We’re home in Maine for a few days. One of the places that I wanted to visit was the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. The museum is really well done and is a truly educational experience into the tradition of shipbuilding in Maine, especially during the age of sail. Remarkably, within sight of the museum’s back windows is the Bath Iron Works, where they are now sea-trialing the latest “Star Wars-looking” guided missile destroyer for the U.S. Navy, USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000).
We’re researching, testing and purchasing some needed equipment for Tortuga. Yesterday our 1.5 gallon Shop-Vac arrived, so Janet wasted no time putting it through it’s paces in the house. The wet-dry vacuum is very small but immensely powerful with a 2.0 hp 120 VAC motor. The size is perfect because it can be tucked neatly away or even hung-up in the tech-room. The wet pick-up feature is useful to clean up the occasional spill in the bilges, heretofore we’ve used the sponge & bucket method. The vacuum has a blower function that is hopefully going to lend itself to clearing clogged raw water intakes. Like many things on a boat, it has multiple uses and is very compact.
The other item that came in was a hand-held Standard Horizon HX870 VHS radio. The hand-held will act as a back-up VHS in the cockpit when underway, and a primary means of communication with the dingy or a shore party. If someone goes ashore and needs to communicate with the boat or visa versa, the 6 watt radio will be quicker, more reliable, and cheaper than a cell phone call, especially outside of the United States. Things I like about the HX870 are:
Built-in GPS with basic navigation and MOB functionality
Fully -DSC enabled
Waterproof and floats
Water-activated strobe in case it falls overboard at night