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 [...]
I have to admit, I have been procrastinating about writing posts about the Adventure 40 systems because this is the area where we will have to make some of the hardest and most unpopular decisions if we are going to produce a viable, reliable, fast, strong and comfortable offshore voyaging sailboat for less than US$200,000, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
[While living on Polaris for a month, I wrote about the boat’s kerosene stove (cooker), which sparked a lively debate in the comments about the benefits and drawbacks of various cooking fuels on boats. Continuing that theme, we just got a note from our good friend and Norwegian Correspondent for the Norwegian Cruising Guide, Hans [...]
Installing a seacock properly is not a trivial project. First you need to install a backer plate and then you need to figure out how you will bolt the flange of the seacock down.
Question: I was wondering if you think the engine should be grounded to the hull or not [on an aluminum boat].
We decided that we wanted to stick with a simple machine without a turbo-charger or a controlling computer (more on this in a future post). And that we wanted an engine based on a block designed for commercial/industrial use, and to run for at least 10,000 hours without rebuild and with only routine maintenance—this is [...]
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.
The Cummins was a six cylinder naturally aspirated (no turbo-charger) 5.9 litre diesel that theoretically put out 120 horse power (HP) at 2800 RPM. (I say “theoretically”, because we suspect that it never did develop its specified horse power or torque due to the blow-by problem.) It swung a 21 inch MaxProp through a Velvet [...]
Initially we were firmly in the rebuild camp, as were most of the experts we consulted. After all, at 6000 hours our engine is, in the words of David in his comment, “[a] baby and has many hours running [still] available”. Rebuilding would also save all the expense and aggravation of changing all kinds of [...]
We are in the throes of re-powering Morgan’s Cloud, and as far as we are concerned, this unpleasant and expensive task has come about 4000 engine hours too early.
Many offshore boats are fitted with some kind of high capacity emergency bilge pump, sometimes known as crash pumps. We have long considered one for Morgan’s Cloud but have shied away because we don’t like cluttering up the main engine with belted devices and we have yet to find a pump that is compact enough [...]