To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

Gimli the Windlass


Yesterday we dismounted the windlass to check out it's internals. CA says it feels like it's "grinding" or "rough".

We took off the four huge bolts that secure it through the deck.

We took off the dozen 10mm bolts that hold the bottom in place.

What greeted our eyes?

Grease — and lots of it. The thing remains packed with what looks like good, clean grease. None seems to have leaked out. There didn't seem to be foamy sea-water contamination of the grease. The parts we could see looked as clean and sharp as the day they were made.

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We reassembled it and replaced it on deck. The "grinding" feeling may simply be due to the fact that we've probably used that anchor windlass more in the last year that it had been used in the last 15 years.

Preparation for Departure

To prepare for departure, we started with the Sunday breakfast at La Herencia. Wow. Cuban Omelette. Wow.

We really need to do some tidying up this afternoon. I need to put the possible anchorage locations into the chart plotter, for example.

Monday, we'll start heading S. It's something like 5 days down the ditch to Vero Beach. It may take longer if we wait out the rain predicted for Tuesday by sitting at Ft. Matanzas.

Here are the potential stops.

  • Monday start from St. Augustine. ICW mile 777. We'll need to get fuel and water before we leave. Monday night at Ft. Matanzas. ICW mile 792. Maybe 3-4 hours and that's it.

  • Tuesday night in Daytona. ICW miles 828-830; Seabreeze or Memorial Bridge. Maybe 6 hours. Depends on the rain. If we meet up with friends, we may spend more than one night here. And we may take a slip at a marina instead of anchoring in the river.

  • Wednesday night in Titusville. ICW mile 877. Close on 8 hours.

  • Thursday night in Eau Gallie. ICW Mile 914-918. About 7 hours.

  • Friday night we'll likely make the Vero Beach Moorings. ICW mile 951. About 5 more hours.

We've done parts of this before. Last year we did the Daytona to St. Augustine through the ditch, heading north. We have a vague idea what it looks like.


I've spent a fair number of hours shopping. And reading installation guides. And compiling lists of parts and interfaces.

We have four instrumentation problems.

  1. The ancient DMI wind speed, boat speed and depth instruments are — well — ancient. The bezels fill with condensation making them hard to read at night or in poor light. And they're located awkwardly far from the binnacle.

  2. The tach doesn't always work. The hour meter has never worked. The RPM's are not calibrated to the new tach. And it flakes out periodically.

  3. No rudder position indicator.

  4. No radar.

The radar issue is the thing we'd like to solve first. The Si-Tex MDS-8 will integrate with our Standard Horizon chart plotter. It's a relatively easy installation. Bracket. Wires. Done.


And this is a big however.

If we also plan to replace the DMI sailing instruments, then we might want a radar that goes with the new instruments instead of the old instruments.

Enter B&G.

If we get a B&G instrument package — speed, depth and wind — with a B&G Zeus 8 chart plotter, we can add a B&G radar to this package. We also upgrade to state-of-the-art SimNet NMEA2000 interconnection among instruments.

We can remount the Standard Horizon CP300i at the nav station with an SimNet-NMEA0183 interface so that it can participate with the B&G hardware as a hot spare/backup unit.

I think that the B&G Triton Autopilot high-current system can drive our existing Benmar pump. If this is really true, it's a huge simplification in the installation. It becomes a simple wiring problem with no changes to the hydraulics.

We'll spend a good bit of time hand-wringing over these two choices: inexpensive and simple Si-Tex vs. state-of-the-art B&G.