Monday, August 14, 2017

The Arch is Installed!

Our new arch is installed and looks beautiful. The main reason for getting an arch was to support new rigid solar panels. Alex, who installed our new lithium batteries, suggested rigid solar panels since they put out so much more power than the semi-flexible panels we currently have. The semi-flexible panels were fine for cruising around the Chesapeake but they were inadequate for the Bahamas. The shorter winter days and longer periods at anchor meant that we had a lot of trouble keeping our batteries charged last winter. 
George has been busy since we returned from the Bahamas researching arch manufacturers, taking measurements, ordering the arch and making arrangements for the delivery and installation.  We would have liked to have had the arch installed while we were in Marathon, FL. Alex could have then installed the solar panels.  Unfortunately for us, the person who makes arches in Marathon was backed up 3-4 months and we weren't willing to wait that long. 
We chose an arch from Klacko Marine in Canada. George found them through the blog of another Hanse 415 owner. We liked the idea of going with a company that had already made arches for the Hanse 415. We also liked the fact that it includes an arm that pivots down to raise and lower the dinghy and outboard motor. In addition, the arch completely replaces the existing pushpit so looks much cleaner and frees up space. 
We also considered  Atlantic Tower Sail Arch and Kato Marine.  The Atlantic Tower Sail Arch couldn't be made to fit our boat. The Kato Marine arch was the most expensive and did not include the pushpit or mechanism for raising and lowering the outboard. We would have had to buy and install a separate outboard motor lift. 
Doug, at Klacko Marine, said it would be no problem to ship the arch to us. He has two guys who make deliveries using a trailer. Our local boatyard, Generation III, installed the arch. It looks as if it has always been there. 
George is now working on installing the block and tackle system to raise & lower the arm.

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