After 35,000 Miles
burner cooktop with oven that runs on propane. We
modified the sea rail and clamp system to give us better
control over tall pots. However, the oven has been a
disappointment, and after one expensive repair at just a
year old, it is once again not working. We now do much
of our cooking with electric appliances. The microwave,
electric grill, coffeemaker, and a host of smaller galley
items run off the inverter system. Prior to leaving
California in the spring, we tested an induction hot
plate and liked it so much that it is now our primary
Two very important pieces of gear are the home-style
washer and dryer. They are installed under the counter
in the saloon, so the washing, drying, and ironing take
place where there is a lovely view. We typically operate
the washer and dryer every other day, usually during the
evening. The genset is run, and surplus electrical capacity
is used for making water, watching a movie, and putting
a small charge into the batteries. The dryer’s motor went
bad recently, and we learned that an engine room that’s
warm from having recently moved the boat is great for
Wind Horse has a 12-cubic-foot fridge and two freezers:
a 6-cubic-footer in the galley and an 8-cubic-foot unit
in the “basement,” below the great room cabin sole.
Each has its own Frigoboat Danfoss compressor and
evaporator plate. These have been reliable and quiet,
and they’re as efficient as any of the more sophisticated
systems we’ve used in the past. The big freezer can be
filled one day, and within 24 hours the new ingredients
are frozen solid. That’s amazing performance from
such a small compressor.
Anything you put on your boat in terms of entertainment gear is headed for quick obsolescence, and our
situation is no exception. We enjoy our 42-inch plasma
TV, although next time we’d fit an LCD because of its
lower power drain. We also wouldn’t install home-style
tuners and amps; instead, we would buy automotive
tuners and amps, which require much less space and
power. Another lesson about speakers that we’d like to
pass on: Our speakers were originally hidden behind the
headliner. The thin fabric significantly muffled the sound,
and we subsequently changed to exposed speakers.
We are not much into watching TV, except for sports.
But we decided to give a Follow Me TV single-axis
tracker a try, using it with a 24-inch Direc TV antenna.
We are pleased to report that at anchor we have
watched the America’s Cup in Prince William Sound (at
60 degrees north latitude) and basketball halfway down
the Baja California peninsula. At sea, if we are not
beating and waves are below 6 feet, the system works.
Last winter we added a 1,000-watt Aqua Signal quartz
The 15-foot sliding-seat rowing dink we added last year has
quickly become our favorite exercise machine. It is also great
for quietly taking in the scenery.
halogen focused floodlight to our bow. The original
intent was to use the light to spot debris, but this has not
been successful. However, it is wonderful for checking
wave shape at night, and for this reason alone we would
install it again.
Dinghies are a critical part of the cruising equation.
We decided to forgo the traditional inflatable for an
aluminum dink with a stand-up console. While this costs
twice what a simple inflatable would go for and weighs
50 percent more, we would do the same thing again.
The metal dink is much tougher than an inflatable and
more comfortable in chop, and it will be around forever.
However, it is too heavy for us to drag ashore, so we
carry a rowing dinghy that is easy to beach. Last year we
upgraded to a sliding-seat rowing dinghy from Gig
Harbor Boat Works and have been so pleased with its
function as an exercise and touring machine that it sees
more use now than the power dinghy.
So what’s next? Wind Horse has heightened the allure
of the high latitudes. We’ve come to love the scenery, the
wildlife, and the people we encounter where Mother
Nature is a harsh master. That we do not pay a comfort
penalty to enjoy this cruising environment makes it all
the more appealing.
We’re in the British Isles this fall, and next summer
we may visit Norway and the Arctic again, with a trip
to Iceland after that.