Monday, 18 June 2012

Problems....and solving them Panama Style!

We have a few boat problems we have come across since we bought Cypraea. One is that our fridge is way too big for our needs, and the temperature averages 30 (Celsius) in the galley. This all adds up to a warm fridge and serious amp usage.

So Jennie and I have been pondering ways to put a bit more insulation in the fridge. One thing that helps is when we load the bottom up with cans of pop and beer. I guess it holds the temperature a bit steadier and we don't loose as much cold air when we open it up. What we planned on doing was getting some rigid insulation to cut into panels and put around the inside of the box, making it smaller and a bit better insulated.

Well Yesterday I went over to the gas dock to pick up some diesel and gas. In typical Panamanian style they had gas, but no diesel. So I bought the gas and noticed that the styrofoam packing material for a new motor they were putting on a panga was lying around. So In my best spanglish I asked if I could have it. They looked confused that this gringo wanted their garbage and said ok. I then hacked off a corner and took it back to the boat.

At the boat I cut it into panels and we tuck taped it in. I didn't get enough for the whole thing, but i did cover the problem areas such as the hull side and the bottom. It is not the prettiest looking job, but it should help keep it a tiny bit cooler, especially the hull side. Already the fridge element is holding frost (not just melting water into the fridge), and everything is cooler. Plus the amp draw last night was about 10 to 15 amps less!!!! Maybe more because we had a bunch of fans running last night.

This week is going to be busy. Still on our list is fix the steering, stock the boat up before Jennie leaves, move the boat to a slip at a marina, buy cell phone..... it just keeps getting bigger.

A note on cell phones down here. Canadians are getting shafted big time on cell phones. down here we can buy a new pay as you go phone for as low as $12, then for $2 we can buy 100 minutes of calling to Canada, the USA, and China. If we were to use our Canadian cell phone it would cost us (on top of our currently over priced plan) $57 per month for 40 min and $1.50 per minute above, without the plan it is $4 per minute. So when people ask how did Canada manage to get through the recession relatively unscathed, it is simple, all the bans and big business have pretty god margins to buffer them. In this example their margin is like 700%....... It's not Canadian intelligence that saved us hardship, it was our ignorance. $2 vs $141 (on top of current plan).... Wow.

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