Over the years we have often used Moeller Marine products, also sold under Tempo, and found them to be of fairly decent quality. But our most recent purchases have changed our opinion considerably. Here on the Beach House site we often post the specific product we are working with and links to where it can be found. When we use a product we like, it gets a good mention and we will often recommend it to others. But when we find a product we consider of poor quality we feel just as obligated to let others know of our experience. Three recent products made by Moeller have made our "Never Again" list.
In September of 1987, I sailed my 30-foot Hughes Columbia sailboat south to Little River, South Carolina. After a few days of waiting weather, I exited the Little River Inlet and pointed the bow towards Bermuda, some 1,000 miles away. To find that small speck in the middle of the Atlantic, I had the most up-to-date navigational instruments of the time. They consisted of a compass, VHF radio, a sextant with complete tables, paper charts and a radio direction finder. Seven and a half days later, I tuned the RDF to the radio signal for St. Georges Harbor and my feelings of accomplishment were beyond explanation.
During our cruise along the south coast of Cuba several years ago, I did a really dumb thing. We were Med-moored to the dock at Santiago, next to our friend's Vagabond 47 and there was a bit of swell running in the harbor. We both decided to set out an anchor from our bow to keep us from banging together and used our dinghy to do just that. I sat in the dinghy with our CQR 45 and about 50 feet of 3/8 BBB chain in my lap ready to deploy the anchor, and that is when it happened.
First, a complete disclosure. I have installed a dozen or more SSB radios as a service technician over the years. But my first two installations were on our own boat and I started with no previous knowledge and only the manufacturers manual. To make matters worse, we had no internet to do any research on and most installers would have us believe that there was some kind of magic and mystery to installing an HF radio. We quickly found out that was not the case, and installing one of these radios was no more difficult than installing any other piece of equipment. Eighteen years later, we are installing the most current Icom offering, the 802, on Beach House in preparation for future cruising. And once again, it was not all that difficult.
NOAA charts available free online and through “print-on-demand” service
Nearly 13 million registered boaters in the U.S. are priming to hit the water. As part of their preparations, boaters need to make sure that they have the latest NOAA nautical charts on hand to avoid groundings or accidents while navigating along the coast. With modern technological advancements, obtaining the latest chart is easier — and more important — than ever.
“Sailing the oceans and Great Lakes doesn’t have to be a voyage into the vast unknown of ages past,” explained Capt. John Lowell, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. “Obtaining the latest charts that provide increasingly precise depths and up-to-date navigational features can be as easy as clicking a link on a website.”
May 20, 2011 Advisory 02-11
Take the Search out of Search and Rescue
Upgrade to GPS enhanced EPIRBs
When Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB) are activated in emergency situations the system transmits vessel identification information to rescuers. Traditional EPIRBs rely on satellite Doppler Shift to identify the distress location. There are a wide variety of Coast Guard approved EPIRBs on the market but many do not have the most up-to-date feature: the ability to transmit the EPIRB’s GPS location.
Honda 2000 portable generator until we can have a more permanent installation. The Honda will handle most of our power needs, with the exception of the air conditioning system. But that suits us just fine for now. One of the things I don't like to do is to fill the built in tank every day when the generator is in constant use and for long term when charging that batteries it might mean shutting the generator down, filling the fuel tank, and starting it again. It is also hard to fill the tank without spilling gas on the deck, especially if the boats gets waked. So, the need for a remote extended fuel tank. To build one of these only takes a few inexpensive fittings, a fuel tank and about an hour of your time, at the most.
With the main electrical panel now replaced, there were a few small things that were unfinished and now is as good a time as any to get those done. The bilge pump switch for the secondary mid-ship bilge pump has been out for some time now. It was temporarily mounted in the forward hanging locker after the smaller secondary electrical panel was installed, but it was not convenient to get to. We did the installation for the anchor windlass some time back, but the helm switches to raise and lower the anchor from the steering location has not been done.