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billvoss

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    Hollis, NH
  • Member Title
    Being upside down in my kayak is better than my best day at work

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  • PA signed
    05/09/2022

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  1. The skin-on-frame guy is sorta kinda looking for a USED factory built sea kayak. Anyone have advice, leads, or a kayak they want to re-home? Absolute Requirements Length: At most 16' 9" long. (Storage wall is 16' 9.5" long.) Paddler Weight: 240 pounds must be within the manufacturer's recommended paddler weight range. Booties: Size 13 Test Paddle: I need to at least feel how it fits me, and how it rolls for me. My second F1 skin-on-frame is nearing the end of its useful life. I was going to start building a replacement last fall, but life keeps interfering. So far I've only built a jig to make the coaming. Since I don't see much free time coming up on my schedule soon, I'm considering getting a factory built kayak. My main uses will be rolling, surfing, day trips, and potentially rock play.
  2. An 11am meeting time is wonderful! Adding three to sea, plus no lighting, will make me very happy on Wednesday!
  3. First off it is really really difficult to "accidentally" run out of charge. All modern EVs give you lots and lots of warnings. When they get really low, they also start informing you that they are doing things like restricting your top speed, or limiting climate control to save energy and increase range. In the case of a Tesla, if I am in northern Maine I am also going to be using Tesla's in car navigation. The navigation system automatically shows my estimated arrival state of charge, and my round trip estimated state of charge. If I don't have enough charge to reach my destination, the navigation system automatically adds the needed charging stops to my trip unless I turn that feature off. I have seen on YouTube Tesla cross country drivers say it is easier to drive across the more vacant parts of the country in a Tesla than in an ICE car because the Tesla does all the calculations for them, and they don't have to calculate gas stops where gas stations are sparse. However, supposing I didn't use the navigation system, and decided to push on and ignore all those early warnings because I was sleepy and running late. I'm down to where the low on gas light would turn on with an internal combustion engine car in the wilds of Northern Maine at night. I don't need to find a dedicated EV charger, an open gas station, or a tow yet. I just need to find someone willing to let me plug into a standard electrical outlet like I would plug a lamp into. If they will let me plug in, I could use my so called "granny lead," a low power charger that runs off a standard plug. Low power chargers are available for all EVs. Most/all? manufacturers either bundle them as standard equipment, or offer them as an option. After market models are also available. The granny lead won't charge me up very fast, maybe 3 or 4 miles of charge an hour. I might be sleeping in my car that night if I really goofed up, kicking myself for not topping off in Bangor or Ellsworth at a Tesla supercharger. By the way, 15 amps of electricity from a standard outlet for an hour is under 2 kWh, so less than 40 cents of electricity. Historical note: When cars first became popular in the US, thanks to rural electrification EVs were more popular in rural communities where gas stations were few and far between. Now if you drive a Tesla and like me want to be prepared, besides getting the Tesla Mobile Adapter "granny lead," you would also purchase the Tesla NEMA Adapter Bundle. While a standard 15 amp 120 outlet only provides a Model Y with 3 or 4 miles of range, if I can find a campground with electric power for RVs, or even just someone with an electric dryer plug I can reach I can charge a lot faster. Using a 14-50 or 6-50 outlet, the model Y gains about 29 miles of range per hour of charge. By the way, if I'm going to northern Maine, I'm probably going to make a reservation at a campground that can promise me a site with a 240 outlet. Besides letting me charge my EV, it will also let me sleep inside my car running in Tesla's "camp mode." Camp mode lets me run the climate control all night and sleep at whatever temperature I prefer, having the display show video of a campfire is also an option!
  4. From an environmental perspective, the most important aspect of EVs is just how incredibly efficient electric motors are compared to internal combustion motors. My Model Y is rated by the EPA at 122 MPGe. That totally blows away any comparable internal combustion engine vehicle. Even if I charged my Tesla with nothing but electricity generated in Coal Fired power plants, studies show it would produce less CO2 than a comparable ICE vehicle over its expected lifetime including manufacturing emissions. Fortunately, the New England grid currently produces around half of its electricity from a combination of Nuclear, Hydro, Wind, and Solar, with most of the rest coming from natural gas, and almost nothing coming from Coal. Even better, the grid is expected to become greener over the expected lifetime of a car purchased this year. Beyond that some areas have community solar projects, and most areas have "green energy" plans which buy Renewable Energy Credits to offset the CO2 from any non-green sources they use. You may also be able to install solar on your own property, and then agonize over whether to swap your totally green energy for totally dirty energy by selling your Renewable Energy Credits. Bottom line, Battery Electric Vehicles and Battery Electric Tools currently have fewer CO2 emissions than their internal combustion engine equivalents for anyone connected to the New England power grid. In many cases, battery electric also means more torque, less vibration, and more reliable as well. P.S. @Dan Foster when I next see you on the water, I would be very curious to learn about your automower.
