Catalina Sea Trial - Summary

We noticed several issues that need attention on the Sea Trial. First, and perhaps most importantly, the Chartplotters, Radar and Fishfinder (depth sounder) were turning on and off intermittently as we left Cat Harbor ... probably due to low voltage, in turn due to bad breakers, old wiring and connectors, and so on, in the electrical panel. That is the first priority, and as soon as I am done writing these web pages, I'm going to look into that problem, which I think I can correct by replacing and rewiring a few breakers in the electrical panel.

Secondly, the autopilot compass was off by about 30 degrees, which caused a cosmetic issue on the chartplotter as the image of the boat was not pointed in the same direction as the course. This, it turns out, after reading the documentation, is easy to fix by merely calibrating the compass while driving in a circle (as one does calibrating an electronic compass on a GPS).

Thirdly, and also of a high priority, when we were dealing with the anchor windlass in Cat Harbor, the chain kept jumping off the "gypsy" (the sprocket on the windlass that holds the chain). This is a problem as, when it occurs, the chain starts running out and is hard and potentially dangerous to stop (I got it stopped with my hand, and usually have to put my foot on the chain to keep it in the gypsy while letting the anchor in or out). We have some ideas about how to solve this problem, but it is probably going to require some pretty serious work (like remounting the windlass in a different location).

However, that's what a Sea Trial is all about ... finding the problems so that they can be corrected before we take our big trip in November. And, as it stands, these few issues aside, we arrived home feeling more than ever that Rhapsody is a great boat and will carry us safely on our upcoming voyage.