garmin and that I would follow up.  The Garmin representative has responded, again, and tells me that my input is helpful, well he wrote that “the Marine Dept. was working on the items that I submitted”.   Hey why not?

Here are some chartplotter screen shots showing the satellite imagery supplied on the Garmin VUS021R G2 Vision card I purchased with 50 percent transparency over the marine chart and some have both radar and depth sounding data too.   You can see the charts need updating in some places.  Hope Garmin can get it together because other than the poor charting we are liking our new GPSMAP 840XS and GT21 sonar transducer!

They do get thumbs up on the areas they have been updating!

  • They have updated Puerto Angel in Oaxaca, but have still missed the sudo Fonatur marina in Chahue Oaxaca,,+P+Marina+Chahue,+70987+La+Crucecita,+Oaxaca,+Mexico/@15.762901,-96.1252691,1498m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x85bf2111ebbe261f:0x1ab1b387424b00a!8m2!3d15.7639334!4d-96.1218158
  • Mazatlan was mostly done very well, they miss-labeled the Fonatur Marina, but they have missed them in ALL of MEXICO!
  • Isla Isabel was prety good
  • The San Blas – Mantanchen Bay areas were very good and Chacala was bang on as was the coast line until we hit N 20 deg. 55 min then south of there the shoreline was off by 1/4 mile or more…
  • The coastline around Punta de Mita when heading south and turning into Banderas Bay is VERY BAD, the light in not in operation, as charted, it and the buoy are misplaced.  The anchorage has some rocky shallow areas that can be very dangerous on both the east and the west ends.
  • Later in the trip I figured out how to take screen shots from the GPSMAP 840XS by pressing and holding the “home” button for a few seconds so I got some later images showing radar echo that matches up with the satellite imagery well but with the chart shore contours “not so well”.

I’ll keep after sending in error reports and let y’all know if they are updating!






Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Banderas Bay, the new sonar transducer, lithium batteries, Garmin charts, etc. tech(ish)

We are in Banderas Bay.  After new years eve in Punta de Mita and a few days at anchor near La Cruz de Huanacaxtle outside Marina Riveria Nayarit, we are now at dock in Marina Valarta and visiting family on vacation…

Banderas bay has four marinas and a couple pretty good anchorages to choose from.


  • Marina Riviera Nayarit,,
  • Paradise Village Marina,
  • Marina Vallarta,
  • Nuevo Vallarta Marina,


  • Punta de Mita – not bad for a few nights
  • La Cruz de Huanacaxtle – most popular , services at marina, dinghy dock $40 peso/day
  • Yelapa – a bit rolly sometimes, you can find a mooring from a panguero


We put the Garmin GPSMAP 840XS into Hajime in December and it worked fine as a replacement for the GPSMAP 3206 which it replaced.  Since it had the GPS integral, all we were worried about were the power +/-  power leads and the NMEA data leads in the connector so we cut the old one and spliced cables to do the hookup!  No trying to run cables up the binnacle.  The sonar was another issue, we (OK, just JIM really) have been wanting a fish finder/sonar at the helm and not just a depth sounder.  With the GPSMAP 840XS we opted for the GT21 hoping we could figure out a way to mount it inside the hull and shoot through for operating.  We did this with the Garmin GPSMAP 441, our backup chart plotter/ sonar, and with the Navionics T-Box transducers (

We did do the in-hull mount and so far all looks to work well.  Tested the unit with some clay to make a dam with water around and under the transducer to see if it worked and it was seemed fine but we were in the marina at dock…  In the end, after finding a tube of sealant in the hardware in Mazatlan which turned out to be water soluble, cleaning that mess up and finding a tube of silicon in San Blas, we just stuck it down on a blob of silicon, being careful to get NO AIR BUBBLES in the silicon under the unit.

Lithium Batteries:

I mentioned in an earlier blog that this year when we returned to the boat the voltage on the 400 Ah lithium battery house bank in Hajime was at resting voltage of 13.22.  We had isolated these batteries from charge and discharge back in early April 2017 when they were at a resting voltage of 13.54 volts.  We are pretty pleased with the store-ability of these batteries.

At present they are still acting as they were when installed a couple years ago.  Seems like for each Amp Hour you put into them you get an Amp Hour back out.  We will do a capacity check this season and report it in the blog.

