The Blue Moon at anchor
The new engine is on order and should be delivered on or about June 7th. It wasn't easy to choose one. Here's what I was hoping to get:
- at least 15 hp
- 25" shaft
- as high a gear ratio as possible (3:1)
- as big a prop as possible
- as light as possible
- as reliable as possible
- as fuel efficient as possible
- easy to find repair people (on east coast of US)
Unfortunately, no one makes an outboard that meets all these criteria. The closest I could find was the 10hp Yamaha T9.9 GEXH. This is a bit less horse power than I was hoping for, but all the 15hp high thrust engines are designed for powerboats and come with power tilt and all sorts of things I don't need. This makes them more expensive, heavier, and too big for my bracket.
However, practically every cruiser I talked to on the Okeechobee Waterway recommended the T9.9 from their own practical experience. They say that the high gear ratio and big prop more than make up for the missing horse power, and that it should be plenty for my little 23' boat.
Here's hoping that I never mention my engine again in a blog post!
Notice the over-sized prop
One thing I'm really looking forward to is having lots more electricity than before. The T9.9 comes with a 6A alternator that will put out twice as much power as my solar panel. This should be a big help in keeping my batteries charged. I'm going to redo the wiring in the boat (I can't make heads or tails of the current wiring) and install a 12v reading lamp, a fan that I'm definitely going to need for sleeping, and some sockets that will make plugging in my solar panels, cell phone and computer charger, etc., much easier and neater. I've been dealing with a kind of rats nest of wiring, and I'm looking forward to cleaning that up.
Speaking of cleaning up, I've been redoing my List. I've touched on my 'cargo' several times but, in a nutshell, I started this voyage with waaaaaaaay too much stuff! My cargo hold in the beginning was jam packed, making it difficult to move around the boat and inconveninent to get at things. I had things 'containerized' in Rubbermaid plastic boxes, labeled 'Food' and 'Clothes' and 'Equipment' and 'Books', and although the boxes were better than having everything rollling around in a pig pile on the floor, they took up a lot of space.
This looks pretty neat, but actually, almost the whole cabin floor is taken up by various boxes,
making it hard to move around down below, particularly when underway.
I have been shedding unnecessary stuff on a more or less continuous basis so that I should be down to 2 plastic boxes, a duffel bag, and a few hammock. I hope to be able to have the cabin floor empty by the time I leave the dock, this time.
By the way, I keep forgetting to mention that I took the advice offered by several readers and painted the Blue Moon's entire deck with non-skid paint. I did this way back in Sarasota, while recovering from my infection, but kept forgetting to mention it.
photo by Interlux
I added Interlux Intergrip to two pints of White and Bristol Beige Brightside paint, and gave the deck, cockpit, and anchor well a second coat of paint, that they needed, anyway. This made the whole deck, from stem to stern, non-skid and it has really, really made a difference. I haven't banged my shin since applying it. Huge difference.
The sad thing is that I actually had the Intergrip from the beginning. I always intended to add it to the second coat of paint. The problem is, I ran out of paint in Steinhatchee, and that is not a good place to run out of paint (or anything else). The nearest West Marine that had my paint in stock was in Jacksonville, and I was too impatient to drive there to get it. Big mistake!
Live and learn, I guess.
Next Episode: On the road again
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