  5. So far the Wednesday Lunch Paddle on 5/11/2022 is the only paddle where my new Tesla Model Y Long Range hauled a kayak on the outside. The round trip was well within the car's range. I still had 30% charge when I got home and charged the Tesla as usual. I did find the modern driver assistance features and the lack of engine vibration made the trip much more tolerable than it would have been in my old CRV. My main "issue" had nothing to do with it being an EV. Changing from the Thule Square bars that I've used forever, to the Tesla wing has proved a pain. I'm happy with my bow and stern tie downs, but still not entirely satisfied with how my kayak rack fits on the wing bar. The other issue is EV specific. Without the noise from an internal combustion engine to drown it out, the wind noise from carrying a kayak at interstate speeds is more noticeable. Fortunately turning up the radio volume has made that at most a minor inconvenience. The most useful trick I figured out before ordering the Tesla was to use A Better Route Planner to preview my typical long trips with the different vehicles I was considering. Under advanced settings I specified a lot of battery degradation to simulate carrying a kayak. I quickly discovered that in New Hampshire charging a Tesla would be easy, while any other brand could be challenging. I now understand that NH put so many restrictions on their initial solicitation for DC fast charging using the VW settlement money that they received ZERO qualifying proposals. The second NH proposal garnered 43 qualifying proposals currently being evaluated by the state. Until some of those proposals are implemented, NH has fair coverage with Tesla DC fast charging sites, but almost no other fast charging north of Manchester. I am definitely very happy with my EV purchase. I cannot imagine wanting to go back to an ICE vehicle in the future.
  6. Is this the West Beach in Beverly put-in? https://goo.gl/maps/PUGfPZNo5JfqnJVV6 What is the bathroom situation at the put-in? -Bill P.S. If that is the put in, I'm bound to join you this Wednesday. (Though I expect to bring float bags instead of bulkheads for my skin-on-frame.)
  7. A short kayak with a low wetted surface area has a definite drag advantage when paddling straight into a wind strong enough to make hull speed irrelevant. Paddling all out because two stronger paddlers were behind me, and to minimize how long I had to paddle into the wind also helped. Using a Greenland Paddle also helps in heavy wind in my opinion.
  8. I am still paddling the 14' long beat up Cape Falcon Kayak F1 that I built in my garage back in 2014. This fall I did build the bending jig for a new coaming, and purchased most of the wood for a new LPB. Then free time became scarce, then winter shut down my unheated shop (aka garage). Now the dear wife, the new dog, the garden, and paddling all demand my attention. However, I still hope to resume work on actually building a LPB, as soon as I finish ...
  9. Note the Paddling Splash & Social has been rescheduled for Thursday, June 2, 2022, 6:30PM - 8:30PM. Also note that Lake Cochituate is a MA State Park. While "entry" is free, there is a parking fee based on license plate. If you don't have a MA State Park pass (a great deal for MA seniors), parking is $8 with a MA plate, and $30 with an out-of-state plate. No season passes are available for out-of-state plates.
  10. I also carry a now rather old personal locator beacon (PLB) to cover the no VHF reception scenario. I went with the PLB approach because it does not require a subscription, and international standards required a reliable device. The downside of international standards is that the commercial market gets to use the latest and greatest technology, while the international standards market remains stuck with old technology. The other downside of a PLB is that it is an EMERGENCY ONLY device. While commercial devices like the SPOT or Garmin inReach let you send non-emergency messages, which effectively let you routinely test your satellite communication system. On the other hand the commercial services make most of their money with subscriptions, not from the original equipment sale. So over time you tend to spend more with commercial services. Ideally, carrying three radios, cell, DSC w/ GPS VHF, and a satellite communication device is the fully paranoid approach. However, do remember if it is not on your body, you don't have it. (Basically, don't assume you are still with your kayak and its contents in an emergency.)