The last capacity check I can find recorded was March 3, 2017    321 Amp Hours capacity from 13.6 to 12.6 volts.  I seem to recall an informal one we did to around 315 Amp Hours as well but have no documentation…

Mar 03, 2017 CAPACITY TEST:

Using the Victron Energy Precision Battery Monitor BMV-702S we run capacity testing on our 400 nominal Amp Hour house bank.  NO CHARGE DEVICES, AVERAGE LOAD 5 to 20 Amps

  • 3/3/2017
  • 7:00 AM 13.18 V (volts) at -54 Ah (Amp Hours)
  • 4:00 PM 12.98 V at -160 Ah
  • 11:00 PM 13.01 V at -185 Ah
  • 3/4/2017
  • 7:00 AM 13.01 V at -191 Ah
  • 8:00 AM 12.90 V at -200 Ah
  • 12:00 PM 12.87 V at -230 Ah
  • 1:00 PM 12.83 V at -245 Ah
  • 2:00 PM 12.83 V at -253 Ah
  • 3:30 PM 12.80 V at -274 Ah
  • 4:00 PM 12.80 V at -280 Ah
  • 4:20 PM 12.75 V  at -285 Ah
  • 5:00 PM 12.78 V at -290 Ah
  • 6:00 PM 12.75 V at -302 Ah
  • 7:00 PM 12.70 V at -310 Ah
  • 7:30 PM 12.60 V at -321 Ah


Garmin Charts VUS021R California and Mexico G2 Vision Chart card:

Have been working with Garmin charting on the VUS021R chart card data, At least I feel like they are listening.  We had the 1999 Garmin charts on the GPSMAP 3206 when we first came down in 2012. The word on the street was to watch the charts very carefully when in MX waters.  Our paper charts had references to like 1890 surveys on them too.  We had an Android tablet and the Navionics charts when we docked in Ensenada in 2012 and they were excellent and have proved so ever since.  No they do not cover everywhere with exact detail and we still use the local knowledge you get from a cruising guide as well but Navionics was much more current that the Garmin charts.

I decided to give Garmin another try, purchased a 2015 copy of VUS021R this year and reviewed it to find it was little changed from the 1999 info we were use to.  The satellite imagery was helpful, but the sounding data was of little help.  I went to the Garmin submit an error site: , and sent in a couple issues.  The missing Marina Mazatlan in Sinaloa for one and missing all of Puerto Angel bay in Oaxaca.  I did get a reply from Garmin within a few weeks to say the 2017 charts had included the Marina in it’s updates.  Buffeted by the response, I’ve also sent in information on the missing Fonatur Marinas, all 7 or 8 of them hoping they would include them in the 2018 release.  So with confidence in my heart, I purchased the 2017 VUS021R G2 Vision charts chip.


I have since downloaded the 2018 v.19.5 data and installed same. Good and bad, Mazatlan did get covered, Puerto Angel as well.  None of the Fonatur Marinas are in the data and Banderas Bay is a mess.  All around the bay and at Punta de Mita and  Cabo Corentas the soundings, shoreline, light and buoy locations are very inaccurate.  DO NOT USE THESE CHARTS FOR NAVIGATION!

I have continued the correspondences with Garmin and will let you all know how it goes from here.

Some photos with satellite overlay showing some chart issues…


The missing marinas:




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Finally underway … week 3 weeeeee!

Had to put something else than a toilet at the top of the post, sorry about that all…

It always seems like a struggle to work the boat into “ship shape”.  Last minute the head seat fell off, Jess got the old one’s pieces off and we got a new one at Homedepot after a couple bus rides and a wrong one returned.

And we did finally get the GT-21 Garmin sonar transducer mounted .  Ended up, after several (bad) bright ideas, just sticking it to the inside of the hull with some silicone.  Seems to work OK, we have only been in 250 foot max depth water so far, it’s suppose to work as depth sounder up to 1500 at outside limit…  I’ll let you know!


Those last couple things put to rights, we are off… We arrived in Mazatlan on the 12th and we left the marina on the 23rd with (almost) all our projects complete.

s/v Hajime is doing well, we backed out the fairway (she hates to motor into a port turn first thing in the morning) circled to starboard  and headed out of the marina just before the +3.22 foot high tide at 10:17 AM.   Minimum depth of water we saw crossing the bar was 13.5 foot.  And, yes, we were taking a little water over the bow coming past the slight breaking waves just outside the break water.

