Excerpt from the log of Pelago

this is an excerpt from our journal re: Log of sailing vessel Pelago and it about the equip that we have on board...

3Rd edition of "what worked and what did not"


We did have one problem with the Southwest Wind Power generator, the regulator board died, but have heard reports that after three years the board would die, and ours died just about three years after we installed it.  I contacted them via digital radio e-mail and received a very prompt reply.  Since we are still under warranty they told us to send the unit in and they would completely rebuild, and upgrade to the 400 watt unit and give us basically a new unit for only $85.00.

Wow, what a deal....  The only fly in the ointment was that we can not ship from here (at least we can not do it cheap, shipping in and out of the Bahamas is quite a expensive deal, and is rather prohibited)

I relayed that to the folks at Southwest Wind Power and they said to keep the e-mail on file and include it with the unit when we returned to the USA and they would give us the same deal when we return.  Now this is a service orientated company.   PUR watermakers should take lessons!!!

But the actual performance of the unit is excellent.  We have gone up to five days without having to charge with the diesel.


Simply can not say enough about this unit.  Last year we had the dismal luck with the Pur 40-E, and this is completely different.  Solid 7-8 gallons of fresh water per hour.  There are times when you have to run the diesel, and when the diesel is on the watermaker is on.  Just a great unit.  Highly recommend it.  It is very quiet and performs as advertised.  In fact when we first installed it and turned it on I had to put my hand on the motor to make sure that the thing was on!   We ran 4 gauge wire directly from the house batteries to the unit (less of a voltage drop) and fused it at the unit.  real happy!!

OO gauge battery cable

We upgraded our battery cables to OO gauge anchor tinned wire.  What a difference.  No voltage drop, quick charge and much more efficient.


Very simple installation, and it performs as advertised, builds up a good charge and then goes to float mode.  It also has the advantage that it can allow you to equalize your batteries (batteries will sulfate, that is get cruddy and you can boost them to 18 volts and desulfate)

This is a big advantage for the cruiser because if you have low voltage, you WILL  NOT BE HAPPY!!!

9Ft CARIB Hard bottom dink/MERCURY 15 HP

We upgraded to a new dink this year.  It is a hard bottomed 9ft Carib with a 15 hp Merc outboard.  Gotta tell ya, the first time it went on plane it scared the crap outta me.... Never went that fast in a dink before!!!We also added the plane fins to the outboard and as soon as you hit the throttle you are on a plane...  Makes for quick trips all around the anchorage, can carry a lot of cargo and makes it so much easier to go diving for lobster (and we are getting them!!!!!)  Our other dink worked but this one is far superior.


We had a problem with our US Customs entry decal (paid for it, but never got it)  Using this communications system, we were able to contact US Customs and get the information that we needed.  The whole evolution took 18 hours.  That is we initiated a message to US Customs, sent it via high frequency radio and had a reply all in less than 18 hours. Sitting south of the tropic of cancer that aint't bad!!!


We installed a new Adler Barber refrigeration system.  The unit works quite well and freezes ice cubes in four hours.  The digital control enables you to monitor the whole system.  There is a digital readout of the actual temperature in the box and it has many useful features. However a problem developed.  The digital control produces RFI (radio frequency interference)  This is simply not acceptable.  I contacted Kenyon and Adler Barber via digital e-mail.  Received a prompt reply and they indicated that there were engineering problems with their system, but they told us they would exchange our control head for a correct one when we return to the usa.  Just have to live with it until then.


Great system, had to add a transfer switch so that when the inverter turns on it automatically goes to the ac panel.  It is very quiet makes 110 VAC and does not interfere with the single sideband radio like most of the small inverters do.  Most of them make so much trash noise that the hf/ssb radios are useless, this inverter makes absolutely no noise and works quite well.  Keeps all of our various batteries charged up and works all the computers.  Good solid investment..


We installed the JRC 1000 radar and I can not see how we have done all of the nightime crossing without it.  These oceans and sounds here get pretty damned dark at night.  The radar changes all of that.  When

there is a non changing bearing, but decreasing distance at night, the radar gives you enough information to stay safe and out of harms way. The battery usage is minimal, and the safety factor is tremendous.


I have talked about anchors before, so this might be a rehash. It has to hold or you are screwed.  One thing we have done is increase our chain rode, much better than before. and in fact I think that we will increase it to a full 100ft of chain per anchor.  We carry four; 35 delta, 22 delta, and two 25lb danforths.  Forget the Bruce, they drag here, and just do not hold.  All of the boats that we have seen drag have used the Bruce.  While we were anchored at Normans Cay we went through quite a blow and we held on the delta.  Wind gusts to fifty knots and steady 30 knots for 24 hours.  At the same time there were two Bahamian vessels lost, both were mailboats and one went on the rocks at ship channel cay and the other foundered on the banks and was sunk. (Bob, are you listening?)


Very pleased with the new Icom vhf, we replaced our Uniden with the new Icom M-59, nice radio with good guarantee.  Of course we still use the  Icom 706 and the Icom tuner with 100% backup capability as we have spares.  HF/Ham/Marine ssb kind of important out here and the Icom does it all


Sitex Nav Add 6000 with the new "NT" chart chips,  whole lot more detail than the "c" map, in fact they are the same charts as in the chart kits and noaa charts, and hooked to the auto pilot it works quite well.  This year we have the Furino GPS system, much nicer and much quicker than the Interphase technologies that we have also.


We decided against a combo vcr/tv that are so common, reason for this is that the vcr dies before the tv does.  We have a new color tv in its own dedicated cabinet and a separate vcp in its own cabinet and are very pleased.  The antenna for the tv is the little West Marine ant that sits on the same arch as the radar and wind generator.  It (ant.) also works good.  Still sort of behind the power curve on the computers this is being worked up on a Compaq 433c lite/486 laptop.  Need more speed and more memory, especially since we have a new digital cam corder and work on the photos from the camera with the computer.  Before we left we bought a new cam order and it has a whole lot of bells and whistles that we still have not used, but hope to edit the ten hours of video in to a nice 2 hour tape,  gonna do that at home this computer can not handle the required software.

thats all for this edition

rick and tammy at anchor georgetwon, exumas, bahamas

Part 2