It is true that Garmin makes great products, but I am again finding myself reluctant to fork over the hundred dollars per map area that they require. If anyone has any ideas as to how to get my GPSMap 276C updated with charts of the california, washington, oregon, and some of mexico coastlines, I would love ideas, short of paying them the 300 bucks they want for those areas.
I also have a problem with the USB connector. Its corroded, from being out in salt water environment, so I can't connect it to my computer and transfer the charts easily. Damn electronics. I can pay $160 to Garmin and they will fix it, but its pretty pricey, and it doesn't get me any maps.
In other news, I've been taking the boat out sailing with some of my friends, and its behaving well. The roller furling sail is the best one so far, I can sail it very high into the wind (so high that I was able to track down and overtake a Pacific Seacraft 27 on friday afternoon) and the boat is reasonably fast with all sail up. Today I went out and put up a rack on the back of the boat, so it attaches to the rail and goes up 6 ft over the back of the boat, and I mounted the solar panels to it. Now I have more space in the back of the boat, and a place to put my surfboards up and out of the way. I am also going to make a cover for the cockpit that will attach to this rack and to the dodger. I didn't bring my camera, but I'll get pictures of it soon and then you'll know what this is all about.
My list of projects is getting smaller, but I am going to put my swim ladder back on the boat, but on the side. Before it was on the very back of the boat, and I took it off to put on the extra rudder. But if I want to go swimming, I'll want this ladder.
I'm going to make a storm jib, or make another reef point in my main.
I need to fix the leaks from my windows.
I want to have a sea anchor.
I'd like to make some sort of rain collection system, and route it to my water tanks.
I have some engine work to do (which is a big job)
and I need to clean the bottom.
Then I'm ready to go, pretty much.