WINTER PROJECT: Corroded Sea Chest & Other Tidbits

1 Mar

Aluminum sea chest

Lunacy is again spending the winter inside at Maine Yacht Center, and though there are no ambitious modifications underway, like last year’s bowsprit, I have been trying to address some smaller issues that have been bugging me. Number one on this list was the big Marelon seacock on the boat’s one and only raw-water inlet, which feeds the toilet, washdown pump, and auxiliary engine. I’ve been worried about this seacock failing someday, ever since a sister seacock, on the galley sink outlet, started weeping steadily and had to be replaced a few years ago.

Turns out it wasn’t ...

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The CA 36 To blog or not to blog,,,,,,,,?

1 Mar

I had a call last night from my blog boss at Sailfeed asking me why I had been quiet on my blog. Truth is I just have not been feeling like I had anything very worthwhile to say on the blog for a couple of weeks. I’ve been designing and taking care of a few personal things but I have not been waking up busting with profound or important thoughts I felt I needed to share. I’m reminded of a line in Bob Dylan’s tune BROWNSVILLE GIRL: “Oh if there’s an original thought out there I could use it right ...

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Gauge of Confusion

27 Feb


Gauges and sending units can get very confusing.

In the photo above, this very nice Beneteau came with this engine panel, which has idiot lights for high water temperature and oil pressure, but no gauges. In an ideal world you want both, the gauges to show you normal temperatures/pressures and trends if anything changes, and the idiot lights/buzzer to go off if something catastrophic happens. This also builds in redundancy, because you have two pressure senders, two temperature senders, and the corresponding guages/lights at the helm.

To get a new panel from Yanmar with gauges cost $1700, and I ...

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Water Tank Install is Finished

25 Feb

I posted before about installing the aft water tank but at the time it was just held in place with expanding foam. Now we’ve finished the install with the addition of some plywood and fiberglass reinforcement. This was a simple project which drove home two things for me- first that fiberglass and epoxy resin are almost too easy to work with and second that I really have no idea how to gauge the strength or reliability of the fiberglass work I am doing!

Whenever I have a glassing project I call my father up to talk to him about it ...

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The Sinking Of A Superyacht

22 Feb

It's not often that you see a superyacht, which charters for almost a cool half mil a week, sinking beneath the waves. A sight like that will no doubt inspire mixed feelings for some, particularly any #OccupyWallStreet-ers. But I hate to see any ship go down.  

Here's what the playtoy YOGI should look like:

And here, unfortunately, is what YOGO recently looked like (despite the chaos in Greece it's nice to see that

the Greek Coast Guard is still flying):

The full backstory is here

Follow The Mariner ...

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How NOT To Finish A Race

14 Feb

We've all done it. The finish whistle welcomes you across the line, your race is over, so you ease sheets, crack the cooler, and head toward the barn. And sometimes you suddenly realize you are interfering with boats that are still racing.

In the best case you are just disturbing their air, and you get out of the way quickly, with an apology. In the worst case you get….this.

Here's a summary of what happened (and a long version of the video is here):


The finish line was skewed by somewhere around 10-15 degrees. You can see the

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Wedding Ring Recovered

14 Feb

Yesterday I dropped my wedding ring off a dock.

I got back to the marina in San Rafael at 7 a.m., and indeed the tide was very low, only a few feet deep where I’d dropped my wedding ring. I forgot a towel or anything else to make me comfortable after my early morning swim, which made jumping into freezing San Francisco Bay, in the middle of winter, that much worse.

I dropped a fishing weight tied to some 1/8” Dacron to mark the spot. Without a weight and a line, I get disoriented underwater, and my search becomes ...

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13 Feb

Today, as I often do, I took off my wedding ring to put on my keychain before starting work. I knew someone once who welded their wedding ring, and their finger, to an engine, because the ring shorted the alternator terminal to the engine block.

I was walking along, slipping the ring onto my key ring, thinking don’t drop it, don’t drop it, whatever you do, don’t drop it, this would be a really bad place to drop it because it would go right in the water, so be sure not to drop it.

And I dropped it.

And it ...

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