Saturday, August 7, 2010

Gold for a GPS?

Yes, that's what I've sold my gold for!  I've been watching the price of gold at for over a year now, and it is higher now ($1199.00 an ounce) than it's been in years.  So, I figured what better time to trade in my gold for cash and buy some stuff for svNirvana.  Now how many women want to sell their jewelry for boat stuff?!  As other cruisers have said, once you are "hooked" on the idea of cruising you can't think of anything else you'd rather do with your money than put it towards the cruising plan.

How much did we get?  Well, I had a little box consisting of three bracelets, seven rings, and four necklaces and I was paid $850.00.  I was hoping to get around $1000, but I did go to two very reputable jewelers in town and they were within $50 of each other so I figured I wasn't going to do any better.  Overall, I was happy with the $850 because I really don't wear much gold and don't think the cruising lifestyle is a place for expensive jewelry anyway.  In case my mom reads this, I didn't sell anything that was passed down to me by family!  I still have the sentimental jewelry that will eventually go to my daughter. 

So, what are we going to buy for our sailboat?  Well, now that the haul-out is finally done and the water pump has been replaced, Ken and I would like to take Nirvana somewhere for an overnight stay - not an overnight passage, but an ovenight stay.  We're not ready to be sailing overnight, but there are some places we can sail to and then anchor, such as Ship Island in nearby Mississippi or the upcoming Wooden Boat Festival in Madisonville, LA this October.  To take Nirvana any further than Lake Pontchartrain, we feel we need the following:

                               GPS  -   this would help us navigate, since we need all the help we can get!
                               Handheld VHF Radio  -  had a hard time hearing the VHF down in the boat
                               Boat US Tow Insurance  -  one tow and this pays for itself

We also have a friend that knows where to buy 65w solar panels for only $65, so while the opportunity is there we plan on purchasing three solar panels.

These items will pretty much eat up the $850, with maybe a little bit left.  (REVISION:  Since this original post I realized how expensive a GPS is!  Not only will we not have any money left over, but we'll need to dig a little in our pockets.  Oh well!)  We also need to return a recently purchased vinyl-coated anchor chain and pay the small price increase for a NON-VINYL COATED anchor chain.  We had the anchor chain sitting on the front deck of our sailboat, and the vinyl just started peeling off in a sticky, gooey mess!  We would not recommend this type of anchor chain.

We'll be "surfing the net" to find the best deals, and hopefully make our purchases within the next week or so.  Then, our mini sailing adventures can begin!  Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Laura and Hans said...

You're right! You don't need a vinyl covered anchor chain. But a hand held GPS is very nice. We were fortunate enough to buy a boat with a chart plotter but Hans used a hand held for his other boat all the time and it worked just fine.
Thanks for the 'gold' info, I tried to get rid of some of my old stuff a while ago but got nowhere.
As for overnight sailing? It's something we don't want to do unless necessary. The trip from Florida to the Bahamas will require this but with the right weather it shouldn't be a huge problem.
You're getting close!!!!!!!!

Pineapple Girl said...

One note on the VHF, if you ever have a reason / opportuity to upgrade your belowdecks VHF to one where you can also have a remote mic on deck that is integrated into the system I highly recommend it. You will get a better range with the remote than with your handheld. But having a handheld is a much more economical place to start!

When we bought our Catalina 320 we headed off on our three hour trip home in the dark with only my husband's years of experince in the area to guide us. He actually knew the compass course to get from the mouth of the oakland estuary across the sf bay to Hunters Point, where we then turned south to our marina. It was foggy crossing the bay and kind of scary as we were passing through an anchorage with a lot of container ships. Once we hit Hunter's Point the fog lifted and we could see the outline of our destination in the distance. It has a distinctive dark outline in all the lights and development around it. It was REALLY cool. I would have been petrified if my husband had not done the trip many times before.

It is a lot easier to get into FAMILIAR places at night. I don't recommend it for unfamiliar places, no matter how good your GPS is. Safer to wait for daylight!

Watch the energy draw on your GPS / chartplotter. We had a Raymarine C-80 on the catalina (we installed, along with radar) and an E-80 on the J boat. They draw a lot of power. Weigh what you really need against what power sources you will have on your cruise. The E-80 was one of the reasons we had to run our motor so much to charge our batteries on the Pac Cup. Solar panels only help when the sun is shining. :)

I am so excited for you guys! I look forward to reading about what you get with your gold. :)

Unknown said...

Be careful on those Solar Panels. You typically get what you pay for and if they are not very effieceint they willl take up way too much real-estate. Make sure you check the voltage out vs amerage to verify!

Bob Lowry said...

You are starting out on a grand adventure. I envy your determination. Soliciting opinions from those who have sailed the seas before seems very wise! Best of luck.

Ken n Cheryl said...

Thanks for all of the advice, which is appreciated. Good info! We have so much to learn and think about. We're still working on the solar panels, which are cheap because they're used, yet only a few years old and from someone who got them from an oil company. A new solar panel so cheap would definitely be a concern.

rob said...

I agree with Douglas id doesnt seem like much of an output?

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