Thursday, June 18, 2009

Boatsmith'sTiki 30 in Nassau

David and Scott arrived in Nassau Sunday morning. They had to motor the whole trip as the wind was right on the nose and light. They could have indeed sailed but the trip could have easily taken over a week and that sure didn't fit into our time frame. This is one reason why a good motor is a vital piece of equipment for most people. They left Thursday night at 11:00 pm and arrived off Great Harbour about the same time Friday evening. That would be an awful lot of battery capacity with an electric motor.

The Berry Islands lie between Grand Bahama Island and Nassau on the south side of the Northwest Providence channel. They are beautiful and not very crowded.

The water is so clear that it looks more shallow than it is. And it is shallow.

After clearing in at Great Harbour Saturday morning the guys went south a little ways to a spot that Scott remembered from previous trips to spend Saturday night.

Here is the latest view of the nav station aboard Abaco. When we installed the solar panel and controller we also added a 400 watt inverter. This is very useful to run a computer and recharge batteries for the handheld VHF and searchlights and cameras and phones. All of the interior and running lights are LEDs and the ventilation fans in each space are fractional amperage. The only other electrical loads are the stereo, the GPS/chart plotter and starting the engine. Our 160 watt solar panel with two 96 amp/hr batteries is expected to handle our needs well.
The boat is quite full. Everything in the Bahamas is pricey, so we tried to put as much stuff on board as we could. Onne and his boys will be on the boat for ten days, followed by my family for ten days, and then David Crawford will come back and spend ten days with his two daughters bringing the boat back to FL.

David and Scott arrived in Nassau Sunday afternoon and spent the rest of Sunday and most of Monday cleaning the boat and getting her ready for Onne. Here is Onne (on the left) getting some orientation on the boat from David.

When we were at the Miami boat show with Abaco, the comment most often heard when people saw the boat was "Wow, that looks like fun." This same comment was the norm once the boat was tied up in Nassau.

This boat is ideal for the Bahamas with it's 2'1" draft. The bimini is also well suited to this climate and the large cockpit and swim ladder make life very pleasurable on board.

When making a passage we store the dink upside down on the foredeck. For short hops we just tow it or pull it up on the foredeck right side up.

We have left the boat with Onne and sons. We are very excited about the photos to come and the time we will spend on Abaco in the Exumas. It's possible that Onne will email me some photos this week and if so, I will post them, otherwise we'll have to wait until we return in about 3 weeks. Cheers David

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Haulout and Solar Electric

We hauled our Tiki 30 Abaco out at Cracker Boy Boatworks this last week to prepare her for a trip to the Exumas in the Bahamas. Onne Vanderwahl is picking up the boat in Nassau Monday afternoon to spend some time on her in the Exumas. For those unfamiliar with Onne's work, he is one of the premier yacht photographers in the world. He saw our boat at the Miami boat show and thought that this would be a really great boat to spend some time on with kids. While doing so he will take lots of pics for his and our future use. We are pretty excited about getting some really great shots to use in our marketing and publicity programs.

We have been making continual improvements to our Tiki 30. Above you can see the 3 gallon bucket we have installed for a sink. We had built a LITTLE tiny sink per plan and were all set to drill a hole trough the side of the boat for the drain and realized that the drain hole would be right at or below the waterline. So we instead cut out the shelve in front of the reefer access and the bucket just sits in the cutout.Easy to empty and easy to move outside as well. Seems like a great idea.Hanneke really liked this change from her drawings.

We also needed to install this 160 watt solar panel. We had to have another tube and some tabs welded onto our bimini structure to support the panel. The wire runs down the inside of the tube and through the back of the house through a gland.We mounted a controller next to the electrical panel. The controller controls the charge rate and shuts off the panel to prevent over charging.

Above the panel is installed and charging. We have yet to relace the bimini fabric. Below you can see some reinforcing bands of fiberglass tape we put on the tillers. I was concerned about them coming apart and they are somewhat crucial. We will cover them with some red stayset lashings for a more aesthetic look.

These two photos show off our new bottom paint. Onne takes both underwater and waterline photos and suggested that our bottom paint look its' best. The boat left Thursday evening about 10 o'clock. David Crawford and Scott Williams are delivering her to Nassau for me. I'm lucky to have such capable people working with me. They should be closing in on Grand Bahama Island around daybreak. Onne picks up the boat Monday. Ten days later myself , my wife and our son will fly to Nassau to pickup the boat from Onne and spend a couple of weeks on her ourselves. This boat is ideal for the Exumas. The water there is extremely thin and very clear. We expect to have a wonderful time and will share lots of photos and info when we return. David