Boat Bling

I’ve got a good handle on the necessary repairs now. Bottom is fully repaired, prop is out for repair – I found some minor dings in the tips – turbocharger is being serviced.

I had a wish list when I arrived:

  1. AIS. I don’t care about transmitting – which allows others to see me – but a receiver is essential. So my plan is to replace my VHF with a new one that has AIS. I’ll also install a satellite mike on the flybridge and a speaker as well.
  2. A windlass.
  3. A new dinghy. Similar to the one I have but lighter. Mine is on its last legs

I got thinking of the windlass because a) everyone has one, b) I like the idea of having a winch of some sort to pull myself off if I go seriously aground, c) Crowley’s is a Lewmar repair center, and they have some deals on refurbished/surplus gear, and d) I could use a chain or partial chain anchor rode. I have a chain-rope rode now that has 30 feet of chain, and it’s really hard to handle without a windlass.

My current arrangement is using an all rope rode and either a 40 lb hook anchor or a Fortress fx23. I also carry a 45 lb plow anchor but have never used it. To be honest for pretty much all I’ve done so far it works for me. I get good exercise raising anchor. I haven’t been in areas where chafe was a concern. I typically lay out the rode neatly on the foredeck and let it dry out. Wander up and turn it over in the sun.

When I started thinking of the practical concerns about the installation. Of course a windlass is just part of a complete anchoring system. You need robust wiring, a dedicated battery, waterproof switches. And a good anchor locker, which I really don’t got. So I’m leaning towards not getting a windlass, at least a modern one. I’m now thinking that I’ll add a short chain leader to my rope rode for everyday use.

A new candidate has emerged though. Radar. I’ve been thinking lots about piloting and navigation since running up on the rock in Georgian Bay. There were lots of contributing factors, and I’m certainly not going to blame my tools. But a recent discussion on the AGLA forum was pretty persuasive. And a new radar is probably less $ than a windlass, looking at installed cost, although as always it’s easy to spend big bucks. The new digital units look super cool, but would require a new plotter. Maybe I don’t need a new dinghy right away…

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