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Everything posted by billvoss

  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.
  15. So my 12 pack from Amazon arrived, sat on the counter for a week or two, and today I finally opened the box. Checked the initial voltages and found three at 1.51 and one at 1.52. The charge cable is a classic USB on one end, and four small Micro USB connectors for the batteries on the other end. I started connecting batteries, and was very startled when one of them broke in two! Apparently the bottom portion is the battery, and the top portion is the electronics. Alas, at least one of my batteries had a relatively weak connection between the top and the bottom. I'm currently doing an Amazon Free Return. In the spring I will revisit the issue. Hopefully by then Pale Blue Earth will have improved their quality control, or a competitor will have appeared. I still love the concept, and had I been holding the battery at the top instead of the bottom it probably would have stayed together.
  16. I don't object to people trying, and sometimes getting lucky Brian. However, I have met multiple individuals who purchased used Kokatat drysuits thinking paying top dollar made sense because the used suit came with a comprehensive all hazards Gore-Tex warranty. When the legal reality is basically a warranty against delamination only for the original purchaser. That is the misinformation I was trying to fight.
  17. Alas, the main reason I carry a VHF radio is to have DSC with GPS just in case. Those are not low standby current draw features. My current thinking for my HX850s is to try using my FBA-38 Alkaline Battery Case which uses five AAA batteries. However, instead of using single use Alkaline Batteries or low voltage NiMH rechargeable batteries, I'll try using the new 1.5 volt Lithium rechargeable batteries from Pale Blue Earth. You recharge them with any Micro USB cable. Each battery weighs just 7g, and AAA sized batteries don't take much space. So it is easy to carry spare sets. The biggest downsides of the FBA-38 Battery Case, at least with true Alkaline Batteries, is that it doesn't permit 6 watt transmission, and the Alkaline Batteries don't last as long as the original battery did when new. However, the Coast Guard has really big antennas, and if I can normally get one paddle out of a battery charge, while carrying five spare batteries... EDIT: Cheaper at Amazon.
  18. I think I found part of your problem. Without the kind of high-end battery management system they put in things like battery electric vehicles, lithium ion batteries tend to degrade almost as fast as the lead-acid batteries in cars. By the way, some of the activities which tend to degrade lithium ion batteries include charging to 100%, leaving charged at 100%, discharging to 0%, leaving discharged at 0%. My second HX850s rechargeable battery pack now only lets me hear, not transmit. I just discovered replacement FNB-V99LI battery packs are no longer available. On the bright side, I did purchase the accessory tray which uses disposable batteries. I will have to experiment with that next time. I might also be able to get it to work with some of the modern rechargeable batteries that didn't exist when I purchased the radio. Though as I recall the accessory tray does not provide full power transmission.
  19. Gore-Tex, at least currently, only provides a warranty to the "original" owner Brian. From https://www.gore-tex.com/support/guarantee-and-returns
  20. Kokatat used to be very relaxed about the "original owner" rule. After all Kokatat just charged Gore-Tex, who actually provide the fabric warranty, for the replacements. Then the Gore-Tex Brand cracked down on them, and Kokatat became quite strict. I don't doubt that Kokatat employees occasionally make mistakes, especially with their rumored pandemic related staffing issues. Kokatat's support people seemed far more rushed this summer than in past years. They made an error, that turned out well for me, on part of my replacement order. It is also possible that Gore-Tex has not been auditing Kokatat as actively during the pandemic. The former Kokatat representative used to tell a story about lending a replacement suit to someone who had literally worn out their Kokatat suit paddling up the East Coast. The rep said the suit had not delaminated, but was worn through. Kokatat HQ did send her a replacement suit for him, but said the replacement would not have any warranty, and that he needed to treat his suit better. You might accidentally or intentionally get a suit replaced Kokatat is not required to replace. However, don't assume you can buy a second hand suit and get warranty service. The Gore-Tex warranty is not officially transferable.
