Saturday, September 15, 2007

Stepping the Mast and A Failed Seatrial

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On September 7 our mast and new rigging was installed. The installation of the electronics continued, with most bugs worked out by yesterday, when we took First Edition for a sea trial with our “master” electrician, Todd. In addition to confirming that everything was working as intended, during the sea trial the new auto pilot fluxgate compass needed to be calibrated. To do this, First Edition needs to be turned in at least two full circles at a certain speed for a certain time.

It was blowing a bit and as a result, the Long Island Sound was choppy. After a few attempts with a “Too Fast” error message delivered by the autopilot, we took the boat inside the breakwater and attempted the calibration again while dodging boats under sail and power boats in the channel, all of whom were not happy with us. The calibration was not successful so we are getting another brand new fluxgate and autopilot brain, and moving the fluxgate from its current installation spot. This should be done by early next week.

We also have to have a Compass Adjustor correct the significant error that appears to have occurred on the ship’s magnetic compass (“when all else fails, believe your compass”), and our brand new ICOM VHF needs replacing since its “off” button does not work.

Our plans to leisurely sail the Chesapeake during the Fall are now in jeopardy. We remain committed, and some say out of our minds.

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