  11. Sorry Pintail. I first learned about digital selective calling (DSC) back in 2010 when I bought my first marine radio for kayaking. Which is also when I learned about Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) numbers, which act as a globally unique identification number for a vessel. Among other things, a DSC VHF radio can use an MMSI number sort of like a phone number to call a specific vessel. Pragmatically, the main reason for a kayaker to have a digital selective calling (DSC) VHF radio (with GPS, but that combination seems to be standard now), is it will have a simple emergency button, lift cover, push button. Once that button is pushed, the radio will repeatedly send out a digital SOS which includes your GPS coordinates until some other radio, usually the Coast Guard's around here, digitally acknowledges the SOS. Also every other DSC VHF radio within range will beep or otherwise alert their operator of the SOS. Even my little hand held radio beeped at me quite insistently when it picked up an SOS. The vessels with fancy electronic charting systems integrated with their AIS and VHF systems will also see your GPS coordinates marked on their chart. You can also send a digital Pan-Pan or Sécurité signal with GPS coordinates using the radio's menu system. In all three cases, the Coast Guard is very likely to immediately notice your signal, and the other ships in your vicinity are also very likely to notice your signal. With a verbal SOS, Pan-Pan, or Sécurité some human has to hear and recognize what you are saying. Then they have to ask you where you are, and understand your answer, assuming you accurately know where you are. Alternatively, the Coast Guard has pretty good direction finding systems, but nothing close to GPS accuracy. The Coast Guard also doesn't have 100% coverage close to land where kayakers tend to play. If everyone you were paddling with had a DSC VHF radio some of the other DSC features like group calling, and position polling could potentially be useful. However, DSC is not required on handhelds, so I've never used the other DSC features while kayaking. The automatic identification system or AIS was developed to prevent collisions. The electronics have been working their way down from large ships where it has been mandated since before I started kayaking, to smaller and smaller boats as costs have plunged. The main point of AIS from a kayaker's perspective is to be able to identify and directly call a bigger boat equipped with AIS if it is on a collision course. Note that the Icom H94D only RECEIVES the AIS information, it does not transmit AIS information. However, that still means a kayaker could identify the ship's name and the MMSI of every large vessel within sight, and call one directly using their DSC radio if desired. I can see that being especially useful at busy crossings. Here is a review of the Icom H94D radio which discusses the benefits of having AIS in a handheld in more detail.
  12. If you want DSC in a handheld, here are the choices I'm currently aware of: Standard Horizon HX890 for around $200 Cobra MR HH600 for around $210, adds a Bluetooth feature where it acts as a smart phone headset. Icom H94D for around $350, adds AIS. From a safety perspective, I strongly prefer a radio able to send out a distress signal digitally with GPS coordinates. However, you can certainly purchase a much cheaper radio without DSC, and any VHF radio is much better than no VHF radio.
  13. Actually I did. I just didn't report it here. I installed 5 of the AAA cells that use a small lithium battery with a small circuit board to simulate an AAA battery. The radio did not start. I then removed the pack and checked the voltage and found a voltage of 3 something volts. I replaced the batteries with new AAA alkaline batteries. The radio started. I measured the battery pack voltage at 8 something volts. One person responded to my Amazon question with this report: So I think while the little lithium batteries themselves might have been able to run my radio, the over current protective circuitry included in the AAA packaging prevents their use in such high current drain applications.
  14. I know a bit more about these 1.5 volt Lithium rechargeable AAA batteries now. Amazon now has multiple brands available. They are pretty good for constant low drain applications such as clocks. Though they currently do need to be recharged more frequently than a disposable AAA battery needs to be replaced. However, at least one Amazon sales representative recommends not using more than 4 of the AAA lithium batteries in series for safety, with a hard limit of 8 batteries in series. The problem for this application is the radio draws a large amount of current over a short period of time. These rechargeable batteries are not good for that use case. When I tried 5 of them with my radio, the radio would not even turn on. With 5 new alkaline batteries the radio was happy to boot up. Though the radio's manual warns I will not have full power transmission using alkaline batteries. For now I'll be using alkaline batteries I guess. Though a new radio may be in my future sooner than I hoped.
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