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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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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Volvo Ocean Race: Argh!

4 Apr

Ok, that is definitely not what you want your leaderboard to look like. 

Groupama, leading the leg and threatening for the overall lead of the race, just lost the rig. Here are the details:


When the incident happened, Groupama 4 was sailing upwind on port tack in a northerly wind of around twenty knots.

The mast broke level with the first spreader (around ten metres above the deck).

When the spar fell, bowman Brad Marsh suffered a slight injury to his forearm.

Franck Cammas indicated that he wasn't requesting assistance and that he'd temporarily suspended racing.

Two options

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The Clever Clevis

1 Apr

With the Clever Clevis™, you’ll be the hit of any sailboat!!!

Simply wait for an appropriate moment, toss the Clever Clevis™ onto the cabin top, and let the mirth unfold!!!

Note: Nobody must see you toss the Clever Clevis™. It must seem like it just “fell from the sky.”

Watch your shipmates scramble around, looking aloft! See how long it takes before someone looks at the rig through binoculars! See if you can get every single shipmate to look aloft at the same time!

For added fun, deploy the Clever Clevis during a race!

For maximum enjoyment, deploy the Clever Clevis ...

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How some barnacles saved my boat: Galvanic corrosion in the real world

30 Mar

Every now and then trying to fix the boat degenerates into rushing around in circles between the boat and  my workshop and I begin to feel like some sort of frenetic, freshly-decapitated chicken. It does not help when the whole yard loses power just as I’ve finally assembled the correct piles of detritus for the task at hand. That happened twice this week. On the bright side, I (re)found the bolt that could easily have sunk my boat:

I wrote about this in my last post but when noticed the offending fastener in a pile of bits it reminded me ...

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Clipperton Island Still Uninhabited

26 Mar

I’ve just returned from Clipperton Island, a French atoll lying 800 miles off the Mexican coast. I went as part of the Clipperton Project, an art/science/environmental/documentary expedition, but I was involved more with boats, landings, and communications. They tasked me with a survey of sea turtle nesting sites, but I walked around that whole island (about seven miles) and there didn’t seem to be any nesting sites, or I’ve got really bad eyes.

Masked Boobie with chick

I left La Paz on the mother ship, the Lucia Celeste, a 48-foot expedition dive boat. I returned to Baja on a Downeast ...

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DIY Disasters -or- Crazy things people do below the waterline!

23 Mar

Being nearly finished with a bunch of big boat projects I’m at a bit of a lull with the blog at the moment.  I have plenty keeping me busy but little to write about until I’ve actually completed some of them. In the meantime I dug up some photos of failed hardware and the scariest DIY ‘repairs’ I found on my boat. I’m all for fudging things a little when I think I can get away with it, but this stuff is crazy!

Exhibit A: The Through-hulls
After buying my boat in Florida my original plan to sail her back ...

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The Oceans = Great Video

21 Mar

Sometimes the best way to understand the incredible wealth of experience offered by the watery realms is to watch….some great video.

Here are five good ones that I threw into the vault over the past few weeks.

1) Gone Sailing (Backstory)

2) Gone Sailing, Part 2

3) Gone Sailing, Part 3

4) Day At The Beach

5) Foot In Mouth (Backstory)

Follow The Mariner by bookmarking this page. RSS feed is here. Tumblr is here....

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