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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Boat Show 2008

As planned, Friday was boat show day.

What boat show day means is a whole lot of walking around. And a lot of looking at stuff. Not every booth is actually selling stuff, so at a lot of places all you can do is look. Which is good. I get to see stuff so that if I get it in the future I at least know what the crap I am ordering before it arrives here.

Like for example, the LED lights I want to get. Right now I have non-LED lights. They are OK, but they are not cool. In more ways than one. Filament bulbs generate heat. This is one way in which they are not cool. I can actually measure this uncoolness factor. LEDs generate less (or even no) heat. So if I have the two side by side, I can measure how much hotter the standard bulbs get and say that they are a lot less cool than the LEDs.

Second, and less easy to measure, is the other side of the coolness factor. LEDs are the future of lighting. Now I know that with the compact fluorescent craze taking over you may not want to hear that. Well too bad. The CF bulbs do use less energy and last longer than incandescent bulbs, but a LED will outlast a CF bulb by as much as 10 years, and use a lot less energy. Of course, they are not exactly cheap. But if you consider that the average expected lifetime of a LED is about 100,000 hours and that there are only 24 hours in a day - you can expect that even if you left the light on all day every day you would get about 4,166.6 days of use. That works out to 11.41 years.

Nobody leaves lights on all the time. Your actual use may vary. But the bottom line is that you will get more light with less watts - and never have to replace bulbs for a very long time.

And then there is the looks factor. I could install enough LEDs to light the boat up like a Christmas Tree and not have to worry about overloading the switch. Current? Not an issue! The 3 or 4 amps the courtesy lights are drawing now would be enough current to run a whole lot of LEDs. I want to replace the two courtesy lights with multiple color LED (red for night vision, and amber or blue to look cool) and then mount some more lights in the rod holder inserts. I may also want to add some to the top that is going to get put in. Then with a flip of a switch, I will have either red lights for night vision preservation purposes, or cool blue light just because it looks cool. I also want to put some lights below the waterline on the transom, because that attracts fish. And it looks cool.

But there was also stuff to buy. TONS of stuff to buy. Of course, the vast majority of it was stuff I did not need or stuff I did not want. But there was still some cool stuff that I picked up. Like the suction cup mounted thing that can hold lures and leaders and stuff. So now when I go fishing I stick that thing somewhere and now I have a handy place to keep pre-rigged tackle. As opposed to where I have been keeping that stuff up to now, which includes either in t he tackle box that is always under where ever someone is sitting, hanging from the hand held radio holder that is never holding an actual radio but may contain a beer bottle in various stages of emptiness, somewhere on the helm area, or just somewhere on the deck. I also got some nice stainless steel rail mount rod holders that were nicely discounted. They are removable, so if I am fishing can put them anywhere at the bow (where the rail is) or stow them away if I am not fishing.

I also saw actual treasure recovered from the wreck of the Spanish Galleon Atocha. The Mel Fisher Treasure Company people were there, trying to drum up investors. It is a fairly risky investment, but Ill tell you what - it paid off big time for some people. Mel did find the mother load. The Atocha was a 18th century treasure ship, full of gold and silver and emeralds and other gems stolen / looted from the natives of the New World. So there were gold bars, gold chains, gold coins, some big ass cut emeralds, and silver pieces-o-eight, the standard currency of the day. At this time in human history, the treasure plundered from Mexico and parts south made Spain very very wealthy. So Spanish silver coins were all over the place. I entered a contest to win one. It would be cool to get it.

And of course, there were boats. I found the boat based on the mold my boat was made from. Pro-Kat makes it. They call it a 20 foot boat, while the company that made my boat calls it a 19 footer. Whatever. My boat is actually 19.5 feet, so I could call mine a 20 footer too. The boat stood out from the others, because I could tell it was the same one I had. Cats are very distinctive.

Pro-Kat made some changes. I do not really care for the changes they made. They removed the floor lockers (less storage space) and moved the center console forward (less space to move around at the bow). I do not care for that change very much. They also changed the splash well a little. The sides are not as high, and the port hole hatches are different. The good thing there is that the bilges are a lot easier to access - the bad thing is that water would have an easier time leaking in. The Pro-Kat hull has a deeper V than what my version has. My hull is more of a semi-displacement hull, but it will still get up on plane. I am not convinced that this makes too much of a difference, but the sales people claim it does.

I also think my boat MAY be propped incorrectly. According to many people I talked to, I am not getting maximum RPM out of the engine. I get a a little over 5k now, it should be closer to 6k. This may be why I do not get that much speed compared to other boats of the same size and HP. So what I have to do is find a weigh station, then weigh the trailer with and without the boat on it. Then I know the boat weight with the engine and full tanks of gas. Next get a prop guy to bring out a few prop selections. Then load up the boat as I normally use it, which would be full tanks and two or three people. Then see which props allow maximum RPM at wide open throttle without going over that max RPM.

If the boat is over or under propped, then what is happening is that the system is not as efficient as it could be. This will result in reduced speed and/or more fuel used. Propped correctly, I should get more speed out of any RPM range/gas consumption range. The number I kept hearing is that my maximum speed should be closer to 40 mph, where I get about 33 mph now. Not a huge difference, and I rarely go top speed because I like my engine and see no good reason to push it too hard. But it would increase the cruising speed that gives me the best gas consumption from the current 19 - 21 knots to 23 - 25 knots (estimated). In MPH this equates to 22 - 24 mph (currently) to 27 - 29 mph (new estimated best speed).

While it may not sound like much, when I convert this to miles per gallon it will look better.

I may go back Sunday to look at the sail boats at Bayside. That part of the show is free (I think). I have never gone to look at the sailboats.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last years boat show post had pics....hey whats up with that.

I get to play poker tonight and drink beer

Blogger Cheesemeister said...

Ah, so you were at the boat show and that's why you missed my crappy birthday post. But you might rather see this post from my animal blog about important issues such as preventing Bush's logger chums from chopping up Idaho's forests.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Doozie - I have some photos from the show. Some still need cropping, they all need resizing. I do not know how the Blogger resize tool works.

CM - Reading Bush news makes my shit all watery. It is bad for my health. I think that if/when the Republicans lose in November he will get even with the public in his last 2 months on the job.

Blogger Emma Sometimes said...

resizing via (I think .com) is the best tool for messing around with cropping. And it's free. I have several photo shopping programs and I keep going back to the free one. Go figure.

I sent you a twitter invite. It's not another blog/social networking site, just short updates on what you are doing. Since you can put the code on blog/myspace/facebook, most any website, you can tell people what you are up to without having to update the bloggage. I send mine via phone text. I love it.

I read about the treasure find. Talk about the mother load.

Sorry to write a book here...haven't been by in a while. :)


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