One of our goals for Me Voy this year is to get her off the grid, and the first step in that process was getting batteries. In our system we will have one starting battery and two house batteries. Although there is a wide variety of battery options available, we chose the AGM battery. The advantage of the AGM (All Glass Mat) battery for a sailboat, is that is is completely sealed and cannot spill acid if inverted or even submerged. All batteries have a discharge rate, which can be up to 1% of their total charge per day (or more in the tropics) but because of the tightly packed glass-mat saturated with electrolyte, the AGM makes for a very tightly compressed battery with low self discharge rates. It also makes it a very heavy battery that we had to load into the boat.
Our plan was to use the boom to lift our first, and heaviest, battery into the companion way and then into its box. My job was to use the winch to lift the battery while Travis guided it over and into the hole.
The boom and lines creaked under the strain but everything went very smoothly.
The gooseneck, which is the part that attaches the boom to the mast, was designed to handle jobs such as these. Notice that is can swing in either direction and also up and down. Also notice that this piece of hardware, like all of the hardware on Me Voy, from hinges to latches is handmade. I find this incredibly difficult to comprehend and often find myself examining the various shiny bits of stainless looking for grinding marks or polishing imperfections. I have to say that these Spanish craftsmen, were true masters of their trade, and am therefore not surprised that Mr. Holman and Mr Pye, the designers (who went on to design under the name Oyster) chose the Carrabel builders to build their vessel. What I am surprised at however, is that this boat landed in our laps thru Craigslist, with a price tag that was ridiculously affordable.
Our audience that day watched with fascination as we scrambled around deck, obviously intrigued by the ropes swinging to and fro. We planned on spending a few hours loading and hooking up the batteries, but found ourselves done in half that time. I love it when a plan comes together!