August 20, 2015 – Thursday – Grand Haven

After another wet night we had a morning with broken clouds and occasional sunshine. The wind was still blowing like stink though (16-26 mph) so we were glad to have another day to work on the boat and wait for better cruise conditions.

Nate showed up mid morning with the DSM box from QME. It was just a matter of plugging in three wires and voila! We have depth readings.

Here is the culprit for the intermittent signal from the depth sounder.  Probably one little wire somewhere but it is necessary to replace the whole thing.  What a waste!

Here is the culprit for the intermittent signal from the depth sounder. Probably one little wire somewhere but it is necessary to replace the whole thing. What a waste!

With all of the losing signal and wiggling of wires to get it to come back on we are optimistically skeptical that this issue has been resolved. I certainly hope so as the DSM box was $254 dollars – though this is a very fair price from QME as I went on line to find some people are asking $4000 for the same item. Of course they are trying to take advantage of Raymarine lunacy in stopping production after only four years. I am not sure who it is that would replace their electronics after only four years but it certainly is not me. I would have slowed the boat and held the portable unit for the dinghy over the side before paying the $4000.

Nate asked if there was anything else we wanted done. We said yes. The waste system aboard Sea To See has an ElectroScan unit between the toilet and the holding tank. It is supposed to use salt water with an electrode to sterilize the effluent making it possible to dump overboard where permitted. Even though the concept is good and some who have the system swear by it we have found it to be cumbersome and ineffective.

With the exception of the Atlantic from the end of the Cohansey River to part way up the Hudson River we have been traveling in fresh water. We will continue to do so until we reach the Gulf of Mexico. Without salt water the thing doesn’t work unless salt is introduced into the system with every flush. Even then it is persnickety and the electronic controls continue to give warning or error messages letting us know it is not working properly. Put that together with the fact that most of the waters we are traveling are No Discharge Zones requiring that all boats pump their holding tanks and we have come to the conclusion that the tempermental Electroscan system has got to go. I had looked at the system earlier and determined that a short hose could be installed from the toilet to the holding tank line and bypass the Electroscan unit. This way I wouldn’t have to mess with taking the entire system out of the boat and if, at some later time, someone wanted to hook the system back up it would be simple.

The box on the right has been disconnected and the hose on the left bypasses this box.  Simple fix and it works great!

The box on the right has been disconnected and the hose on the left bypasses this box. Simple fix and it works great! Just had to cap off the input and output on the box.

I asked Nate to make this revision to the system as he had the right tools to make it an easy job. He did this with careful attention to keeping any stray effluent captured and we are happy to have a normal system. We decided to leave all of the electrical components in place and just turn it off for the time being. We would have had to continue pumping the holding tank in any case so we are no worse off and have a system that works as it should. Bruce Lucas suggested we do something like this way back in Fairton and he was right.

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