Lightning strike! Just the words can make us cruising sailors, who sail around the ocean with the highest thing in hundreds of square miles sticking up, nervous.
This post by Matt, AAC Engineering Correspondent, will help you understand how lighting strikes happen and what you can do to reduce the associated risks.
It's amazing how much great information our readers can impart in the comments. In this post I summarize the results of our last post. Don't miss it, you will learn a lot, as I did.
Almost all of us are now very reliant on electronic navigation systems. And that brings up the question of hardware redundancy and chart backup. A reader's question got me thinking about that. Here's my best take on the problem, together with an appeal for help.
I was just reading an article on the NMEA 2000 marine network standard over at the excellent Ocean Navigator blog. For those of you who are not aware, NMEA is a standard backbone cabling system that allows you to connect every piece of electronic gear on your boat together, regardless of what company manufactured each [...]
Finding a home for all our provisions before heading off on a cruise is always a challenge since I tend to overstock on the basis that we will use everything up in the end but running out of something vital in some out of the way place would really inhale. So, as always, there was [...]
A reliable autopilot comes right after radar on our priority scale. A short handed crew that steers all the time, or even much of the time, is a tired crew, and a tired crew is a dangerous crew. Reliable After I fixed some initial teething problems, caused by the installing technician being too stupid and/or [...]
As most of our regular readers know, we just completed a 10,000 mile, eight month voyage to the Arctic and back on Morgan’s Cloud, our 56-foot McCurdy and Rhodes aluminum cutter. A voyage that constituted a gruelling test of all the gear on the boat. In the last post of this series we covered our [...]
As most of our regular readers know, we just completed a 10,000 mile, eight month voyage to the Arctic and back on Morgan’s Cloud, our 56-foot McCurdy and Rhodes aluminum cutter. A voyage that constituted a grueling test of all the gear on the boat. Here is our report on how the electronics and navigation [...]
I’ve written before on the potential benefits of AIS for small craft, and having used it far more since then, it’s time for an update. After being initially impressed with it, and the capabilities it offers beyond radar, has it lived up to that first impression? A good test was when we recently crossed to [...]
Question [Edited for brevity]: We have been upgrading the safety equipment on board our boat and are thinking of installing radar reflectors to amplify and enhance the radar signal we create to alerting oncoming vessels of our position during offshore sailing in bad weather and heavy seas. The Echomax Active-XS-Dual Band reflector seems very good, [...]
In Part 1 I asked the question: “who contributed more to a safe and seamanlike voyage over three days recently, Phyllis who rebuilt the mast winches and went through our medical kit, or me who installed a new AIS transponder and nearly lost his mind doing it?”. Well, to me anyway, it’s an open and [...]
On Morgan’s Cloud we don’t hand steer much: approaching and leaving a wharf, anchoring and hauling the anchor, transiting an intricate channel, or in the presence of a lot of other boat traffic; that’s about it. We find that by using our autopilot we are left with more time and focus to navigate, keep a [...]
In the last few weeks there has been a huge brouhaha in the cruising community about the dangers of using open WiFi hotspots, and rightly so. This has never been a particularly safe practice, but the release of Firesheep—a plug in for the Firefox browser that allows literally any idiot, no matter how technically inept, [...]
Seven years ago, when KVH stopped supporting our previous sailing instrument system, we looked at Brooks and Gatehouse but balked at the cost and instead settled on a new NX2 system from Nexus at less than half the price. We like the way the gear works and find the displays easy to read, both at [...]
Sailing down the Atlantic coast of Spain and Portugal is generally pretty easy going– reliable northerlies make for steady downwind progress. The only concerns are the swell (which can close some ports), and the fog, which can be a real pain. Along the northern part of this coast, on most days we could see a [...]