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Monday March 8 - WA360, TinyWattsSolar -- Minutes Attached

posted Feb 26, 2021, 11:48 AM by Mark Olsoe   [ updated Apr 13, 2021, 2:41 PM ]
Note unusual date because of presenter's schedules. Daniel Evans will talk about WA360 the R2AK replacement, then Tiny Watts Solar will present.

 Plan on joining us from near and far.

6:30 pm PST   - Virtual Potluck

7:00 pm – 7:15pm; Daniel Evans: NW Maritime Center; Race Boss for the Race to Alaska, Seventy48 and the new WA360. His brief introduction will be to discuss the WA360. 

 7:15 to 7:30: NWMA Official’s announcements

7:30 to  8:15 ; YouTube sensations and modernized mobile power gurus, Savana and Wes Watts, founders of Tiny Watts Solar based in Oregon State will jump online to share new developments and equipment for collecting and storing power mobility. They will be joining us aboard a Catamaran in the Hawaii that they have personally equipped.  

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We had our March meeting on Monday the 8th due to scheduling with our presenters.  Diverting from our normal first Tuesday gatherings doesn’t seem to be much of a problem with Zoom meetings.


As always the first half hour was catching up with everyone.  Joel and Patty launched their Marples 35 trimaran last month after a year plus assembling the three hulls and countless boat parts at the Napa Valley boat yard.  They are now in Marina Bay Yacht Harbor in Richmond, CA.  So far they’ve made several outings to learn the boat, some overnight.  The family of the original builder (David Vinson) got in touch with them and are happy that the boat is on its way to new adventures.  They’ll be leaving the bay area in a few months for SoCal, Mexico and beyond, covid restriction dependent.  I think they said that they will have an AIS so we can keep up with them via a commercial app.  “They are on Instagram at sv.manxi and Facebook at manxisv but here is a link to an article and a few photos about them.


Some other bits I recall from the conversations:  Andrew E. is doing work on floor boards & nets on his Seawings 24 cat for the WA360 race.  Ginnie Jo is being furtive about an F27 trimaran she hopes to buy and will spill the beans when that happens. In addition she’s also been working on her “muffin top” camper van in hopes of further adventures with her young family. Jessica and Shaun have been sprucing up their F31 for the season.  Martyn and Linda are exploring the wonders of AC wiring in a European catamaran.  They bought a truck camper and have been switching between land and water adventures.  Commodore Scott just got back from racing on Tula’s borrowed Corsair 880 trimaran in the nationals in Florida.  He raved about the sailing and had a great time.  Joe and Sue are nearing the end of some quality yard time for their catamaran.  He’d hoped to have left the land of fiberglass and dust sometime ago but, alas…..  I’m sure I missed other conversation bits but you get the idea.  Join us next time. 


 At 7:00 Commodore Scott brought us to order with a brief introduction to Daniel Evans of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend.  He is the Race Boss of the R2AK and Seventy48 engineless races.  Because the R2AK can not be run due to Covid, and other big races were cancelled he decided to “take control of the future”.  He and cohorts came up with the WA360.  It’s a race circumnavigating Puget Sound without using engines, though you can keep them aboard.  He riffed on a means of assuring compliance such as a special rainbow zip tie around some important engine part or and old fashion wax seal but he also conjuring up the idea of revered 4 time sailing gold medalist Paul Elvstrom’s famous quote:  “You haven't won the race, if in winning the race you have lost the respect of your competitors.”   If you have a simple compliance idea email him.  Another rule is that you may not have any previously planned outside support, though you can use any shoreside facilities available to anyone else, such as chandleries, stores, hotels, etc…..   

The race starts in Pt Townsend and goes counter clockwise to Olympia then thru the Saratoga Passage around Pt Roberts and back to Pt Townsend.  There are options and several marks to round in the loop.  You can portage if you want.  All competitors will have race trackers so we can follow the action and maybe get a look at some of the choke points.  There’s 3 divisions; Go Fast, Go Hard (cruisers) and Human Powered.  A World Boxing Champion size belt buckle is rumored to be first prize.  There will be no parties, ruckus or other non allowed gatherings, though people can just happen to be in Pt Townsend for the start early on Monday, June 7.  The Seventy48 human powered race from Tacoma to Pt Townsend will be finishing during Saturday and Sunday before the start of the 360 so lots of cool boats will be in town.  I’m looking forward to being there.  After a few minutes of enthusiastic Q&A Daniel had to get his kids to bed so we bid him adieu at 715.  Here is the website:


 Commodore Scott then had a few minutes of club business asking folks to join and reviewing the advantages of being a member, Fisheries Supply discount, racing, cruising events, tool library and expert advice of many longtime multihullers.  He is trying to have the Corsair National Championships in our area next year.  Its very preliminary and no details have been worked out.  He is also looking to have a small Corsair donated to the club to garner interest in multihulls.  It can be kept at his business’s dry moorage spot at Shilshole Marina.  He mentioned that the dry storage is going to be expanded.  Brief mention was made of keeping our Pt Townsend YC reservation for the June meeting the night before the start of the WA360.  With covid vaccinations going strong there is hope that the state will allow gatherings by that time.  This was not resolved yet.  Scott mentioned that Peter Nelson of Multihull Youth Sailing won’t be presenting this evening but will join us next month.   Treasurer Mark reported that the club bank balance is $7097 and that 54 burgees were purchased for $1110 to replenished the club inventory.  A couple new members mentioned they hadn’t received one.  Another couple mentioned that they’d flown the flag so much that they were disintegrating.  The club acknowledged that we needed to get burgees out to these folks.  


 Our second speakers, the Tiny Watts couple Savana and Wesley Watts were introduced and given the floor.  Their Oregon business is primarily supplying drop in solar power solutions for camper vans.  They lived in one for 4 years and developed their own system of solar panels, inverters, lithium batteries & controllers.  Now they are outfitting a family 1992 Lagoon 42 catamaran in Hawaii with the same systems.  They hope to sail off to the south seas with their extended family in the near future.  Wesley and Savana spoke about their nifty drop in systems and how it can be used on vessels and that they also do custom systems.  Many questions and tangents followed and it was a very interesting hour or so of info packed discussion.  Savana grew up sailing around the world for 13 years with her family.  Her dad wants to go again and will be with them for the next adventure.  More info on their website;  Their boat name is Swell.  They are advocates of large rigid residential/commercial solar panels though they admit that flexible ones have attractive features.  They said Solbian are the best flexible/walkable panels.  The cheaper ones have only 2 or 3 conductors and when one breaks they will overheat.  Bill Q said his caught fire once.  The better flexible ones have a matrix of many conductors that you can actually see and if one of those breaks its no big deal.  The rigid ones are cheaper, more efficient and longer lasting.  Except for engines and a propane oven their catamaran is all electric; induction stove top, toaster oven, refer, instapot, adequate 1400 watt water heater, etc…  They have 1080 watts of panels, a 3000 watt inverter and 600 amp hours of lithium iron phosphate batteries.  This provides plenty of power for unlimited time.  Joel and Patty (mentioned earlier) said they put together the same set up for their boat.  Here are some snippets of info I caught.  LiFePo batteries are safest with little chance of overheating.  They do have circuit breakers for each of their 6 batteries.  The system is 1/4 the weight of a lead acid battery system and longer lasting at 8 - 13 years depending on how far and often you draw them down.  Though they can go to nearly to zero they advise topping up at 80% discharge vs LA batteries only can supply 50% of their capacity without damage.  They advise having a low DC voltage cut off on house batteries as they’re hard to charge if they go too low.  Inverters are 80- 95% efficient but even at rest they draw ~30-50 watts daily so should be turned off when not in use.  They rely on a night light to remind them to turn off their system.  I recommended using a bathroom timer switch as I do on my attic heater.  If I need heat I turn the timer to the time I need and it goes off afterwards,  They liked that idea.  They also mentioned that you don’t need an inverter if all you have is a 12 volt system so money, weight and complexity can be saved there.  They do have a small separate lead acid battery for engine starts as that eliminates the complicated issues with the engine alternator vs Lithium battery charging needs.  The engine alternator does charge the lithium house bank though.  They are thinking down the road about a next boat after their south seas trip and they like the Seawind 1160 for potential electric motors.  Jury is still out on that.  After the Q&A was exhausted we bid adieu to Savana and Wesley thankful for their generous time and information.  They said contact them any time with questions.


About half of us lingered for another 45 minutes visiting.   I hope you can join us next month

Eric Lindahl