A co-worker commented about how long my to-do list was for my boat. Thankfully, most of my list is purely cosmetic or upgrades for the sake of convenience. In reality, there’s only one item (so far) on the list, even in the safety column, that needs to be done soon. I’ve been knocking things off that list just about every time I get out to the boat.

My latest two checkboxes I marked “complete” was changing out the wingnuts on the hatch dogs. Those things cannot even be called knobs. They’re hell on the fingers. Every time is open our close them, I’d have to prepare for the inevitable finger-scraping. So I bought these nice, handy knobs. Four of them for a grand total of $9 (including shipping). I know what you’re thinking…only $9?! No, it wasn’t a boating/marine store. Had that been the case it would’ve easily cost $49 plus shipping!

New hatch dog knobs

New hatch dog knobs

It was a very straightforward installation. Remove the little screw stop, unscrew the wingnut all the way off the bolt. Screw new knob onto the bolt and replace the stopper.

Hatch dog knob replacement

Now it’s much easier on the hands and fingers to open the hatch.

The second item I completed was the shore power plug. This one was even easier. My battery is currently charged by a small solar panel mounted to the stern rail. Lately, though, I’ve noticed my battery isn’t fully charged. Last two times I’ve gone to the boat, the voltmeter is only showing about 8-9 volts. I don’t know if it’s the solar panel not working or of the battery is failing. I don’t know the age of the battery, so that could be it. Regardless, I wanted to get the shore power plug operational. The deck plug is a 30 amp male plug, but I only have a 15 amp extension cord at the dock. Easy enough to get an adapter for 30 amp female to 15 amp male.

Shore power adapter

Easy as 1, 2. No 3 necessary.

Onboard power

Plugged it all up and viola! I had power to my onboard outlets.

So now all my outlets work when I’m connected to shore power and I flip the appropriate switch on the panel. I just need to find out now if that also charges the battery. My thinking is that it should, but I’m just not sure at this point. I left it plugged in and will check when I’m out there again next week.

If not, I might be in the market for a new solar panel…or battery…or both. We’ll see.

Any thoughts or suggestions?