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Archive for the 'Boat Projects' Category

S/V Alina Marie

My friends Ralph and Alina brought their Tylercraft 26 to my marina on their way from the southern side of Long Island, where they bought the boat two years ago, back to Maine, where they live. That was two seasons ago. Earlier this season, Ralph and Alina got married. They have been working on recommissioning [...]

Electrical Systems for Boats

If you want to upgrade the electrical system on your boat or add one to a boat that really doesn’t have one you will need a few things. Before I mention what you’ll need, I would point out that it is often far less expensive and faster to rip out the entire previous system and [...]

The Mobile Boatyard Goes To Bourne

This past weekend, I took the mobile boatyard, otherwise known as s/v Pretty Gee, on a short trip to Bourne. Dale and I had planned on getting some work done on s/v Hilarity. Instead of dealing with the atrocious Memorial Day weekend holiday Cape Cod tourist traffic backups and delays and spend several hours each [...]

Cabin Sole Lockers

One of my major projects from this past winter was adding some additional stowage to the main cabin of s/v Pretty Gee. Stowage is very scarce on most trailerable trimarans and the Telstar 28 is no exception. My aim was to make the boat more comfortable, safer and more seaworthy while also giving the boat [...]

Anchor Locker and Bow Crash Compartment

During the last winter, I pulled the holding tank from my boat, s/v Pretty Gee. The tank had difficult to trace leak that turned out to be due to a couple of cracks in the side of the tank. When I pulled the tank, I noticed that there is a fairly large space in front [...]

Winter Projects 2012

This week I’ll be starting the winter projects on s/v Pretty Gee. The two big projects are the new cabin sole lockers on the starboard side of the cabin and the new cabin overhead. Cabin Sole Locker The centerboard trunk on s/v Pretty Gee is offset slightly to the port side. As designed by the [...]

Three French Guys…

Lately, I’ve been helping my friend Glenn out.  He sold his Jeanneau Sun Leisure 34 to three French guys, who are planning to sail it back to France in about a week.  He asked me to keep an eye out for the three French guys that had bought the boat. I decided that helping them [...]

Bad Boat Equipment Installations

I was working on a boat recently, and I found that someone had installed the anchor windlass control relay inside the anchor locker.  Now, I really have to wonder why anyone would do something this stupid.  It leaves the anchor windlass system completely vulnerable to corrosion, and the chances that the relay will fail is [...]

The Long Cold Dark of Winter

I dread this time of year. This Saturday, I will be hauling s/v Pretty Gee out of the water for the season. That means no more sailing on her until sometime next spring. There will still be work to do—winterizing her for the long cold dark of winter—doing the various maintenance projects that have to [...]

Jacklines, Tethers and Harnesses

Recently, the question of safety gear, specifically jacklines, tethers and harnesses came up on one of the forums I’m a regular of, so I thought writing about it, especially as we head into the colder weather would be a good idea. I’m a firm believer of using harnesses and tethers to help keep the first [...]

Buying a Boat

So, you’ve finally decided you want to buy a boat.   Well, here is some advice on how to go about doing it. First, you need to decide what you want to do with the boat. Are you looking for a boat to weekend and daysail on the Chesapeake?  Are you looking to cross oceans? [...]

Replacing Running and Standing Rigging

On one sailing forum, someone asked about replacing the rigging on their boat… that lead to this article.  This article is intended for cruising boats from 28-35′ LOA or thereabouts. It does not address the needs of larger boats or racing boats.  It can probably be applied to smaller boats, within reason, if you downsize [...]

Gelcoat Cracks—What Do They Mean?

On one of the sailing forums, someone asked about what gelcoat cracks mean. This is basically the response I gave them. Basically, there are THREE types of cracks you see in gelcoat. 1) Crazing or spiderwebbing—called this because the cracks tend to go in all directions and have no real central point or directionality. These [...]

Boat Inspection Trip Tips

After reading a bit about what people think is or isn’t necessary when going to look at a boat… I decided to put together this post, which was originally written for the Sailnet.com sailing forum. This was a collaborative effort between my friend, Maine Sail, and myself. Please note: This article is about going to [...]

2010 Delivery of s/v Felix—Part I.

2010 Delivery of s/v Felix from Stocking Island to Marion, Massachusetts This spring, I was asked by my friend John if I would help deliver his boat, s/v Felix from Stocking Island, in the Exumas, back to Marion, Massachusetts. Being fairly familiar with s/v Felix, I was happy to help. The delivery was supposed to [...]

