There’s still snow on the ground, but we’ve started our weekly trips down to the marina to work on the boat. At this point we have six weekends left before we are planning to splash Pegu Club for the season (although that may be optimistic if temperatures don’t start getting consistently into the 50’s soon), and we have work to do.
Our first trip of the season was a week and a half ago. Our plan was to get rid of the snow and ice that had been accumulating in a low spot on the tarp, and wire the fan for the composting toilet (WHOO-HOO!) to the electric panel. Well, the first goal was accomplished, but by the time Jeff was finished he had no desire to slog back and forth through the snow to bring our tools on board, so we called it an early day and went to the Daniel Packer Inn for a beer and cider.
Last weekend we drove down again hoping for a better outcome. Temps above freezing all week meant that there wouldn’t be as much snow to hassle with, so we were ready to wire the fan.
We are complete novices when it comes to electrical work, but we had been reading the relevant chapters in our various reference books and felt optimistic. Pegu Club has a simple 6 circuit panel running off of a 12-volt system. The fan is currently spliced from one of our LED cabin lights, and the plan was to move the wire to the circuit that currently has the cigarette lighter for charging electronics.
Our first stop was at West Marine to buy some wire. When the sales clerk asked if we wanted two strand plus ground or simply two strand, we confidently stated two-strand was fine. I was feeling pretty good, because I actually knew what he was asking!
Down to the marina we went. We climbed aboard Pegu Club to get to work. This was going to be easy. Then we opened up the panel.
Hmmm. This did not look like any of the pictures in our books. Where were the negative and positive wires? What was that wire leading to the switch? What the…? This was no longer looking so easy.
I pulled out my phone and hopped on the wifi to try to figure out what we were looking at. After spinning our wheels for a few minutes we decided that this was not the kind of thing to try to find on a small cell phone screen. It was going to have to wait for another weekend while we did more research at home.
So the trip wouldn’t be a complete bust, we decided that it was o.k. weather-wise to remove the tarp system we had installed and let Pegu Club see the sunshine once again. Any snow that falls this time of year will melt quickly, and it will be a lot easier to board her with the ladder. A few hours later we were finished.
We drove home feeling a bit frustrated that – once again – a simple project was turning out not to be so simple. However, no one is born knowing about electrics. We’ll get there. And one day we’ll be sitting on our big boat, we’ll look back, and we’ll laugh. In the meantime, we’ll continue to hit the books. Hopefully this weekend we’ll be able to cross this simple project off of our list.