  21. When you are wet after wearing the suit in the water, then you suspect either it was sweat, a gasket leak, pinholes, or delamination. Sweat is usually pretty uniform, not localized in say one arm, leg, or side of the torso. A gasket leak is usually localized near the gasket. Wrists almost always leak a little bit, though you might not notice until say you raise your arm overhead. Pinholes resemble early delamination. However, Kokatat can patch pinholes, so you treat it like delamination, they just return a patched suit instead of possibly replacing the suit. If when you take the suit off, the fabric looks like it has started to bubble suspect delamination. It will look kind of like bubble wrap, but smaller bubbles, and not so uniform. In my experience, delamination is a progressive issue. Meaning it continues to get worse over time with use. Eventually some part of your body gets unambiguously wet just from wading into water for a few minutes while keeping your neck and wrist gaskets out of the water. At that point you probably waited longer than you should (like I did this summer) to send the suit back to Kokatat requesting a water test and warranty inspection. Ultimately Kokatat determines if you have delamination. However, these days you have to ask for a free warranty inspection, and they are more likely to find early delamination if you also pay for a water test. (If you are sending the suit in for another reason such as new gaskets, you should definitely ask for the free warranty inspection, and many people also routinely get a water test which also catches pinholes.) If you are not the original purchaser, then delamination means your suit is dying and cannot be saved; you will have to replace the suit yourself. If you can prove that you are the original purchaser of the suit, then delamination has historically been "Winning the Kokatat/Gore-Tex lottery." Kokatat will basically let you buy any of their suits in any size, any color, any customization applying the value of an identical replacement suit toward the purchase with you paying any difference in price if you upgrade suits. That is how I originally switched a Front Entry and a Meridian to a pair of rear entry Icons. Though this year I'm replacing Icons with Icons. (I'm not totally happy with the new Gore-Tex pro fabric this year which is too stiff for my tastes, but that is another thread.)
  22. Half true. The stock Kokatat wrist gaskets do NOT have ridges, so should only be stretched. However, you can trim the optional "thick" gaskets, also known as the Coast Guard gaskets. The "thick" wrist gaskets have ridges on them like the neck gaskets. From my perspective there are two advantages to the "thick" gaskets. First, I think the "thick" gaskets last a little longer than the "stock" gaskets. Second, if you know which lines you cut between last time, you can generally cut in the same place on the replacement and thus get closer to an acceptable fit a lot faster than just stretching. (However, I suggest you record both which lines you cut between, and the total number of lines. Just in case the next gasket you receive has a different total number of lines. Gasket suppliers change.) Before trimming, stretching, or trying on, the first thing I do is wipe down the inside and outside of each gasket with 303 Protectant, then put my new toy away overnight. The next day, or later, I start trimming. I stretch the neck or wrist over some object. I arrange very good bright lighting. Then I use a brand new blade. I normally use the kind of razor blade with only one sharp side, which I pickup at the grocery store. Using a utility knife with a new blade can also work. (Some people swear by very sharp, very high quality scissors.) Then I very carefully cut as smoothly as I can, the critical goal being to keep the cut between two raised ridges. If I am cutting 2 wrists and 1 neck, then I use at least 3 new blades. I really do cut only once per new blade. (I often trim the gasket tighter than I think I will need, then check, then trim between the next two lines, then check. Far easier and cheaper to cut multiple times, than to replace a gasket from trimming too much off. So I may use 5 or more blades on a new suit. Also be aware your wrists might not be the same size.) Even if you are trimming a gasket, do plan on using at least a day or two of modest stretching over something a little bit larger than your neck/wrist. Otherwise your neck/wrist will over time do the modest stretching and you will find that your gasket is too loose! Basically use trimming to get you to the point where you can wear the gasket in an emergency, but use stretching to get to the point where you can wear the gasket without saying words not suitable for children. When you have gaskets replaced, or have a custom suit made, Kokatat will on request install thick gaskets for the same price as stock gaskets. However, if you order a stock suit from Kokatat they have to cut the stock gaskets off and then install the thick gaskets, so they will charge you for the gasket change.
  23. I'm surprised. I've had good luck with both Seal and Snap Dragon custom skirts for my skin-on-frames. The kind where you VERY CAREFULLY trace the cockpit using semi-rigid material that does not stretch such as very large and heavy paper, then send them the tracing. I found that making a loop of bungee to hold the paper in place, like a skirt would be held in place, while I traced the edge of the coaming with a sharpie worked well for getting the outline. Locating exactly where the tunnel should go was a bit trickier, and I never came up with a great technique. Note I was ordering neoprene deck and tunnel skirts, and neoprene is pretty forgiving. Good luck finding something that works for you.
  24. I just booked my parking spot online ($4 + $1 transaction fee). See you tomorrow if I don't oversleep!
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