Monday, May 31, 2010

Sea Trial

Son Ben helps test systems
We’re docked at our home port, Macedon Landing, while we make our final preparations. Today Bill piloted the Dragonfly out of the harbor and up the Erie Canal, making a successful test cruise under electric power.

The weather has been perfect and our solar panels had our half-ton bank of batteries fully charged.

Notice that the GPS in the photo below reads 2.3 miles per hour . . . but don’t let that fool you; at one point we were motoring along at a blistering 5 mph (exceeding expectations!)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

We Leave Today . . .

. . . for Macedon, NY, the port on the Erie Canal where our boat is docked. We'll make some adjustments to the engine, stow our gear, do a shakedown cruise while towing our dinghy (more on THAT unusual boat later!), and smash a bottle of champagne on the bow. Then, on June 1, we cruise away!

You can read a story about our voyage on Penn State Live.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Revved Up and (Almost) Ready to Go

Bill writes...

Spent this past weekend installing our electric motor.  The Dragonfly now has electric propulsion, which is very exciting, albeit with one unexpected wrinkle. Turns out that to reverse the propeller (that is, back the boat up or slow it suddenly), I need a piece of specialized electrical gear (a “reversing relay”) that I didn’t think we needed.

I ordered the part on Saturday and it is supposedly air-shipping from China today. The company predicts that I will have it by Friday. It’s a rather essential piece of equipment because  without it, I can’t reverse the boat if I’m running on electric power..