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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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, ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

Cat vs. Mono – The Verdict

7 Aug

Part II of the great Catamaran versus Monohull debate. Part I is posted here, Cat vs. Mono – The Great Debate.

So we've covered a lot of ground so far. Cost, Maintenance, Engines, Heeling, Deck Space, etc. Now we just need to take a look at a few more variables and then we can come to a decision. Or rather, I will come to a decision and tell you what it is and you will have to live with the truth of it for all time.



Living accommodations. This is a tricky one. Indoors the monohull wins hands ...

Read More

CAPSIZED CATAMARAN: How Exactly Did This Happen?

6 Aug

MAYBE MY SAILfeed COLLEAGUE Pat Schulte of Bumfuzzle, who is in the midst of comparing cats and monohulls, can help us out with this one. The viddy comes courtesy of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which reported last week that a volunteer crew from the Mallaig Lifeboat Station in Scotland rescued seven survivors off the bottom of a 52-foot catamaran that became “completely inverted” due to “adverse weather conditions” off the Isle of Skye.

The rescued crew reportedly were French–two women, five men–and according to at least one other published report were trapped inside the cat when ...

Read More

The Pacific Cup: Know When to Turn Back

6 Aug

Three weeks ago we saw Juanita off at the start of the Pacific Cup. Five intrepid sailors headed toward Hawaii; a boatload of well-wishers waved goodbye at the Golden Gate. By that night Juanita was completely becalmed, drifting within half a mile of the thundering breakers on the Southeast Farallon, which claimed five racers’ lives earlier this year.

The race committee puts some kind of tag on your transmission, and if you put your engine in gear during the race you’re disqualified…or have time added and some explaining to do. It was a nervous night for Juanita, hearing the ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group