Sunday at the Marina

This past Sunday my friend Dave and I were down at the marina working on the s/v Pretty Gee. There are a lot of spring projects I’m working on and Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day to be down at the marina. One project was cleaning and polishing the stainless steel on the boat. This [...]

Bilge Pumps

A friend of mine was asking about installing bilge pumps on his boat.  So, I thought I’d write about that today. My recommendation for a full bilge pump setup has a small “maintenance” bilge pump down in the lowest part of the bilge. The float switch for this pump can be integrated or separate, but [...]

Cored Laminates in GRP Boats

As a caveat, I am not a laminate engineer, but a just an amateur boat builder.  As such, the information contained within this post is written to be a basic primer. Modern GRP boats often use a cored laminate construction for several reasons.  A cored laminate can be much stiffer, stronger and lighter than a [...]

WiFi Networking for Cruising Sailboats

I was over on s/v Itinerant, helping Joe with his WiFi setup, and decided to write what I did. Joe had bought a NanoStation2 based on my recommendation and was having some trouble with it. The equipment I’ve been recommending for cruising sailboats are either the NanoStation2 or the Loco2 for monohulls and the Bullet [...]

Three Days and Three Sailboats

Well, this past weekend, had me working on three different boats on three different days. Three days and three different boats—Saturday: an O’Day Javelin; Sunday: an O’Day 302; Monday: a Gemini 105Mc Catamaran. It started out on Saturday, when I was helping my friend’s son and a friend with the O’Day Javelin that they bought [...]

The Cruising Sailor’s Toolkit

On a sailing forum, the question of what tools should a boat have aboard came up. While the tool kit would vary, depending on what boat you have and what area you’re sailing in, as well as what kind of sailing you’ll be doing. If you’re just day-sailing or weekending, or sail on a landlocked [...]

Controlling Lines—Cleats, Clutches, and Jammers

There was a sailor asking me about his mainsheet setup on an on-line forum, and was thinking of using line clutches or line jammers for his mainsheet. I tried to explain that this was both unwise and dangerous. A line clutch or line jammer can take too long to release—and in the case of a [...]

A Simple Fender Board

On one of the sailing forums I frequent, a poster asked about fender boards. For the cruising sailor, especially one that has to deal with slips that have rough pilings, concrete or stone seawalls or locks, fender boards can prevent a lot of damage to the boat and fenders. The simplest fender board to make [...]

Marine Sealants in a Nutshell

One thing you have to do on boats is bed hardware. This has to be done on a regular basis, especially with hardware that is under heavy cycling loads, like cleats. However, using the right sealant can make this task much simpler. Most people are familiar with silicone caulk, since it is the most commonly [...]

Don Jordan and the Jordan Series Drogue

In my opinion, the greatest storm safety device ever created is the Jordan Series Drogue. The JSD was the brainchild of Don Jordan, a retired aeronautical engineer, in response to the fatalities that were the result of the 1979 Fastnet disaster. I believe that the Jordan Series Drogue is a piece of gear that every [...]

Solar Power on Boats

Recently, I wrote a post on a sailing forum about the 25 Watt solar panel I added to the s/v Pretty Gee to act as a maintenance charger for the boat, while it is stored on the hard for the winter. On one of the forums, I was asked if a charge controller was needed. [...]

Winter Storage and Solar Panels

This winter, I decided to store the s/v Pretty Gee outdoors. Since my marina doesn’t allow you to keep a boat plugged in, I decided to add a small solar panel to keep the batteries topped off, so I ordered a small 25-Watt panel from Harbor Freight.  While I have two large solar panels, I [...]

LED Lights

One thing that I’d highly recommend for all cruising sailboats is upgrading to LED-based lights. This is for two reasons. The first is that upgrading to LED lights can reduce the electrical load on a cruising sailboat significantly. The second is that LED-based lights are lower maintenance and lower cost over the long run. You [...]

Bilge Pumps

Over on one of the sailing forums I participate in, there was a question about how to setup the bilge pumps on a boat.  Here are my thoughts on that issue. Ideally, the a monohull sailboat should have at least four bilge pumps.  Two would be electric, and two would be manual. The two manual [...]

Bad Service/Good Service

I thought I’d add another name to the vendor black list. Apparently, Quantum Sails of Newport doesn’t think much of its customers, at least in one case I’ve seen. I was looking at the stack pack on a friend’s boat, and there was a section about three inches long that the stitching had missed going [...]