27 Aluminum Boat Care Tips—Part 1

Morgan's Cloud, our 56-foot aluminum cutter, turned 30 this year, and she and I are coming up on our twenty-sixth year together. One of the amazing things about the boat, and the material she is built of, is that, at least as far as I can see (I look pretty carefully and regularly), she is just as strong today as she was the day she was built with no appreciable wastage. That said, boats built from aluminum do require care and attention to detail. To help with that, in this three-part chapter I'm going to provide practical tips. And let me emphasize the word practical. I'm going to focus on what we actually do that has worked to keep our boat in good shape for a quarter of a century, rather than get into a lot of theory. Here we go:

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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 18 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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