No matter how much you prepare, there is always something. A young Swedish couple I follow recently sailed from the Big Island in Hawaii to Honolulu. The sail wasn’t pleasant, and in the brisk conditions, they heard a loud bang against their aluminum hull. Turns out they lost their Rocna anchor overboard. The chain had been removed for the trip to keep seawater out of the chain locker, done a million times, but this time, their trusted stainless steel anchor restraint failed.
We look forward to spring boat projects in my house. Getting the boat ready for the season, fixing what no longer works, and getting familiar with the boat again. But it is already June, postponed after many long weeks of spring rain and other distractions.
It is finally coming together, however, and soon we will be back on the water.
Checking for tight electrical connections is a great part of your spring ritual. Making sure all important wiring is securely tightened, as loose connections are the primary source of electrical and electronic failures.
There are a few tricks to keep your brightwork looking good during the season. Here are some ways to hold off expensive refinishing jobs. Keeping up with brightwork while cruising isn't hard and is so worth it.
Along with wrenches and other tools, a non-contact thermometer is a valuable instrument to help you keep tabs on your ship's systems. Once you establish the normal temperature of your engines, pumps, and other machinery, an occasional recheck of this equipment will indicate if you are developing a potential problem.
The value of an engine survey can't be overstressed when looking for your ideal cruising boat. A separate effort from a general boat survey, an experienced mechanic's skill at judging the overall health of a boat's engine(s) and generator gives you the ability to decide if the boat is right for you, or if you should keep looking. More so than any other element of a cruising motorboat or trawler, the engine room is the most important space on the boat.
Composite Yacht did a fantastic job painting Blue Angel. Super happy with the work, as opposed to the shortcuts done by Hunt Yachts. Dead batteries uncover previously unknown parasitic loads that took down the batteries in the two weeks she was in Trappe, MD.
Monitoring fuel consumed instead of engine hours is how Caterpillar measured its workhorse 3208 diesel engine for mean time between overhauls. That was a very sensible approach, providing a better view of how hard an engine has worked during its life.
When elbow-tiring, hand-rubbed compounding and waxing no longer does the job, it may be time to paint your boat. Gelcoat is not intended as a forever finish, and 11 years was perhaps waiting too long. No worries, striking beauty is only a paint job and $$$$ away. And it is the start of the effort to take this great Hunt design and make it into the great boat it should be.
Our first Monday Minute, sharing a piece of useful information from traveling around the world, visiting boat builders and suppliers to our industry. Due to the enormous diversity of the global marine world, spanning commercial, recreational, and military segments, many of these professionals know much more than we will ever experience during our boating years.
Finding ways to make your trawler or sailboat better capable of traveling offshore. All of these efforts result in a better seaboat, even if you are not planning to cross oceans. And these upgrades will better familiarize you with the many systems on a cruising boat. And that brings confidence.
We continue our look at how to prepare your boat for going offshore in a powerboat or trawler, and what you should address to make sure things go as planned. The stresses of offshore travel are different from running in protected waters and preventative effort can help ensure a trouble-free passage, which is what we all aim for.
Recurring questions and inaccurate answers rule the day on the Internet when it comes to diesel fuel and delivery systems. I'm going through my notes to collect credible information gathered over many years. Ultimately I plan to assemble this into a resource of some value.
Inspired from comments made from last week’s post, let’s discuss helm seat options. There is no one solution for comfortable and safe seating at the helm on all boats. It is something designers and builders used to ignore. Today it gets the attention it deserves.
Notice the helm seating when you go to the upcoming boat shows. And can you get around it once it is in position?
Setting up your helm requires some thought as to how best to utilize what is often limited space. Whether you are refitting an older boat or buying a new one, make sure the instrumentation works for you, and critical instruments are where you can see and operate them with a casual glance.
As part of my midseason checkup, I reviewed the electronic devices and apps I use. Seems a bunch has happened that I had not really taken into account. Some navigation apps work better than others, and some no longer work at all. Companies consolidate and merge products and technologies in this shifting landscape, much like it did when paper charts were replaced with various formats and digital standards.
It’s been a crazy summer around Annapolis, with constant rain and heavy humid air on Chesapeake Bay. Not much fun for boating, but as we move into the second half of the season, it’s a good time to do some midsummer maintenance.
Time to step back from social media and regroup. How we get our information has changed in recent years, and not for the better. We need to rethink where we look for answers and updates. A new world is emerging that embraces a more human connection.