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Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.

Believe it or not, the boat is tied to a pier and it still continues to fall apart. The auto pilot was doing strange things when we went to my son’s place a week ago. Part of the strangeness was water sloshing around on the inside of the control head like a partly filled aquarium. This is not a good sign. I took it apart an it had about a pint of water in it. The inside is all circuit boards, chips and other stuff I forgot the names of. Its’ only problem is you can not turn it off and on or disengage it’s operations. The button is a touch pad button. Part of a 6 button touch pad. I always understood that if something went wrong with the touch pad, you through it away. Someone in China is making billions of these things. I would think they would unplug and be thrown away instead of throwing away the whole $850 control unit.

Marine electronics are about where computers where 15 years ago. Well not quit as bad, but close. They are constantly upgrading with new faster, do more units that makes the existing unit old. The companies then stop supporting the old unit to help you buy a new one. Now this is a control head. It has a screen, like a watch, but bigger. A touch pad, and a dial. That is all. No brains. It is attached to a brain box that has an electronic compass in. I have not asked the price of that gem. Oh then the brain box is attached to another black box that tells my hydraulic steering what to do.

My control head is a model 5000. Today 5 years later the unit is a 7000. You guested it, none of the new stuff talks to the old stuff. Why? Sell more boxes. Mine does things I do not trust it to do without my standing beside it being very aware of what it is doing. There are a couple functions that it can do that I have played with, but would never leave it alone long enough to run to the john. It has been very good. We have sailed well over 2000 miles and it has steer probably over 90% of those miles. Probably 25% of those miles have been in pretty rough conditions. I just do not understand where the water came from.

As for me, the mate has been gone a week and a half. I am alive, all be it kind of lonely. I am probably eating to much food. In the last two years, we have cut down on our food intake. That has help me get rid of a rather large belle and keep it off. I am having to adjust how much I cook. I will be spending the Fourth at my son’s place. We are going fishing at least once. And to a party. It will be nice not having to work on projects for a couple days.

Happy Fourth!




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