John Harries

Cockpits—Part 2, Visibility and Ergonomics

There are few areas on any boat that are used for more diverse tasks than an offshore sailboat cockpit. Everything from lounging on a quiet day at anchor to handling a fast-moving emergency at sea with a bunch of sail up…in the black dark…in fog…with a ship bearing down on us.

Given that, picking a boat with a good cockpit layout is one of the most important parts of boat selection. Let’s look at what really matters.

Most sailboats have companionway washboards sliding into channels. And while this is a good simple solution, a little work needs to be done to make them really safe. Here’s a simple hack that will take less than half an hour and cost less than US$20, together with a couple of tips on how to actually get out there, rather than working on your boat the whole time.

Three months ago I did some experimenting with induction cooking and wrote about it. And that spawned four more articles as I investigated the changes to a cruising boat’s electrical system required to support high loads like those from electric cooking. So now we can properly answer the original question, is electric cooking practical on a yacht?

Cockpits—Part 1, Safe and Seamanlike

These days there seems to be an endless fascination with yacht (both motor and sail) cockpit amenities, but we must never lose sight of a cockpit’s primary function: to be the command and control centre of a vehicle that operates in a potentially hostile environment.

Happy Holidays

Phyllis and I wish everyone the very best for this holiday season. Here’s hoping the world will be back to some semblance of normal by this time next year. Or maybe a better new normal. Read on for more on that.

In Part 1 we learned that it was inefficient, and often impossible, as well as potentially dangerous, to supply the high-load equipment, that so many cruisers seem to want, with a 12-volt system. And, further, that the solution to this problem is either to forgo all very high-current (amperage) gear, or select a boat with a 24-volt system. So let’s look at that.

Topping Lift Tips and a Hack

Do you need a topping lift? John shares how to decide, and how to rig it if so, as well as a cool hack to reduce topping lift related chafe and noise at sea.

These days we are seeing more and more gear added to boats, much of it AC supplied through inverters from the battery, that demands current (amperage) way higher than even dreamed of a decade ago. But will our electrical system buckle under the load? Here’s how to figure that out ahead of time.

Rigid Vangs

Rigid vangs were once only seen on racing sailboats, but cruisers can benefit, too. John explains why, how to choose between the two types (mechanical and hydraulic), as well as how to fit and use one safely.

Maretron—Better NMEA 2000 Cabling

There’s a lot of unreliable poorly-supported gear in the marine electronics space, so John gets super excited when he finds kit that goes against that trend, and even more so when it reduces an intrinsic danger.

1 2 3 49 50
This is a guest