The Great South Florida High Season Vendor Rodeo

We have moved from River Forest boat yard waiting for work to be completed to Loggerhead Marina in Palm Beach Gardens waiting for work to be completed. Though we do much of our own work there are some tasks that require expertise, facilities, or tools that we don’t have. So, we’ve discussed our list of things that should be addressed and prioritized them from a safety perspective. Next step is to actually see that we get the most important of these done before we set off to the Bahamas. While there is a plethora of vendors providing all manner of marine services in South Florida, actually getting work done this time of year is another matter – patience is key. The boat biz is booming this year. Marinas are full. Service providers are booked.

So we are spending our days doing what we can ourselves, or on the phone/computer identifying suitable parties to carry out the short list of tasks we must get done, on the phone with those individuals, meeting with them, coordinating schedules, etc. We are slowly making progress. Our pilothouse air conditioner died several weeks ago and we’ve finally gotten a replacement installed. I have finally tidied up the cable runs in the electronics cabinet in the pilothouse and installed two new external antenna (Iridium Go and a Maretron WS100 weather sensor) on the pilothouse roof Seaview mount.

A half-dozen other tasks remain. Our number one project needing completion is replacing the Simrad RPU300 autopilot pump. It is ironic. One of the motivators for our choice in electronics (Simrad) was the desire to keep our existing Simrad autopilot and not introduce the need for interfaces among equipment from different vendors. Turns out the time it takes to turn the rudder from hard to port to hard to starboard is approximately 16 seconds; way too long for decent autopilot response; particularly in following seas. On our way down Mobile Bay we experienced uncomfortable following seas, the autopilot couldn’t handle it, and I had to hand steer the entire way; very tiring and not something one could do for an extended period. The hardover time should be approximately 8 seconds. The old RPU300 isn’t up to the task and so we’ve ordered an Accu-steer HRP100. This pump has adjustable flow control and should provide the required response time. Although installation looks straightforward I have not done this before; so we have hired a pro and are waiting on installation. This is what we do; wait.

NAIAD stabilizer service is scheduled for next week. Hopefully a simple fix to a modest oil leak at the heat exchanger will be sufficient but more than likely we will need to haul the boat to replace the lower fin seals. While the boat is out of the water a couple of other tasks need to be done as well; e.g. re-bedding portals. Always something; it’s a boat. Sometimes I think it’s a helicopter – 300 hours of maintenance for every hour of service.

But who could complain? Between boat projects we are also having great fun exploring Palm Beach, enjoying the balmy weather, riding our bikes, trying local restaurants and visiting with friends old and new. We had a delightful evening with Bob & Melanie Taylor (and pups Radar and Muddy) catching up on travels, destinations, Nordhavn matters, Memphis, etc. One couldn’t ask for more.


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