Nothing about boats here…

23 Aug

When I moved down to New Orleans I was following my sister, who in turn came down here to help build the New Orleans Community Printshop. They’ve been pushed out of two spaces in the last two years, rebuilding each time, and now they’ve moved into a great place that they’re building up with the help of a sucessful kickstarter campaign. A piece of that pie was set aside for a gigantic darkroom sink, which they decided should be 8’x3′. Originally they were thinking stainless steel – very nice but very expensive- but after a couple brainstorming sessions in ...

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Bumfuzzle’s Cruising Buffoonery

23 Aug

We've often been accused of playing up our lack of sailing experience. People say things like, “They can't really be that dumb.”


To which we reply, “Au contraire, we most certainly can be that dumb.”


And I think, really, we all can be. The difference is that I don't mind admitting it. I got over impressing people a long time ago. What do I care if I appear to be a genius or an imbecile? If you need to act like a genius, it's a fair bet that you aren't one. Isn't it? And don't we all hate ...

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Smart Sharks

18 Aug

In honor of The Mariner's Human Week, I too have a shark story.

Sailing solo along Costa Rica's Pacific coast, I was doing my best to put some meat on the table. I'd bought some new lures and trolled with rod and reel as I motored through the calms.

Unfortunately, I kept hooking Jack Cravelle. As I learned my first time cruising Mexico years ago, the Jack Cravelle is a great fighter and a game fish, but pretty much inedible. We tried to eat one once and it was like fish flavored cat food, brown and bloody. Since then ...

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Do It Yourself! Index of DIY and Technical Posts

17 Aug
Doesn’t this look FUN?

Part of what excited me about this blog was the extra incentive it gave me to thoroughly document the repair process on my boat, and to write about it. There’s still plenty of work to be done and quite a backlog to write up but a good deal of progress has already been made and documented. As the blog format makes it a bit of a pain to track down past posts, I’m creating this index. I’ll keep it updated and link to it, and I’ll try to add stuff from the other sailfeed bloggers as ...

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Sailing’s Seriously Simple Stupid

16 Aug

After my post titled, Catamarans vs Monohulls, I received a lot of feedback. Most of it positive, because I am the utmost authority and I have now handed down judgement on the subject. But one commenter to our Facebook page said that he stopped reading the article after he read, “Sailing is not meant to be complicated.” He said I do myself and the sport of sailing a disservice by describing it as simple.


My reply was, “BUT IT IS SIMPLE!”


Maybe I should have added, because he may not have been aware, that I am the ...

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Diesel Engine Longevity

14 Aug

The meter on my Perkins 4-236 diesel engine just turned over 12,000 hours, and I'm only responsible for about 4000 of this. Over the course of forty-five years and a circumnavigation Charlene (I don’t know why my diesel engine is named this) has had routine maintenance, and lots of components replaced, but she’s never been rebuilt.

In the fifteen years I’ve owned the boat, the engine has only failed to start with a touch of the key twice: once because it was too cold in New Zealand, the other a few weeks ago when the starting battery was shot. That’s ...

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Young Inspirational Cruisers

13 Aug

I don't follow many cruising websites. Even people we know tend to just rehash the same old stories from paradise. But some sites compel me to check in every now and then to see how things are going. Liz Clark's is one of them.


Her story is fun and amazing in itself. She was introduced to sailing young. Her parents took her on a six-month cruise when she was ten. At fifteen she started surfing and within just a few years was the College Women's National Champion. Just a couple of years out of college the opportunity to become

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The Case Against TBT Antifouling

10 Aug

Much of the antifouling used in the Caribbean is still TBT-based

Ok, my last post gave you some (rather long-winded) background information. I’ll try to make this a bit shorter. Having thought Tributyltin (TBT) was something of relic off the past I was quite surprised to learn that it is not uncommonly used by cruising sailors, particularly those in the Caribbean. This post is a look at the arguments for and against such use.

First a quick recap. TBT, which used to be the number one antifouling compound, is a ‘pervasive marine pollutant’ (per the EPA). It is particularly ...

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Top Ten Cruising Destinations

8 Aug

I'm always asked my favorite stop on my circumnavigation, and it’s hard to give a short answer. This is the long answer, but it’s still hard not to ruminate, equivocate, and qualify. To make my list they must be outstanding all-around places to sail, anchor, live aboard, go ashore, and all the things that cruising entails:

1. Andaman Thailand (photo above):

Cruising, ten. Natural beauty, ten. People, ten. Food, ten. Safety, ten. Hundreds of karst limestone islands dot the 120 miles between the Malaysian border and Phuket. Each is its own little paradise. Many have hongs (literally rooms): tunnels, chambers, ...

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A blast from the (not quite) past – Why Tributytin (TBT) Antifouling should concern us all

8 Aug

The other day I was poking around the paint department of my local recycled materials store when I came across this relic:

That’s an old, old can of antifouling using Tributyltin, or TBT, as an active ingredient. As I mentioned a while back in my antifouling post this stuff has been banned in the US and EU (among others) because of its extreme toxicity to marine life. Still I have to admit that I considered squirreling it away in my shop, visions running through my head of painting the hull in the dead of night in some secret cove away ...

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