The 8 NM south to the old harbor at Mazatlan was uneventful.  We did have to circle a bit for a Navy vessel to leave the harbor entrance and then follow a tanker into the harbor.  The anchorage is just inside the harbor breakwater at Club Nautico.  The Club is really just a floating dock for securing your dinghy and it is inside a guarded gated yard.  The yard is mostly for boat storage and a boat ramp access to the harbor.  You pay $50 peso ($2.5 USD) a day when you go ashore to use the boat dock and drop trash, use the bathrooms, etc.

Some photos of the old harbor, note the electric shower head. Very interesting!…


Plans, as always, written in sand at low tide.  We are off to the south for warmer water and longer days.  Family is visiting Puerto Vallarta in January and March.  Tengo un nieto que llega en febrero, seré un abuelo!  A busy season!

A couple days in the old harbor then an overnight to Isla Isabela where we did the the pinnacle anchorage, woo hoo…

Then on to San Blas for a couple days:

Poked heads into Bahia Chacala it was full enough to move on to Punta Mita for New Years Eve…

A sail over to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and here we are for a bit…


Fin for now!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2017 Week two hoo hoo !

Well almost week two…

Saturday 16 Dec 2017 was our day six in Mazatlan and working on the boat.  Shopping and laundry day.  “Laundry Day” means dropping it at the lavandaria and picking it up 5 hours later. A couple loads for $180 peso total or around $9.50 USD.

“Shopping” was wondering around Homedepot for a bit then down to the Mercado  in town center for a sandwich a couple liquados (smoothies) $60 peso, and grocery shopping.  Not much achieved on boat chores.

Things are shaping up (slowly) the list remains:

  1. Finish up fridge work, Mike at Rescue Refrigeration has gotten busy and we are hoping to see him again Monday.  We saw some foam insulation material and need to find some aluminum tape and I think we can get the fridge sorted out.  At present it is freezing everything and we need to isolate the evaporator box a bit with some insulation around it, maybe add a door to the front?  Mike needs to bleed off a bit more Freon in order to reduce the icing of the copper from the compressor to the evaporator.  The icing is worse when we have a little higher line voltage and the compressor kicks in to a higher speed.
  2. Shopping today and we got some potable water hose for the potable water tank, we will change it out asap.
  3. Still need to power up the new sonar transducer, we plan to try and mount it as a in-hull  temporarily to see if it will work that way first.
  4.  We have a new rudder feed back transducer and SHOULD install it, the old one was intermittently cutting out while on autopilot sending boat in circles. Circles are not BAD, rocks are BAD.  I really SHOULD replace it, even though it IS intermittent…
  5. Check the new GPS/Chartplotter with radar and AIS
  6. Check prop shaft alignment to motor again, it has been around 600 hours run time and we need to loosen the coupling and make sure the shaft and motor are still lined up.  Adjust if needed
  7. Make sure dinghy motor runs
  8. Fill fuel cans
  9. Check out charge on forward windlass battery, it is solely charged with a small 1.0 sq-ft solar tender. ( )

We may be here a while longer!

Later this week – Progress:

#9 – Got out volt meter and checked the battery voltage at the remote charge port about 10 foot (20 total distance for voltage drop calcs.) from the battery and got 13.22 Volts, the analog gauge 2 foot from the battery reads like 13.0 ish…  So it is a GOOD CHARGE from the Battery Tender solar unit, new just last year…


#5 – AIS and Radar are working fine with the new Garmin GPSMAP 840xs.  Took a bit to find the serial port NMEA 0183 communication setup page, can you believe Garmin hides it in the menu under SETTINGS – COMMUNICATIONS – Serial Port 1 ???  Go figure!

#2 – Changed the potable water hose and moved the carbon filter housing to under the sink from in the bilge and Jess says the water tastes better!  A win!

#7 – Jess fired up the 5 HP 2 – stroke Mercury dinghy outboard and it ran great!  We finally made a gift of the 2 HP Honda 4 stroke to a friend here in Mazatlan.  I hope he can get it working and use it to it’s fullest…

#4 – The RUDDER feedback transducer is changed and like all 3 screws and one 4 lead wire connection projects, this took most of the day.  One of the 3 screws sheared during removal so the drill/tap and new screw box got pulled out.  Then the wiring from the transducer back to the Raymarine Autopilot Computer had to be made nice and neat along with half a dozen other wires and hoses which were not tied up exactly right….

