Friday, January 27, 2017

Rockville to Beaufort - 2017

--Blogpost written by Bob

Maggie is back from Sarasota and we are officially out of our rented oceanfront apartment in Folly Beach and living on board our sailboat in the boatyard at Marine Propulsions in Rockville SC.  

Rockville is literally at the end of the
road, Maybank Highway.

This is the only grocery store on Wadmalaw Island.

January 25

After we moved the last few items from our oceanfront apartment in Folly Beach to the boat today, I started working on the malfunctioning (ProMariner-brand) battery charger.  I completely disconnected the remote readout, disconnected the battery negative ground for 10 to 15 seconds, reconnected the ground and started the charger--it seemed to start up and then just flashed repeatedly and produced no output.  Then, I reset it again but left the ground wire off (to isolate any problems with the batteries) and it did the same thing.  So, I concluded that the charger has failed.  I drove to West Marine and purchased a replacement unit ($400) before they closed.  The battery charger is only 5-1/2 years old--it doesn't seem like it should have failed this soon.  I will install it first thing tomorrow morning.

Right now, it feels good to be living on board, even though the boat is really a disorganized mess at the moment.

January 26

I removed the old faulty battery charger and installed the new one this morning.  This involved working in the very cramped starboard cockpit locker for about an hour.

This is our battery charger, half way
through disassembly.

The new battery charger fired up and operated like it should.  I set the charge profile for AGM batteries and marked today's date on the cover with a permanent marker so that I will remember when we last replaced it.


I ran the new engine for about 15 minutes today just so I could get familiarized with the controls and the sound of the engine.  We also took the dinghy off the bow of our sailboat and put it into the water so that we can tow it behind.  We turned in our rental car too.  We are FINALLY ready to leave tomorrow morning!

The boat is all cleaned up and ready to go as the
sun sets over the marsh in Rockville.

Rockville to Beaufort SC

We left the boatyard's dock in Rockville at 8 AM on Friday, January 27.  It was a cool morning, maybe in the high 40's or low 50's but I'm not sure.  The tide is at its high point.  The wind is relatively still, compared to the last couple days (blowing at 15 knots) but it probably won't stay that way for long.  The offshore forecast is for 15 to 20 knots out of the west but that won't effect us much in the ICW.

It didn't take us long to get back into the groove of traveling the ICW, until new got to the second Ashapoo-Coosaw Cutoff--this one was touch and go because it was dead low tide and we barely had any water.  The depth alarm (set at 6 feet) was going off most of the time through this cutoff.  A couple of time the depth read 5' 0" (our draft) but we didn't seem to bump.  I'm surprised we made it through this cutoff without going aground!

We made it through the last opening of the Ladies Island Swing Bridge for the day at 3:30 PM.  This allowed us to get a slip at Beaufort's Downtown Marina.

We made it through our first day after resuming our
trip, tied up to Beaufort's Downtown Marina.


The new engine with the new 3-blade propeller is fantastic!  We were able to maintain hull speed (about 6.4 knots) at 2400 RPM of engine speed.  At times today when we were motoring against wind and current, it was no problem at all maintaining 5.5 knots or thereabouts.  Even though Anthony Black recommended we reduce the propeller's pitch by 1-1/2" during our next haulout, I think it is perfect as is.

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