VSRs, ACRs, and the Digital Duo Charge for Idiot-Proof Battery Charging

18 Apr

Let's treat the development of these products historically:

In the distant past, the only way to connect a battery for charging or discharging was to flip a switch. This switch usually connected the battery to the main electrical bus, and the main electrical bus was where connections branched out to various consumers of power and charging sources. If you wanted a battery bank to get charged, say, while the engine was running, you flipped its switch to connect it to the main bus. If, after the engine was stopped, you wanted to keep this bank in reserve, you disconnected it ...

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How To Raise A Family The Anasazi Way

18 Apr

If you ever find yourself dazed in a Mall, stewing in traffic, or listening to your kid scream about playing more Wii, and wonder what the hell you are doing, then think about James Burwick, who is circumnavigating the globe with his wife and two (very_ young kids on an Open 40 called Anasazi Girl.

He's crossing oceans at high rates of speed and giving his family an experience that is unlike most any other in this harried, technified, 21st Century (course the Bumfuzzles know a thing or two about this, as well).

Anasazi Girl is currently in ...

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MATT RUTHERFORD: Bay Bridge in Sight

18 Apr

Matt Rutherford off Virginia Beach

Matt Rutherford off Virginia Beach (photo courtesy of Mark Duehmig)

Editor’s note: Andy Schell, my Matt Rutherford correspondent, shot me this report just moments ago. LET’S GO, MATT!!!

You’d think that in a voyage of now 310 days–the time Matt Rutherford has been at sea since departing the Chesapeake almost a year ago–the hardest part would be far behind him.

But in fact, the hardest part is right now.

Matt has the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in sight, and is only a handful of miles from crossing his outward track, which would make him the first person in history to ...

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Farallon Tragedy: Key Questions

18 Apr

This excellent news report has some insightful interviews with other racers about the central issue which will be examined as the post-tragedy investigation and analysis begins: was Low Speed Chase cutting too close to the Farallones?

It would be easy to just say "yes," and assume an obvious miscalculation was made. But that's rarely how things are at sea, esepcially in a race environment. Racing is all about calcuclated risk, and my gut so far (though there is still a lot to be learned) is that Low Speed Chase wasn't crazy-close, and in a place other boats have gone before, ...

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How was your week?

18 Apr

I think these photos sum mine up pretty well!

My folks came down to New Orleans (again!) to help me work on the boat, and work we did. We were out at 8am each morning and going till dark most evenings. We got a lot done even though we only had five days to do it in. A partial list:

Chopped up and rebuilt the engine bed and installed a new (used) diesel inboard.
Started making the new cockpit coamings out of some beautiful pieces of mahogany
Pulled off the rubrails and reinforced all the beat-up fastener holes (Thanks mom ...

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SUICIDE OCEAN TOW: Drake Roberts on YouTube

17 Apr

Many moons ago I blogged about a fellow I met in Bermuda, Rich Littauer, who was aboard a derelict 52-foot steel boat, Cha Cha, that had been towed into St. Georges after losing her engine and sails during a rough passage from Newport, Rhode Island. More recently I’ve been in touch with Drake Roberts, the singlehander who found Rich and his crew, Gail Alexander, adrift and towed them most of the way to Bermuda with his Westsail 42, Paragon. Drake has launched a YouTube channel and has posted a complete video account of his own voyage to ...

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The Farallones

17 Apr

As cruel a lee shore as exists on the planet.

Low Speed Chase comes to an end in the Farallones Race, a fully-crewed contest that had been run without loss of life since 1907.

Photo posted on Facebook by Will Paxton; provenance not identified



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What Our Bluewater Boat Cost

16 Apr

Charlie Doane recently posted an article titled Bluewater Sailing On a Budget, about the purchase of his first bluewater sailboat in 1994. Adjusted for inflation he paid about $65,000 to purchase and outfit a boat for circling the Atlantic in. I enjoyed reading it and thought I'd write something similar.


In my case it won't be my first bluewater boat (though many would argue that my first boat, a 35' Wildcat Catamaran wasn't a bluewater boat) this is our idea of a bluewater boat on a budget. Our catamaran cost us over three times what we paid for this, ...

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14 Apr

Sailboat deck

This is an area of fiberglass sailboat construction that many owners ultimately become interested in, either because deck hardware installations on their boat start leaking, or because they decide to replace and upgrade hardware. Unfortunately, it is also an area where some builders often try to streamline their methods to save time and money, particularly when it comes to installing hardware such as winches, cleats, genoa tracks, travelers, stanchion bases, and the like.

As we’ve discussed earlier in this series, almost all fiberglass decks are cored these days, which presents two problems any time a deck is penetrated to ...

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A Day to Remember Why We Love Cruising

11 Apr

09-Apr-2012 mazatlan, mexico.
Days like today remind us why we both like to cruise and to find ourselves constantly "living" in new places. We love getting out and just wandering new places, seeing what we can discover along the way. Of course now we do it with kids so we find ourselves discovering more than just those tiny, dark, hole-in-the-wall drinking dens that we used to zero in on.

Today as we rode the bus towards Old Town with no real destination in mind other than hopping off at the cathedral or main plaza we drove past a playground. A ...

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