Oct 132013

Before I get into the heart of this post, I’ve been having some issues with a WordPress plugin that detects and converts the Fritter to a mobile friendly site.  It was not working for the app, and when I changed the settings, the mobile version came up all the time.  Erin alerted me to the issue a couple of days ago and I appreciate being notified of any issues regarding any of my apps in terms of functionality and such.  So please don’t be shy about letting me know if something is not working properly.

Anyways, I have loaded up another plugin that does the mobile thing and it looks to be working ok.  If not, let me know.

Ok, as the title says, winter is here, sort of, for whatever passes for winter down here.  You can tell when winter arrives because everyone starts shutting off their ac units and opening the hatches on the boats.  Which is what I did today.  In fact, I took it one step further, and shit canned the ac unit.  It was on it’s last legs anyways, and I doubt it would have fired up again if I left it to sit on the boat for 6 months.  Corrosion and heavy use have taken it’s toll.  And replacing it is cheap, about $100 when the time comes.  So I pulled it out, tossed it, and now have the proper looking, and much easier to get in and out of dark plexiglass doors on the companion way.  With the hatch now unencumbered by the mast laying on it, I can slide it open and get in and out much more better.  No more twisting and crawling.

I also was able to open the forward hatch today and with the rear open, there was a nice breeze flowing through the cabin, cooling things off nicely.  And that silence you hear is the sound of no ac running.  And there is one other advantage, way lower electric bills, as in single digit bills.  As of now, all I am using power for is to charge the iPhone and the laptop.  Nothing else.

Of course, no good deed goes unpunished.  I’ll probably still sweat a bit as highs during the afternoons still hit the mid 80’s.  And with out the background hum of the ac unit, I now hear all the noises going on around me, neighbors playing loud music, and such.  That’s ok, I can put up with it for now.

And since I am not using much shore power, I am now starting to look at what I will need for electrics on the boat.  A battery for lights is a necessity.  A solar panel to charge said battery.  But I am also looking at battery packs for the iPhone and laptop.  Something that I can charge up during the day, and then recharge my devices at night.  I am not sure which way I want to go just yet.  There are many options out there and prices are not outlandish.  With the one battery for the boat, a small solar panel will suffice, I am sure.  Plus I will need to find someplace to mount it.

For now, I am just looking around to see what is what.  When I find a solution, or not, I will post about it.  For now, I will enjoy the silence of no ac, and not worry about the next power bill.

Capt. Fritter

  4 Responses to “Living Aboard: Winter Is Here, Sort Of…”

  1. I don’t know how this would fit into your plans, but the car-jumper battery packs work nicely for us here during power outages as a way to recharge the phones and rechargeable lights. You just have to check them occasionally to make sure they haven’t lost too much charge between uses.

  2. I recommend this: http://cheaprvlivingblog.com/bobs-cheap-solar-living-store/

    Bob has been living off grid for years and is an honorable man whose goal in life is to help everyone who wants or need to to live a cheap mobile life.