One of the best reasons to raise kids on a boat is not having television. Ouest loves her books, but Lowe may be even more into them than her. Any time of the day or night, no matter what he is doing, if we ask, “Lowe, do you want to read a book?” he will drop everything, walk over to us, and plop right down in our lap. It pleases me no end.
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Though I’m sailing it and living aboard I have to confess that my boat still has a few gaping holes. These include two rather large ones in the cockpit for which I’ve only myself to blame, having cut them out many months ago. When my father was here last we finally got started on them.
First we cut the holes out to their final size:
|Typically nasty fiberglass work! Will it ever end?
I was lucky to come across a couple teak doors that actually fit the holes fairly well but we still needed to make frames for them. I ... Read More
Almost two weeks in the ocean and the moon is about a day away from being full. Kinship is sailing along, the last few days we have experienced lighter winds. It makes it a bit tricky because we have squalls now and then and are reefing and unreefing a lot. Keeps us busy! Read More
This morning I had the 04-07 watch. The night watches are my favorites on the boat, when it is peace and quiet and I have some time for my self. The boat is a small space for four people to live on. We all have our own bunk ...
I realized today that maybe I’m relying a little bit too much on the website to relay information to family. Ali and I have never been phone people. We were the type to throw the phone back and forth to each other while the person on the other end of the line sat there listening and waiting for somebody to say hello (hint: we’ve never had caller id). It’s been ten years since we had a phone and in that time I doubt we’ve made more than ten calls per year. In fact that’s probably overestimating it by a factor ... Read More
BARRING THE UNFORSEEN, this is the face of the next winner of the Vendee Globe, Francois Gabart, who should reach Les Sables d'Olonne aboard MACIF very early Sunday morning, thus setting a new race record of 77 days, give or take a few hours. I hope you've been following this one, as it's really been a doozy. For a significant portion of the race Gabart and his (now) second-place competitor, Armel Le Cleac'h on Banque Populaire, were more or less in sight of each other, and at several different points different sailors broke the record for miles covered ... Read More
After dinner and two hours of sleep we pulled the anchor up off the rocks and got underway again. The kids slept through all the noise of us getting moving. There was no wind but the seas were just a lumpy mess with swell running all over the place—the main swell coming in just a boat length apart causing us to bounce terribly. It wasn’t long before Ouest woke up.
“Are you sick?” I asked.
“No. Me want to go outside and get some fresh air.”
Crap. She’s sick. Despite being medicated the disgusting movement of the boat ... Read More
What sets the pros apart from the hacks on a wiring job is neatness and organization. We’ll assume you’re using the right kind of wire, in the right gages, colored appropriately, labeled copiously, crimped properly, protected with heat shrink tubing, and we'll assume all the wires go the right places according to ABYC standards. (Yes, that’s a lot to assume.) Beyond this, it all comes down to wire styling.
What not to do:
Wire styling isn’t just vanity. Properly bundled wires are protected from flex and vibration. And when it comes time to troubleshoot or change the system, the whole ... Read More
QUIZ ANY CURMUDGEON these days on the subject of proper wayfinding and you'll soon find yourself reefed down in a gale of conventional wisdom about the importance of paper charts, compass bearings, dead reckoning, sextants, and the like. But what curmudgeons tend to forget, as they rail on about how modern nav tools are corrupting us, is that many of their sacred cows are also just tools. They are more primitive, simpler, hence more reliable in one sense (if not more accurate), but still they are not the organic root of navigation.
Reduced to its purest form, human navigation (as ... Read More
People just love to
complain er, talk about how expensive it is to own a boat. Well, that’s why I’m here, y’know, with the practical tips. Here’s one:
Can’t afford to buy stuff? Try re-using other people’s trash.
Really, you will be surprised what you find. I make it a regular practice to rummage through the dumpster at my marina. My latest score includes, among other things:
Tools (All working):
Black and Decker hand sander
Cheap Chicago Tools Router
Pneumatic Brad Nailer (the exception – not yet tested)
Parts: Read More
Batteries, AA and 9V ...
Let’s put these two hard-working pumps side-by-side for a real look at performance:
Power: The SUREflo diaphragm pump runs off ship’s 12-volt power. The Medela Freestyle can run off a rechargeable 12-volt rechargeable lithium battery or 110-volt AC.
Mechanism: The SUREflo converts rotational energy from its 12-volt brushless motor into suction through its nitrile rubber triple diaphragm. The Medela has two diaphragms (one for each side) also made of medical quality, hypo-allergenic nitrile:
Intake: The SUREflo comes with fittings for either ½” or ¾” hose: obviously the larger hose size provides greater throughput.
The Medela has available intakes ranging ... Read More