John’s Thoughts & Photos—October #3

  • jhhomd1-111715Boatyard survival tip #1: Take your own ladder.
  • Boatyard survival tip #2: lock it to your boat or cradle.


The easy way to winterize: Vacuum the last of the water out of the tanks and then make a gadget like this to T-off the plumbing to feed antifreeze into the pipe. Saves a bunch of pink stuff too.

Note, if you have foot-valves on the pickups, as we do, vacuum the pickups from the top—forget and you will be replacing said pickups in the spring.


Once a year, whether she needs it or not. Too much cleaning is perverted.


Show me a boat with a dirty greasy oven and I will show you a crew that eat well.


I really like these little electric pumps from Greybeard. Great for pumping the ATF out of our marine gear, which does not have a hand pump like the engine does.

Thanks to Jeff over at Active Captain for turning me on to them.


If you tend to be clumsy and messy, like a guy I see every time I shave, there’s no such thing as too many drop cloths.

jhhomd1-041684I don’t get along well with outboards…OK I hate the damned things. That said, they seem to work better for longer if regularly flushed with fresh water.

Problem is that most flushing attachments require a hose and lots of fresh water. This little trick works well. Just make sure the cavitation plate is covered…and don’t put it in gear!jhhomd1-021674

Knee pads, one of the most useful tools on a boat at decommissioning time while grovelling around on the cabin sole, at least for those of us with aging knees. I get them from…you guessed it, McMaster-Carr.


Do you have any cool tricks and tips for laying-up your boat? Please leave a comment.

Like what you just read? Get lots more:

Learn About Membership

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments