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Maintenance & Refits

Goop and Goo, and Why I Hate 5200


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. Complimentary Post


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 [...]

You Pays Your Money…

Trug 1

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 [...]

Saving The Day

Epoxy repair  083 IMG_1550

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 [...]

Experts Worth Their Weight In Gold

In the slings to antifoul the centreboard

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 [...]

A Great Resource


Practical Sailor is one of the two magazines 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 [...]

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 [...]

We Can’t Do It All

Engine room of aluminum expedition sailboat Morgan's Cloud showing new engine blocks and bulkhead.

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 [...]

Bock Marine Soothes Boatyard Hell

I was at the top of the mast because we decided that before transiting under the charted 86-foot clearance high voltage cable with our 74-foot mast, it might be a really good idea to remove the 3-foot lightning conductor.

"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 [...]

Headhunter Three Way Universal Valves

Headhunter Three Way Universal Valves for the black water system on aluminum sailboat Morgan's Cloud.

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 (Products—Waste Water—Accessories—TW-1515) for further information (and [...]

A Top Ten List

Technicians fitting the spreaders to our new mast during a test rigging at Hall Spars. The clamp is used to apply pressure to slightly compress the mast so that the spreaders can be pinned to a bar that passes through the mast with absolutely no play; which gives you an idea of the precise tolerances this spar is built to.

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 [...]

Boat Refit Overview

Winching in a mast-stored carbon spinnaker pole on aluminum sailboat Morgan's Cloud.

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 Doug and his crew of master painters at Billings Diesel and Marine painted her. We then put down Treadmaster deck covering and put all the deck [...]

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 [...]

Q&A: Tef-Gel Versus Never-Seez

Question: I am intrigued by your high praise for Tef-Gel. I have not heard of it before, and in the past I have used 'anti-seize' for mooring shackles and installing stainless steel fasteners in aluminum. I am curious about your experience with 'anti-seize' versus Tef-Gel. In addition, I have had good luck using BP Blaster [...]