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Swing Set

May 14, 201409:35 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

The Sound Of Music

Our friend Jackie came for a whirlwind two-day visit a couple of weeks ago. She drove down from Naples, where she is going to establish residence there and start life anew after leaving Missouri.

We were able to get out on the dinghy before a pretty good storm blew up on us, but overnight the skies cleared, so we could spend the afternoon in the pool at Dante's. We needed quite a bit of rest after she left on Monday morning, something that seems to be required after all of our friends leave us.

The last time we had Swing Set out, we discovered that our stereo was not working properly. I fiddled around with the wiring (never a good idea) and got one part of the problem fixed, but then we discovered another one.

We know a local marine electrician, Bill deSeve, owner of Key West Marine Electronics, and he found time to come to the boat and diagnose our problem.

Our stereo system is not that old, having been installed just four or five years ago, but Bill found that not only was one of our new speakers toast, our amplifier was also not operating correctly. Bill ordered a new amp and a new set of speakers, and within a week, he was back to install our new components.

We all left the boat so soon after Bill had completed his work, we didn't try everything out once it was all buttoned up. We came back to the boat after running some errands and found that our outside speakers were not putting out enough sound.

Bill came back within a few days and very reluctantly revealed to us that the head unit on our Clarion stereo was also bad, having been affected by the faulty amplifier.

Now, most people would have suspected something fishy, but we've spent enough time with Bill that doubting his word or ability was out of the question. We told him to order us a new head unit if he would promise to install it as soon as it came in. That was last Thursday, and today our stereo is installed and everything is working great.

Bill was very fair with his labor charges due to the trouble he'd had diagnosing the problem, but solving a problem is much harder to due when more than one component of a system is faulty.

The marine environment is tough on electronics, even though our stereo is housed in the salon. We expected better longevity from our stereo system, but it's hard to predict how long things are going to last on a boat.

One the upside, we have a better marine amplifier, and our receiver is now Bluetooth compatible, so we can play our music from our iPad or iPhone from anywhere on or near the boat. I can't wait to lounge on a raft behind the boat at anchorage and control the music from my iPhone. I suppose our stereo nut friends back in Missouri already have been doing such a thing, but we're always late catching up on trends like this.

We discussed some other projects with Bill before he left the boat, but we have one more item to address on the boat before we take a break from spending, if we can, and that is to install our new SeaDek pads on the outside stairs from the cockpit.

We have been promised to obtain our new pads from Castaway Customs by the weekend, but I'm not holding my breath. It's been two years since we first approached the subject of getting new pads from Castaway Customs, the areas authorized SeaDek dealer.

I hope I have some good news about it for our next blog.

The weather was been very windy lately, and we didn't get to go out in the dinghy, or the boat, for over a week. Now, it's been raining, and it looks like it'll be yet another week before we can leave the dock in any boat.

Besides the work we've been doing on the boat, we started a Cruisers Network on Facebook for the residents and visitors to the marina. You can check out the open group at Stock Island Marina Village Cruisers Network on Facebook. We have 50 members so far, but it's hard getting it off of the ground. Our intention is for it to take the place of a VHF Cruisers Network, which there wasn't one here at Stock Island Marina Village.

We also want to take another trip over to Fort Jefferson when we can get a weather window, but first we might get some more visitors weekend after next, and I have a notion that we better get prepared for them. They'll arrive like a tornado and go out like one too!

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