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Category Archives: Our Boat – 420 Hunter Passage

April 2011 – Uncovering Split Crow

Uncovering Split Crow - April 2011

We have had a very long winter – unusually cold temperatures. Finally, on April 8th, Dennis went out to the marina and uncovered the Split Crow. He spend all day taking the tarps off, putting up the canvas and generally getting things ready. Of course, it was a beautiful day, so he didn’t mind at all. He spend a good part of yesterday (April 9th) getting the boat back in order too. He put the interior back together and completed a bunch of tasks that needed doing inside.

Dennis also spent a lot of time cleaning deck of the boat. He polished and cleaned and made it look great!

Dennis cleaned the sliding hatch

He took the sliding hatch apart (this has the solar panel on it) and cleaned up ten years of disgusting dirt.

I arrived just in time – he was all done! All I did was take a few pictures and then give him instructions as to what I wanted done before we go away for the summer. This year, we really don’t have many major projects but I do want a switch installed near the shower that runs the sump pump. We have a very high quality pump (it’s the third replacement so we bought a good one) but it is very noisy and the switch to turn it on and off is way over near the nav station, so I have to turn the switch on, then run over to the shower and as soon as I’ve done the shower, the noise of the pump just about drives me off the deep end, so before I even towel myself off, I have to run back to the switch while I’m dripping wet and turn it off. So, Dennis is going to put another switch right outside the shower.

Another thing I would like is a good place to store the fresh fruit and vegetables. Last year, I kept them in a bin under the bed in the forward cabin and I may have to do that again, but I would prefer an alternate storage container. If there are any other Hunter 420 Passage owners out there who have figured this out, please let me know. I am open to suggestions!

There are a few other little things that need to be done, but basically, we are waiting for the ice to melt from the bay so that we can launch the boat! Hopefully before the May long weekend but we’ll see – spring is a couple of weeks behind this year.

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Nexus Wireless Wind Instrument – Part Two

Well!

Our Nexus wind instrument 😦

After two years of having very poor performance of our Nexus wireless wind instrument, and many phone calls, emails and sending the instrument to various places to be repaired, the company has finally confessed that there were problems with the first models (which apparently we own – of course!). So, we are now (hopefully) exchanging this model for a wired Nexus wind instrument. The gentleman we are dealing with said that he just had to finalize details and would send us a new one. Now, that is absolutely wonderful but we have learned our lesson! Also, we are out over $1000 for shipping and buying parts for the instrument, but I guess we can’t do much about that.

I also emailed the Nexus company in Sweden, and they too admitted that they had problems with the earlier products.

Here’s what they said:

Hello Jane,

I’m so sorry for all your problems you had with our products.

I don’t know which version you have/ had. We had some issue when we first
released the product. There were issue with charging the battery, radio
strength. And we also have some units were the radio broke down close to a
lightning strike. We have done some improvements on our latest version of
the wireless wind transducer. We have fixed with a new version charging
issue, radio strength and added an overcharge protection (lightning strike).

We are happy to replace your wireless transducer to a wired transducer. We
can send it directly from Sweden.

Please let me know if Fogh Marine is able to help you otherwise we will deal
with it from Sweden.

So, I wonder how much it will cost to send the Nexus to Sweden? Hopefully, we won’t have to find out!

Stay tuned for Part Three of the Nexus saga…

 

Nexus Wireless Wind Instrument

Our Nexus wind instrument 😦

I have to admit that at the 2009 Toronto Boat Show, we went a little wild and bought three expensive pieces of boat equipment – the dinghy, the kayak and unfortunately, the Nexus wireless wind instrument. I guess we got spoiled from our last boat – a Hunter 33 – it had a great wired wind indicator and we loved it! It made boating even more fun knowing the speed and direction of the wind (something to brag about in the anchorage). Anyway, we bought the Nexus wireless wind instrument for $1300 and it has only worked for two weeks. (Notice the year – it is now 2011). Here’s what happened.

Mast on the Killbear Marina lawn

Since the mast was lying down on Killbear Marina’s lawn, (this was our first year with the boat – we’d had it shipped from New York)  Dennis installed the Nexus himself. It didn’t work, so he brought everything home and called Fogh Marine (that’s where we bought it) and they told us to call ComNav in BC. So, Dennis called them and went through the steps with the technician. He acknowledged that it was not working and told us to ship it out to them for repair. We called Fogh Marine and they said they could send it or we could. So, to make things easier (as boating season was arriving soon), we packaged it up and sent it off. Insurance and postage was over $100.

It came back fixed and by now the mast was up on the boat, so we had to hire someone to climb the mast and install the instrument. Gerry, the owner of Sound Boat Works climbed the mast for $100 and put the pieces on the top like he was supposed to. Everything was great!

We set off on our trip and used the wind instrument quite a bit as we found it very interesting to know the wind speed and direction. About two weeks into the trip, the Nexus kept stalling out – it would work for a while and then stop. Finally, it stopped working altogether and for the rest of the summer, we were without it. I have to say though, that we tried many times to get it working and even called ComNav again and the technician helped us but it would not start. They suggested that it was the battery (the one on top of the mast). We gave up at the end of the sailing season and thought we’d tackle this in the spring.

