Thursday, December 25, 2014

AIS... Just my humble opinion....

Its been a busy year for boat moving.  I've clocked up just under 4,000nm.  What have I learned?  Lots.

1.  I don't like rounding Hatteras in early December, even though we got a nice weather window and I was on a 50ft Cat.

2.  I don't like 52 kt. gusting cold winter winds off the US coast.

3.  And AIS.  I originally thought that a receive only AIS was perfectly acceptable for your average cruising sailboat.  Its still a great addition if money is tight. BUT, the big boys are just not paying attention and seem to believe that if they can't see it on the AIS screen it does not exist.  I will now install a Transceiver AIS unit once I actually move the boat.  Keep in mind that as a Class B AIS user you will only transmit at 2 watts (1/3 the power of a handheld VHF).  This will naturally affect the range that you can be seen.

This is a good review of the subject.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

More galley work.....

Trying to decide on fiddles.  It won't be either of these options.

Rear galley shelving sorted. They will be hidden by sliding acrylic doors. Shelves are 12in wide from Uline.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dickinson Marine Caribbean stove dry fit.....shiny

Dickinson obviously bought a water-jet machine, which means that labels won't rub of with time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Magical Marine Fairy Dust....

While I'm a big believer in buying "marine" products when they are actually proven to be Marine grade, I am less certain about other products especially ones that will live below-decks.   These items came directly from IKEA.

The top photos are of the  LEDBERG LED 3-piece light strip for $14.99 (30in long).  By simply cutting off the 120v to 12v transformer you get a 12v system.  It has a nice simple clip system.

This is the  JANSJÖ LED USB lamp for a very "non-marine" price of $4.99.  I plan to have a number of 12v sockets at various places around the boat and if you need a light you plug in one of these.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Simrad / B&G Zeus 2 Touch

While the galley was being done I installed the B&G Zeus 2 Touch 7" MFD.  Full disclosure, I get a good deal on these from Navico, but they are very impressive to date.  The "Sailsteer" is especially interesting though I have yet to use it in anger.  The autopilot control and the C-Zone integration have also peaked my interest.

The one shortcoming with the system for those who cruise the Bahamas was that charting was limited to a choice of Insight or Navionics.  This has been overcome as C-Map now has charts base on the very popular Explorer paper charts of the Bahamas and these work on the Simrad / B&G systems.  I will be reviewing these Charts in the near future.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Things go better with Coke"

I had this stubborn calcium buildup in the for'd head for some time.  Tried some of the usual stuff with limited success.  Then in a moment of inspiration I poured in a liter bottle of coke that was laying around after a party (our one marina kid wouldn't touch the stuff with a barge pole).   Left it there for a week while I was away and voila;

If you Google "toilet + coca cola" you will discover that I'm not the first to try it.  I just hope my through hull and hoses are intact.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

New galley....almost there

Well pleased;

This will be the actual color of the finished counter-top.  Waterlox Original Sealer

Sink is a Ruvati RVH7110 Undermount 16 Gauge 14" Kitchen Sink Single Bowl.  I have had it mounted on the surface but flush with the counter-top.

Boat Outfitters stock 3 drawer units.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Galley Overhaul.......

I finally managed to locate a ships carpenter that I could

a. afford and
b. trust.  So far so good.

The butcher block counter-top is the  NUMERÄR in birch, $169 from IKEA.

The drawer unit is a stock Three Drawer Unit from Boat Outfitters in Florida.  I will use two of these units to replace the existing wooden drawers.  The fit with an inch to spare.  I have found Boat Outfitters to be a very good company to deal with and they sort out any minor issues very efficiently.

These are the two units prior to fitting;

I had them adapt one of the units into one normal drawer and one deep drawer to take nesting saucepans. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Break everything on the boat.......

Sorry for the lack of posts.  Summer in Miami is like Groundhog day in reverse.  You open the hatch, see your shadow made by a scorching sun and scurry back and hide for another month.  Its too bloody hot here in Summer.

I did manage to fill my time with three deliveries;

1.  600 nm from the Keys to New Orleans on a Whitby 42.  5 day motor sail.  No wind except for the squall that ripped the main.

2.  1040 nm from Ft Lauderdale  to Newport R.I. on a Knysna 500 (South African Cat), verry nice.

3.  240 nm from Eleuthera to Stuart Fl. on an O'Day 30.  

Lesson learned?  Boats break.  In fact the the poor little O'Day broke the least.  Then again it didn't have an autopilot, no bimini, head didn't flush, had a hanked on genoa etc.  Not a lot to actually break.

On returning to TIH, while waiting for my sunburn to heal (never sail beyond Bimini without a bimini, duh) I spent the next few weeks breaking stuff on my own boat.  i.e. I took stuff apart and re-installed it.  First off, the engine electrical system.  When MacGyver installed my engine I had him replace the wiring harness.  The original one had lots of wires which had all faded to a vague beige color.  A nice lady at Perkins, England knitted me a knew one, at vast expense.   I knew I did not fully understand what every wire did, now I do.

My advice, FWIW, if you plan to cruise your boat, take stuff apart and re-install it, BEFORE IT BREAKS, and you are within reach of;

1.  A Marine expert.
2.  A fast internet with Mr. Google.
3.  Your local marine store.
4.  UPS/FedEx.

Replace consumable parts (belts, impellers etc.) with new ones AND, if the old one is still serviceable keep it, as at least you will know that it fits.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We do it right because we do it twice..........

That is definitely my motto and probably should be the motto for most marine maintenance outfits.

I've been playing with the main companionway hatch for some time.  TIH came with the standard teak turtle hatch which is;
a. heavy,
b. requires maintenance,
c. is in pretty poor state.

I plan to swap it out for a Acrylic hatch (1/2" bronze translucent).  I have had real problems locating a suitable aluminum extrusion and have finally decided that they aren't available.  See this nice example from my friends Hunter 30;

Instead I'm following Rob's (Re-building a Westsail 42) example and using 80/20 extrusion.

Plan A;
T slot aluminum extrusion (#1003) and UHMW Bifold Hanger Profile was a bust due to excessive friction and I've moved on to;

Plan B
T slot aluminum extrusion (#1003) and T Slot Aluminum Linear Bearing (#6426).  So far its looking promising.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Aesthetic advice needed....

OK, I like hard tops and think they work well on a Whitby. Not everyone's cup of tea, but. I have had this hard top laying around for a number of years and today managed to get a dry fit. I think it looks pretty good fore and aft but it might be too narrow athwartship. I can have it cut down the center and widened by 20 ins or so. Opinions would be appreciated. Please try and ignore the big baulks of wood, they will be replaced by aluminum tubing in due course.

If you are shy you can e-mail your opinion to whitby42 "at"