After spending 10 weeks in Grenada, we had the opportunity to really tackle the boat list. And while it is a bit smaller, the nature of it is much simpler.

New Cabin!

But first check out our new enclosure for Ad Astra:

This enclosure wraps super clear vinyl windows all around the flybridge and adds breathable sun shades in the rear. Each of the clear windows are on their own zippers and tie-downs so we can individually.

Yesterday we were pounding the short run from Carriacou to Union Island dead on 28 knots of wind on the nose, and yet with the enclosure Max blissfully read his book and Kaiwen napped the hour crossing.

The flybridge seats 8 people, but now fully enclosed is actually a berth for 2 people – even in the rain! As you can see from the pictures the Kayak is up on the stands that Kyle and I created in Bequia. Combined with the arch and its storage rack the foredeck and side decks are completely clear.

What is left to do with Ad Astra?

Electrical Power Systems

We picked up the M4 connectors to connect the 8th solar panel to complete the system.

Batteries

The batteries continue to disappoint us in terms of their capacity, nominally rated at 1050 amp-hours, during the night we spend at most 13 amps an hour and we are dark from 6pm to 7am, call it 170 amps total. Most mornings we can get by until the sun comes up, but this past week we added a portable Dometic CF40 Fridge/Freezer to the boat so we can provision with frozen goods (meat) for a couple of weeks at a time. This guy seems to draw between 2 and 4 amps. The 2kW of solar definitely fully charges the bank during the day and goes into float, so we are seeing somewhat less than 150 amp-hours usable from a 1050 amp-hours of lead. I still believe Lithium is the way to go. Once our house in Austin completes the sale transaction, I will upgrade to Lithium.

Possibly we will load test the batteries in Bequia – but I am feeling under motivated. It will take 2 days to lug those 180# monsters out of the boat one by one only to verify that they suck. What is the point? Perhaps to better be able to sell the better ones out of the bunch to someone else to get maybe $100-200 more?

Generator

The generator is working fine, but we still have the broken dip-stick in the oil sump pan. Next week we will be in Bequia with the master mechanic Kerry and disconnect the generator and pull it out, and replace that stick (and do an oil change at the same time obviously). We will also add some marine grade water proof fuse holders to the generator’s secondary fuel pump.

  • Glue on the STBD oar-lock and mount the oars
  • Add on the dinghy light
  • Get a canvas made to protect the boat
  • Bolt on the Davit extension bars for more secure passage-making tie-downs
  • Fix the chips to the sugar scoops & add a bumper to Ad Astra

Other

  • Install the stern light on the rear of the arch
  • Install our SCUBA bottle holders
  • Install the sacrificial windlass collars
  • replace Max’s cabin fan (have the unit already)
  • Re-install the bowsprit (probably need a lighter gauge turn buckle – current one maybe too heavy)
  • Order a 79″ x 30″ trampoline mesh for the rear-sitting area
  • Improve the tie-down systems with both canvas awnings
  • Take-on the secondary main anchor and chain from Kerry
  • Deliver the Yamaha 15HP outboard & crimper to Kerry

Most of these items are just 30 minutes or so, and we have not had a family boat work day in about 3 weeks. I am looking forward to the week in Bequia where we chop this list down.