During the some 35 years that John has owned offshore cruising boats, he has made some deeply stupid maintenance and gear decisions. Here’s his latest blunder and what we can all learn from it.
If you want to watch John have a complete melt down, just mention 5200 bedding compound…but stand well back, it ain’t pretty. Not just a rant, John suggests better alternatives.
While we were on holiday (vacation) we stopped by to check on Morgan’s Cloud all tucked up in a shed at Billings Diesel and Marine and discovered that her steering was seized solid because the new type of dripless packing that we tried out for the first time had dried out and frozen to the [...]
Just made for the job One refreshing thing about Spain is that it is still a country where people carry out many of their own repairs. Evidence of this can be seen in the number of ironmongers (ferreterias) that still exist in even relatively minor towns, Aladdin’s caves filled with every conceivable item for some [...]
It’s a fact of life that even in our throw away world of ‘service by replacement’ equipment there are times when good old fashioned improvisation can save the day, especially when you’re thousands of miles from the nearest service centre. As a result, part of any spares kit should comprise of a mix of wire, [...]
We joined our friends Dave and Shelly, who live and voyage on their beautiful, and beautifully maintained, Able Apogee 50, Cadence, for dinner the other night. I knew that they had spent the day on maintenance tasks on Cadence and I could sense that it might have been a tough go. (It’s a sure sign [...]
Back afloat at last, and it’s so good to feel Pèlerin swing to the wind and tide at anchor once more, after what seemed an endless winter. The last few weeks in the boatyard have been exhausting, as we’ve slogged through the work getting her ready for the long haul after a series of false [...]
Practical Sailor is only magazine we still subscribe to. We have been getting their great information on all things boating gear for over 25 years. In that time the magazine has saved us untold amounts of money, not to speak of frustration and wasted time, by helping us to source the best gear available and [...]
Installing a seacock properly is not a trivial project and that is especially true on an aluminum boat. John takes you through the process of installing a new seacock on Morgan’s Cloud.
Part of the engine installation project on Morgan’s Cloud was the fitting of new engine mounts—which meant welding, which meant sparks flew, which meant the paint in the engine room got speckled. (Morgan’s Cloud’s builder did a wonderful job of most things, but painting the bilge in the engine room was not one of his [...]
“Boat Yard Hell” is our term of endearment for Morgan’s Cloud’s annual date with a boat lift. There just isn’t much fun to it: living at the top of a 15’ ladder, peeing in a bucket, the morning dash to the toilet building, and of course day after day of boat chores as we try [...]
If there’s one place that you really don’t want a valve to bust while in use, it’s in the black water system. Headhunter Three Way Valves are robust and yet move easily—meaning you don’t have to close your mouth while changing settings (it’s a long story)! Go to www.headhunterinc.com (Products—Waste Water—Accessories—TW-1515) for further information (and [...]
Here is a top ten list (well, nine is pretty close) of what we did during the refit that we really like: 1. Our new Hall Spars carbon mast. The boat is stiffer, pitches less, and we have every confidence in the engineering and execution of this great spar from a great company. 2. The [...]
So, what did we do to our beloved Morgan’s Cloud that could possible take four winters of hard labour? First we removed every deck fitting on the boat, then Billings Diesel and Marine painted her. We then put down Treadmaster deck covering and put all the deck fittings back but with many improvements. We had the [...]
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 [...]