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Aluminum Boats

Q&A: Why Double Pole Breakers?


Question: Do people always use double pole breakers on a floating DC 24 volt system, on the branch circuits? If so why? I understand they are now two ungrounded conductors, but the return path to the batteries is the same. This is for a steel boat. Answer: No, unfortunately people don't always use double pole [...]

One Tough Old Aluminum Boat


It is amazing how often people look surprised, and even mildly alarmed, when I tell them that we own an aluminum boat. The next tentative question(s) is almost always about electrolysis and the general longevity of the material. For some reason there seems to be many stories of disaster, particularly on this side of the [...]

It’s Painting Time Again

It's hard work keeping a boat looking good

As the old saying goes, you pay for your pleasures, and that’s certainly true when it comes round to the annual re-fit. The many little jobs that were just too awkward afloat, added to the big ones like antifouling, can all back up and lead to a formidable worklist. And to top it all, there’s [...]

Marelon And Bronze Seacocks With Plastic Spacers

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. Yes, I know that many, perhaps most, boats do not have their seacocks bolted, but that is, in our opinion, a [...]

Bronze sea cock

Question: I was wondering if you think the engine should be grounded to the hull or not [on an aluminum boat]. Answer: Definitely not, in our opinion, the engine chassis should be carefully insulated from the hull. Further, the propeller shaft should be insulated from the engine. (The easiest way to do the latter is [...]

An old Perkins 6.354 diesel engine out of a farm truck that they are salvaging for S/V Eva.

To continue our series on different ways to get out voyaging, here is a link to an interesting site about the build of a near sister ship to Hamish & Kate Laird's Seal, one of the most interesting aluminum boats we have ever seen. The builders are a young couple with very young children who [...]

A huge gump with a large rubber tire attached on a beach in Nova Scotia.

We were out walking on the foreshore here in Nova Scotia a few days ago and came across this remnant of what I’m guessing was a commercial wharf. Clearly it had been in the water for quite a while before it fetched up here in a winter blow. Of course I can’t guarantee that Morgan’s [...]

Ovni 385 under sail

The summer of 2009 was a good one in Scotland, at least compared with the rest of the UK and Ireland. But as is generally the case, once the weather breaks, that’s it, the summer is over, and it’s time to make tracks. We had set off from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull early [...]

The red drums contain a shore survival kit in case the crew is forced to abandon. The blue bag is a small light inflatable that is both a backup to the larger tender and intended to assist in getting ashore during the freeze-up.

Those of you who have read some accounts of boats wintering over in the polar regions may have visions of dented hull plates, narrow escapes and three inches of frost on the INSIDE of the boat. That is not the Polaris way. That is not to say that there are not hazards lurking in Michael [...]

Question: I have this notion of building a modern expedition (aluminum) fast cruiser that would include many of your ideas/opinions, not necessarily because they are your opinions but because you and I have reached many of the same conclusions. In considering a project, the thought has become, not to build ONE, but to build a [...]

Waterline bottom paint failure on aluminum expedition sailboat Morgan's Cloud.

We have been using various formulas of zinc-based antifouling paint (copper is out for Morgan’s Cloud since she is aluminum) from E-Paint for 12 years with varying results. For the last three years we have been using their ablative ZO product with generally good results. However, there are a few things to know: E-Paint ZO [...]

Phyllis uses a chisel and 5-lb maul to chip away the varnished eyebrow on aluminum sailboat Morgan's Cloud.

Question: We are hoping to draw on your experience with teak deck replacement on our steel sailboat…Despite our initial plan of just stemming the leaks for the short term until we sailed somewhere fun, they are just too bad and the deck has to go next spring/summer. While going through the process of finding someone [...]

Question: When you were installing your Treadmaster, did you grind back to clean metal and glue it down, or did you, as I was advised, paint with epoxy first? Answer: Our boat was already covered in epoxy putty, which still had a good bond, so we glued to that with West System epoxy. If I [...]