#1 – The fridge…  Well Mike at Rescue Refrigeration took his tools back and invoiced us.  He is convinced that we just need to keep letting a little Freon out daily until the line from the compressor to the evaporator quits frosting and icing up.  We are trying.  We did get some  rigid foam and insulated both the evaporator box and then the inside of the ice box lids.  Mike came back one last time (cross our fingers)  and we led the vacuum pressure in the system down to about 5 psi running, drifts up to maybe 8 psi when cycled off.  His theory is that we purchased a FREEZER box and not a refrigerator box and that it is balanced to run the evaporator at a much colder temperature.  So we are trying the lower coolant pressures and a little lower thermostat setting.  If we can get it to NOT SHORT CYCLE and still keep ICE and the box around 40 degrees F.  We will be happy campers.  Last night it only used 20 Amps over 8 hours.  It had been at around 30 Amps over 8 hours when we first put it in so we have our fingers crossed.


There are lots of variables in this system:

  • The control system was from the Isotherm ASU 4107
  • Where to place the thermostat tip, on the ASU it is attached to the cold plate.
  • 2255.20  Isotherm ASU chart
  • The ASU trys to gauge system VOLTAGE and adjust the compressor motor speed accordingly.  The Danfoss  BD50F 12/24 volt compressor can run at 2000 to 3500 rpm depending on the resistance in the thermostat circuit.  With this in mind, the smart MIND of OUR ASU controller is sooooo confused:  Lithium batteries run at a higher voltage than EXPECTED in a 12v lead acid battery marine installation.  The cold plate has been replaced by the Nove Kool R4 evaporator box…  SO we put the SMART CONTROL settings on MANUAL and expect it to work more like a standard thermostat, we put the thermister from the ASU system against the evaporator body where Nova Kool says to place a thermostat probe.  Time will tell…


All work and no play….

Lunch at a NEW restaurant across the street from the marina, Cargo Pulpa.  Excelent seafood!!!  And I took a photo of the proceeds of the shopping trip to the liquor store also across the street from the marina.  For $33.57 USD stocked the boat with tequila  + tequila+ brandy + Controy (Contreau ish) …  The cheese called “CHESTER”  well some things in Mexico just make us laugh!

More Progress –

#3 – New sonar installation.  A study of the Garmin websites turned up the statement that the GT-21 can not be mounted on the inside of a hull and shoot it’s sonar sound magic through the fiberglass hull and back again in order to determine the depth as well as the bottom contour…  That made no sense so we tested the unit inside the hull sitting in water dammed up with some clay we found in the toys section over at the Walmart and it seemd to be a working correctly. We have other transducers installed like this and operating operating properly.


So I cut the blue end wire on the GT-21 transducer wire and tried to use the spare leads from the old GPSMAP 3206 already run down through the binnacle tubes, same as I used to run the power and NMEA 0183  leads to the new GPSMAP 840XS.  The strategy worked for the GPSMAP 840XS but not so well on the GT-21.  BAD IDEA!

So as time wound down we decided to leave the fishing transducer installation for a later day.  Good news, mounting for shoot through the hull worked, cutting the cable not so good, but before putting it away for a later day, I did verify that soldering the cut connectors back together and adding a little foil which was removed when I had cut the cable made the cable functional again…


#6 – The propeller shaft alignment looks GREAT.  I loosened the 4 bolts holding the drive plate from the transmission (in B/W photo below you can see the 4 pads clearly) to the flex coupling (Color photo is of a typical flex coupling).  I worked the two apart slightly and brought them back together, the first pad to touch the coupling is tightened so that a 0.003 inch feeler gauge will NOT GO into the gap between the pad and the coupling.  The other three pads are checked with a 0.003 inch feeler gauge and they were also NOGO to the feeler gauge insertion.  We call this motor to shaft alignment GOOD!


Image result for marine transmission shaft coupling   

#8 – We fill the fuel cans today.  Taking them over to the El Cid Marina We check the depth at the Fonatur Marina on the way, just to check access to the fuel dock to make sure we can utilize that dock when needed…

Maybe we will be ready to go cruise the Mexican coast to the south of Mazatlan… Isla Isabela, San Blas, Chacala, Puerto Vallarta then on south if the wind blows that way.

