You Need More Than Money

Some thoughts from Colin on vital training for voyaging sailors. Taking the steps he suggests could save your cruise.

Spade Rudders—Ready for Sea?

Some time ago I posted here with my views on the suitability of spade rudders for offshore cruising. Having lost a spade rudder that looked to be in A1 condition, naturally my thoughts at the time were coloured by that disaster. Despite the fact that I had up until that time owned three yachts that had [...]

Keeping The Water Flowing

Left to my own devices I could happily be a lazy guy, but that’s by no means a good thing to be when you’re in charge of a boat. When running charter boats that are in daily use, daily, weekly and monthly maintenance check lists are absolutely de rigeur to ensure that, random mechanical failure apart, the boat [...]

Filter Boss Fuel Protection System

Regular readers of this site will know that I take a more than passing interest in fuel quality and our dependence on engine reliability. I believe that these are matters that go to the heart of modern cruising. Therefore, I also believe that anything that can offer improvements in terms of engine reliability has got to [...]

The Best Days Of Our Lives?

Will we get there on time? Those of us with a few years under our belt have seen extraordinary changes in the world of sailing during our lifetimes, not just in terms of the sailing performance of the boats we sail, but also in their comfort and safety, which in turn generates the confidence for [...]

The Bug Is Taking Over

Following our arrival in the Canary Islands last autumn we watched an endless stream of yachts line up at the pontoon alongside the boatyard, all of them with fuel contamination problems. In my experience, it’s usual to find that in cases like this the outbreak can be isolated to one or two suppliers who have [...]

Gear Test—Engine

Chapter 8 of 8 in the Online Book Auxiliary Power For Sailboats

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-f00t McCurdy and Rhodes aluminum cutter. A voyage that constituted a gruelling test of all the gear on the boat. Here is our report on how the engine and drive-train [...]

Setting The Pitch On A Feathering Propeller

Chapter 7 of 8 in the Online Book Auxiliary Power For Sailboats

Getting ready to launch Morgan’s Cloud after her annual haul, which includes lubricating and polishing her three blade Max-Prop. A fascinating and very informative comment stream got going on Colin’s recent review of feathering propellers, and one of the subjects discussed was the correct pitch setting for these propellers. When we re-powered we spent a [...]

Feathering Propeller Review

When we took delivery of our new OVNI 435 in 2008, we decided to stick with the standard 3 bladed propeller, partly for reasons of cost (we were running out of cash!). But on all of my previous boats I’d had either a folding or feathering prop, and fully intended to fit one to Pèlerin [...]

Perkins M92B, Initial Report Card

Chapter 6 of 8 in the Online Book Auxiliary Power For Sailboats

We have long believed that the prevalence of high revving lightly built engines installed in sailboats, particularly those boats built in recent years, is often more about ease of availability to the builder and initial price than making the best choice to give long term economical service to the owner. Particularly an owner, like many [...]

Engine Installation—The Devil Is In The Details

Chapter 5 of 8 in the Online Book Auxiliary Power For Sailboats

Back in March, when we were crossing the US/Canada border heading for Maine to start the re-power project on Morgan’s Cloud, a US Homeland Security officer asked the usual questions about what the purpose of our visit was. After I explained that we were replacing the engine in our boat, he asked how long we [...]

Propeller Shaft Rope Cutters

Question: Do you have a rope cutter? I ask because we are thinking of fitting an Ambassador Stripper (stainless) to a new build alloy [aluminum] yacht with an alloy sterntube, and we wonder if it is possible to get the two to live happily together. Answer: Some twenty years ago we picked up a ball [...]