In the spring of 2010, we bought a new battery and had it shipped up from the US at a cost of $90. Then, Dennis had to climb the mast himself and  bought a really neat mast climber (this cost $400) and install the new battery. Of course, it turned out not to be a battery problem because the Nexus would not work. We called ComNav and they referred us to Ocean Equipment. We called Ocean Equipment and had the Nexus shipped out there (another $100). Dave, the man we dealt with repaired it but told us that there was water damage in the WSI box. Since it was always under the dodger and inside a plastic box, we found this hard to believe. To make a long story short, the replacement WSI box was $300!

Dennis preparing to climb the mast

I paid Ocean Equipment their $300 and didn’t tell Dennis because he was already upset. I had the Nexus shipped to our friends’ house in Wisconsin for $60 because to ship it to Canada would have been over $150. Our friends were going to meet us at Beaver Island so we thought this was a good idea. When we arrived, Dennis climbed the mast and installed the Nexus. It didn’t work and we thought that maybe the solar panel needed to be recharged. We left it out in the bright sun for a couple of hours and when we checked it again, it worked! We were very excited about this!

There he goes!

We left the next day and happily set off for Petosky. We turned all of our instruments on and the Nexus worked…. for ten minutes.

So, for the entire summer of 2010, we were without a wind instrument. We are now at the mercy of Fogh Marine (we saw them at the 2011 Boat Show but didn’t buy anything from them this year!). We have asked to have this resolved and after spending $2000 (I am not including the cost of the mast climber), we have had enough of Nexus and everyone else. All we want now is to give this thing back and to have a wired wind instrument in its place. We shall see…

Stay tuned – Fogh Marine has been emailing us and trying to get everything in order. Hopefully they will!

 

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The Shakedown Cruise – Part Two

We have beautiful weather – perfect for sailing. Nice and warm, with a good breeze blowing in some direction. We don’t actually know the speed of the wind or its direction because we are still without our Nexus wireless wind instrument. It only worked for one week – after that, it gave out completely and Dennis spent quite a few trips going up and down the mast (in some very expensive but safe contraption). But I digress from the point of this story. I will keep a separate log of the goings on of the Nexus.

Since I am not a very experienced sailor, I’ve been practicing my driving skills when we leave the dock. Last week was a spectacular exit – no problems whatsoever and I was quite confident until a shrieking sound started up. It was the engine overheating and we weren’t even five minutes away from the marina. It turned out to be an air pocket (or something) and Dennis had us underway again within minutes.

Today’s exit from the dock was pretty good although it was a bit trickier because of the wind. However, within 30 seconds, we had bumped into something under water. It was apparently a cement block and Dennis mentioned that he should have reminded me about that. I cannot be held responsible for that though. You don’t expect to have cement blocks lying around in the middle of the channel. No damage though, so we carried on to Regatta Bay on Franklin Island.

We had an easy ride there and ventured through Canoe Channel. It was pretty shallow though (8 feet) and I doubt we’ll be able to take that short cut in the summer unless it rains for the next three weeks. We anchored in the middle of Regatta Bay and were the only boat there for most of the day.

The first thing we did was go swimming in our new “shorty” wet suits. They are terrific! The water temperature was 20 degrees Celsius and that is quite warm for the end of May in Georgian Bay but not for swimming around for half an hour.

Unfortunately, we looked like a couple of beached whales with these suits on. We seem to have developed bellies in the past couple of years and they definitely show in the wetsuits – no disguising any imperfections! Anyway, the wetsuits kept us warm and more buoyant, so we were able to swim around the anchorage for a good long time. I went snorkeling and saw lots of zebra mussels, a few crayfish, and not much else. Hardly any garbage either, which was very encouraging. Dennis dove around the boat and checked the new anchor chain – he’s quite proud of it. I guess it is much safer to have all chain instead of line, and in this wind (not that we know the speed of it), we are hardly swinging around at all.

The day was going very well but we did discover that the shower pump would not pump the water out and over the side of the boat. We had already replaced the pump last year in Mackinaw City and thought that our troubles were over. We spent considerable time troubleshooting and knew that the pump still worked but it had lost a lot of power and couldn’t manage to push the water up and over the side. So Dennis now has another job – to install a new pump. This time though, he is going to install a really good one. We’ve already had two pumps and although they were expensive, they need to last longer than eight weeks of boating. The only drawback of the good pump – we’ll call it The Terminator – is that we have to turn a switch on at the control panel when we have a shower and turn it back off when our shower is over. I think we can handle that inconvenience!

That is all that has happened so far today. Dennis is out fishing and I am having my tea. I’m sure more adventures will await us before the weekend is over!

 

Progress

Well, as you can see, the boat is getting some interior work done. Dennis has being building the table and it looks great! The interior cushions are half done and they really make a difference in the salon. Progress is being made!

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2010 in Our Boat - 420 Hunter Passage

 

Launching the boat – May 2009

The Split Crow was successfully launched on May 6th, 2009 at Killbear Marina. It was a bit of a concern however, since we weren’t actually sure if she would float – for all we knew, she could have ended up at the bottom of Georgian Bay! But, with the expert help of Ed and Will (owners of the marina), the boat made it safely into the Bay. Bonus – the engine started too!

 

Finding the boat – October 2008

Here are some pictures of us getting the boat. We drove to Long Island on Thanksgiving Weekend 2008 to see it and then Dennis made arrangements for the boat to be trucked back to Parry Sound.