Soon as we get over the effects of tonight’s margaritas!!!


Just for fun:

Reference sites:

  1.  or



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Boat Startup – December 2017

 Back to boat:

From a Facebook post:

Day 1:  (From a Facebook post)  Jib is up, dodger and sun canvas are up. We got the new fridge evaporator in. Big news, lithium house batteries sat with no in or out flows for 7 months and are at 13.2 volts. A very good number. It was maybe 13.4 when we left last May. Main sail tomorrow, weather permitting and start engine. Then on to the rest of the list..  Later in the day we got to go to Judo at Irimi Dojo in Mazatlan.  Federico and the club in Mazatlan send their love to the Denver Judoka…


Day 2:  Checked out of the Possada Hotel Freeman in Olas Altas district in Mazatlan and moved to the Marina.

The bilge pump was burnt and replaced it with our last spare.  Jess sanitized the water tanks with bleach and filled them.  We tinkered with the line ascend(er) tools we brought and looks like they will work fine.  We got the main sail up today!  Had to stop the fridge, found that the copper pipe from the compressor to the new evaporator are icing up quite a bit.  A google search says this may be a low coolant pressure.  Will probably need to call a pro on this one… (34 deg. F on the beer can, almost cold enough!)

Day 3:  RAIN? Well this is different. Not hard rain but it did rain on and off all day. So inside we knocked out the rework on the water maker filter bracket and pump assembly.  Mike from Rescue Refrigeration ( ) came over and hooked up his gauges and let some of the coolant out of the fridge system we put together on day one, let it run all day and it improved the ice on the copper from the compressor over to the evaporator.  We told Mike it improved things quite a bit but still a little icing.  Mike will come back Day 4 to let a bit more coolant out of the system.  Jess put some added a bit of sail tape to the ends of the batten pockets on the main sail……  Oh yes, and we checked out the remodeled restroom/showers at Marina Mazatlan…


Day 4:  Did I say RAIN?  Rained all day, Mike from Rescue Refrigeration came and let a little more coolant out of the system and the icing of the copper between the evaporator and compressor has lessened and should improve more after this.  Mike will come again tomorrow to make sure.   Jess is chasing the less than perfect taste of our drinking water.  The tank has been sanitized and today the water lines and charcoal filter.  Mounted the new Garmin GPSMAP 840xs chart plotter in the binnacle, still need to mount the new sonar/FISH FINDER transducer Garmin GT-21 too.  Also stripped the 40 year old seal from the salon hatch cover and replaced it…



Woo hoo!  Jess has opened the kitchen, eating out was fun but too much IS too much!  La Mona is still great Pizza and the liter beer is por compartier (for sharing). El Cortez  (Good Food Good Mood) is an great lunch and breakfast.  Both are less than 50 meters  (~55 yards) from the boat.

Installed the spreader flood lights and replaced the combination steaming and flood light fixture.  Installed the new masthead light.  Both the old fixtures were in good shape but the lenses have yellowed and the steamer light was burnt or corroded socket.  The masthead was yellow plastic and it looked like the red and green was fading, I think they still worked,  None he less we got them replaced.  Mike from Rescue Refr.  could not make it in today, but we are planning on tomorrow and hopefully get the icing issue all taken care of.  Refrigerator is working well other than that.  We should be able to keep ice cream if we add a door to the evaporator box and maybe a little foam board around it…  Got the replacement Magna grill put together and mounted…

Oh yes and JUDO with Federico on Monday and Friday, we were pooped on Wednesday and did not make it to the dojo…

Tomorrow is Saturday and list is shorter now???

  1.  Transducer for sonar mount and wire up
  2.  Install some insulation for fridge
  3.  We have a new rudder feed back transducer and should install it, the old one was intermittent cutting out while on autopilot sending boat in circles…
  4. Check the new GPS/Chartplotter with radar and AIS
  5. Check prop shaft alignment to motor again, it has been around 600 hours run time and we need to loosen the coupling and make sure the shaft and motor are still lined up.  Adjust if needed
  6. Make sure dinghy motor runs
  7. Fill fuel cans
  8. Change out old potable water hose with new one, old one starting to taste of plastic.
  9. Maybe add insulation to the fridge lids.
  10. Swap meet isn’t for a week here at the marina, maybe we can unload some STUFF…

FIN for now

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Back to the boat 2017/8 – More STUFF 2017

It’s that time again.

