There’s nothing like a good long voyage to sort out a boat, for better or for worse. That much I learned running a working charter boat for so many years. Every season we’d cover around 8000 hard miles between the English Channel and the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. On our return to Falmouth at the [...]
Before any long passage I conduct a careful examination of all of our standing and running rigging, checking particularly for chafe and any sign of corrosion – better to do it well in advance than wait until the last minute when there’s no time to effect repairs. So before we left the Canaries I went [...]
Let’s face it, there is never enough time to keep a boat that is actively out there voyaging in perfect condition: to do all the routine maintenance; to repair what’s broken; to replace what’s too old to be trusted. Or at least, there is never enough time if we actually want to see the places [...]
This is a small FYI post about a big pain in the butt! The gotcha started innocently enough with me blithely loading our propane tanks into the back of the car and driving to our local Canadian Tire to get them filled—as I had done with no problems in the past—prior to our heading south [...]
Last year our venerable and functional 9 gallon Allcraft water heater (on the right) finally bit the big one after 15 years of faithful service. And, wouldn’t you know it, Allcraft had gone out of business.
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During our recent refit we replaced Morgan’s Cloud ’s old, and much hated stove (cooker) with a three burner model from Force10. Getting the new stove working properly and safely has not been easy.
After much agonizing, we finally made the decision to replace our Broadwater stove (cooker) that has given us so much trouble since we bought it seven years ago; mainly because the manufacturer seems to be, after several fits and starts, well and truly defunct (more on the Broadwater).
The Problem: When we bought Morgan’s Cloud in 1991, she came with a 75lb CQR primary anchor that fit on the bow roller beautifully. Over the next few years we made cruises throughout the North Atlantic and associated Arctic waters. Our rule was that once north of Newfoundland we did not even try the CQR [...]
The Problem This is a beautifully fabricated four burner stainless steel stove (cooker) that, when we bought it in 1996, was billed as the best money could buy; supposedly even better than the New Zealand-fabricated Princess stove, which really was the best stove money could buy (unfortunately, our Princess stove was on our old boat, [...]
The Problem During the winter of 1996/97 I was single handing in the Caribbean and our trusty old Neco autopilot bit the big one. Gear always dies when you need it most! I replaced it with a Simrad autopilot controlling the old Neco rotary drive. After a few hundred miles of sailing, the Neco drive [...]
Okay, this is a big one and to fully understand it will take you a lot of reading. But, if you are contemplating a major custom project, such as a new mast or even a new boat, the time expended here may save you a lot of money and aggravation.
The Problem When doing a scrupulous 50 hour check of our then brand new engine, I (John) found a bolt in the bilge. After much twisting of myself into awkward positions with a trouble light and a mirror, I finally found where it had come from: the oil pan. Things only got worse.
The Problem In 2005, KVH abruptly stopped supporting the Quadra system, which had served us well for many years, albeit after its own set of teething problems. After considering most of the options and nearly settling on B&G, but finally being put off by a sudden and substantial increase to their already, in our opinion, [...]
The Problem In 1999 we installed a new Northstar GPS. At the time we could have bought a perfectly functional GPS for one quarter the cost but we went with the Northstar because of its reputation for quality and reliability and its easy to use software.
The Problem In 1999 our trusty old Furuno combination weather fax/navtex machine died after many years of faithful service. We decided to use our PC for weather fax and buy a dedicated navtex. We selected a unit from ICS.
The Problem After two days going to windward on the same tack, returning from Svalbard (Spitsbergen) to Norway, our bilge gas alarm went off. We searched everywhere for the source to no avail until I opened the gas bottle locker to a very strong smell of propane.