Electricity / 電力

Next to fresh water, electricity is the most important thing as it powers all of our instruments- navigation, satellite, radio, lights…. We have three source of electricity: diesel generator , hydro and wind generator and solar.   The diesel is very reliable, but needs fuel to run which we want to save to use the engine.  The output from solar is not so high and variable: it is high when sun is directly shinning on panels, gets lower as the angle of sun changes or parts of the panel get shaded and produces no electricity at night.  So, the hydrogenerator is the key producer of energy as it produces electricity as long as the boat is moving through the water,  But, the speed through the water is very important.  At 5 knots of boat speed the hydrogenerator might produce 5 amps of electricity, but at 9 knots it might produce almost 20!   









Furuno Tracking System/ 古野電気のトラッキングシステム

Furuno has kindly agreed to allow us to use their vessel tracking system.  This system will allow friends and family to track our progress and for our support team onshore to monitor the boat for unusual movements, e.g. stopped, moving backwards, etc., that might indicate there is a problem.  This system is quite advanced so that the settings can be changed by our support team onshore. This is  a very useful feature.  For example, we can set the system to transmit once every hour to save electricity but, if something happened and the shore team could not reach us, they could have the system send our location more frequently to assist in locating the boat.  



下記に、月刊 KAZI に掲載された同システムの記事があります。舵社の企画編集、営業部課長の安藤さんは個人的に岩本を応援してくださっているサポーターで、このトラッキングシステムの開発に携わられました。

Checking The Compass

Before GPS became ubiquitous, swinging a compass (checking it for accuracy and adjusting)  was a yearly ritual for most boat owners.  The compass was the most important navigational tool onboard as even a small error could have a major effect on an Estimated Position calculation. These days, we are not as dependent on compasses, but the humble steering compass is still an important navigational tool.

We had the compass checked and the good news is that it is reading correctly; there is little deviation from what the compass shows and what is actually shows as you can see from the “report card”.   However, we did discover that the air horn, which is used to signal other vessels, was causing a major deflection of the compass as it is a heavy metal container and was located close to the compass.  Once we are out of San Diego Bay where we might need to give an audible signal, we will move the airhorn to a place far enough from the compass not to be a problem.


We took Dream Weaver to the boat yard at the end of April to have the rigger entirely replace the standing rigging (the wires that hold the mast in place) and the running rigging (the “rope”/line by which the sails are controlled).  While still in relatively good condition, these would eventually need to be replaced and we want to reduce points of potential failure that could lead to bigger problems during the voyage.

In addition to the replacements, we are also having the rigger remove the boom for the staysail.  The staysail is a smaller sail between the genoa (the sail at the front of the boat) and the mainsail (the sail that provides the most power to the boat and is attached to the mast and boom).   The staysail boom was just getting in the way and we believe we can have more flexibility, especially when tacking (moving the bow of the boat through the wind so that the sails are on the opposite side of the boat), without it.