Jessica and I are off to Mazatlan tomorrow,  Sunday Dec 10, 2017.  Our plans are to fly DEN to PVR, Southwest Air, about 3 hours and then take a bus, ETN,  from Puerto Vallarta up to Mazatlan about 6 hours.  We get in late around 11:15 PM and are taking a hotel for a couple nights in Olas Altas area of Mazatlan, the Best Western Hotel Posada Freeman.

We plan to visit the boat, Hajime, and get her ready to move in  ASAP.

The main work to get done this week and next week are :

  1. Change the old cold plate in the ice box over to the new evaporator we are bringing, wish us luck that the sealed copper tubing on the new evaporator is long enough to reach the compressor in the aft lazarette…


2. Rig a new mast ascent system with the hardware we are bringing:

Pair Hand Climbing Ascender Set for Firefighting 8mm-12mm Rope Rappelling Ascend maybe something like this…   Image result for ascend mast ascenders

3. Replace the mast lighting, steaming light and anchor/tricolor/strobe lights and add spreader flood lights for better deck lighting :

Deck-Masthead Navigation Light for Sailboat - Five Oceans Smart LED Tri-Color, Anchor Light, and Strobe (N3-TRI-CMB)   1X 8'' 36W LED Work Light Bar 4WD SUV Driving Lamp Offroad  Combo(Spot+Flood)

4. Replace hatch seals on the Atkins & Hoyle Salon Hatch:

Inline image 2

5. Make dock line chafe guards from tubular webbing:

30mm Polypropylene Tubular Webbing

6.  Install the new GPS and sonar transducer in binical:


7.  Rebuild the propane grill, lots of rust and rotten burner on old one:

New Magma Marine Kettle Stove BBQ original A10-007 New Cover/Mount - Boat RV

8. Rebuild the filter assembly for the salt water intake filters on the watermaker, old one is rusted out and rework the salt water booster pump system replacing old 24 VAC pump with a 12 VDC one:

Metal 2 stage bracket replacement for Reverse Osmosis System M2   Patent Authorized DC12V 30 Watt Water Pressure Diaphragm Pump 2 L/Min 58 PSI

9.  Make some fitted sheets for the Forward V-Berth

10:  I’m sure there is more ???


This year’s stuff…

Product Name Part No. Quantity Item Price Total Price
Product Name Part No. Quantity Item Price Total Price
Product Name Part No. Quantity Item Price Total Price
Product Name Part No. Quantity Item Price Total Price
Nova Kool RT4 Boxed Evaporator with 12 Foot Lineset
179.20 1 $179.20 $179.20
Raytheon autopilot Rudder Feedback SensorRaytheon autopilot Rudder Feedback Sensor
( 122431685861 )

US $59.00

US $99.99


US $269.99


US $28.02


US $25.99 x 2


US $29.97


US $79.99
 Holds water maker pre-filters, old one is RUST!


US $18.00


US $4.68
Rigging water maker pre-pump…


US $23.85
( 112427562474 )

Housing Color: White


US $109.00
 Refrigerator water pump spares


US $23.48
 Micro connectors (never know)


US $3.38
PC Charger DC


US $12.98
Spreader lights


US $21.98
Drill bag and batteries


US $69.99
Code Item Qty Price Grand Total
WSR-NYL-BWT-001 BlueWater Tubular Nylon Webbing 1 Inch
[1 Inch Tubular Color:Tracer]
30 $0.35 $10.50
WSR-TUB-TFP-001 Tubular Polyester Webbing 1 Inch Factory Dyed
[Choose Your Tubular Polyester Color: Factory Dyed]
15 $0.63 $9.45
Item Cost
Batterys $59.48
GPS $0.00 GPS $682.83
Transducer $121.14
Evaporator $179.20
O-Rings $4.80
Sensor $59.00
Grill $99.00
GPS $0.00 GPS $269.99
Regulator 2@14 $28.02
Mask $25.99
Mask $25.99
Nav Light $29.97
Ascenders $79.99
Braket filter $18.00
SHort cables $4.68
Punm $23.85
Mast Light $109.00
2 pumps $23.48
Connectors $3.38
Charger $12.98
Spreader Lights $21.98
Dewalt Drill $69.99
 Webbing $19.95
 TOTAL $999.92
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment