Post by Silas Rogers, Sustainability & Infrastructure Intern
Hurricane Island is a very busy place, and the summer season is in full swing. Not everyone on the island is involved in programs, however. It is essential to keep the island infrastructure in good shape, and Harbor Builders, of Rockport, Maine, have been commuting by boat to the island to carry out improvements to some of Hurricane’s existing buildings. They are installing new windows in the Boathouse, and re-shingling the exterior. The crew is dedicated, and accepts the challenges of working on the island. Working from an off-grid power source, scheduling commutes around weather conditions, working around programs, and getting materials to the island are a few of the complications the job entails.
Jim “Jimbo” Bernardo and his crew have not only made improvements to the Boathouse, but they have replaced the pier planking with new hemlock, are re-shingling a few of the cabins, and most recently they installed a new double door and screen at the north end of the Galley.
Electricians from Rideout Electric worked July 7th to update and improve the solar electric system by installing a new Outback Power Systems 48 volt inverter to power the main buildings. The new system replaced the two 24 volt inverters of the old system, and twenty new AGM batteries replaced the old battery bank, allowing the system to operate at its full capacity of eight kilowatts. One benefit of the Outback inverter is that it can wirelessly controlled from a laptop, tablet, or smart phone, and data can be recorded very accurately.
The island also recently acquired a large wood chipper, on loan from Chip Bauer, a long time supporter of Hurricane Island and co-owner of Harbor Builders. The chipper, powered by a six-cylinder Ford engine, is a very effective way to break down brush, which is then spread on roads and trails.
Island improvements are well on track, and the buildings and grounds are improving little by little, with the help of these friendly people!