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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day 7, 'Lectronic Problems

Wednesday evening

The wind was pretty reasonable for the last 24 hours, aft of the beam and strong enough to keep the windvane steering. The windvane, a mechanical device that steers the boat relative to the wind, works pretty well as long as there's enough wind flowing over its sail. When the wind goes light we have to switch to the autopilot which steers the boat relative to its own magnetic compass. I assume we'll be doing this tonight and tomorrow as the forecast is for lighter winds.

The main halyard problem seems to be taken care of for now. The addition of leather to the top 8 inches of the halyard seems to be protecting the rope. I've had that leather on the boat for at least 15 years, it's about time it made itself useful.

I dismantled the radar display today to see if I could find anything that might be causing it to function poorly. In 2004 when we trucked the boat to Seattle the cable for the radar was damaged by vibration on the truck. I repaired it as best I could at the time, and the radar has functioned well until recently. About a year ago I noticed some corrosion on the back of the radar display where the cable attaches. It looks like rain water had entered the cable jacket at the repair and flowed down the cable to the display. When I found this problem I cut back some of the jacket at the lowest point of the cable so any water entering the jacket could drain at the lowest point, instead of at the display and I cleaned up the corrosion. But now I suspect some of the water got into the display and may be causing problems. The operation was successful. I did find evidence of minor water intrusion and cleaned up the electronics. We won't know, however, if the radar works any better until we get close enough to something solid to get a reflection. Right now there's nothing around us but waves, and while you can usually get waves to show up on radar, it's not a great test of the system. Considering how infrequently we use the radar, I'm not too worried. Eventually we will have to remove the mast to replace the cable and if we're going that far I'll probably replace the radar too.

{GMST}17|29|N|112|55|W|Mexico to Marquesas Day 7|Day 7{GEND}