Ariel launched May 3, and we’ve already completed most of our month-long summer cruise (and all of that before the first official day of summer!). That’s got to be some kind of record for us.
Spring commissioning included the usual items: polishing and waxing the topsides, painting the bottom, bending on sails, etc. Nothing too big to report there. I got an early start and took advantage of some nice spring days to knock off the jobs. Ariel’s hull looked better than ever this year. I used Finesse-It polish, then followed that with 3M Ultra Performance Paste Wax and a clean buffing pad. Boy, does she shine!
Perhaps the only significant task this season was installation of a new house bank, consisting of four 6-volts, and a Blue Seas ACR (Automatic Charging Relay). The new batteries give us 460 amp hours and the ACR automatically combines the house and starting banks when there’s a charging source and separates them when there’s not. Last season we had to use the battery selector switch to manually combine the two banks for charging. This system is much more convenient. So far the new house bank is giving us loads of spare power. Only once have we discharged to 50% of capacity.
I also wanted to get our new sailing dinghy, a Trinka 10, cleaned up and ready for the season. Earlier I’d fiberglassed the mast step to the hull to fix a break from the end of last season (the first time we sailed her). I also stripped layers of blue ablative off the bottom and reapplied VC-17, the same paint we use on Ariel. I’d hoped to compound and wax, but I ran out of time. Even so, she was ready for the water.
We’re currently tied up in Manistee at the Municipal Marina ($50.00/night…ouch!) with wifi and showers. We’ll depart for Arcadia before too long.