In these days of readily available weather forecasts and satellite- or HF radio-delivered GRIB files, it could perhaps be argued that the barometer has been supplanted as a weather forecasting device. However, in our opinion, that supposition would be a serious mistake. On Morgan’s Cloud we record the barometric pressure at least twice a watch [...]
Stuff That Works
This post will undoubtedly floor those of you who have read about our problems, some of them dangerous, with the Force10 stove. And I won’t kid you, we deeply and personally resent the time, effort and money expended over nearly two years that getting this stove working safely and properly has taken—it is simply not [...]
“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 [...]
Sailing to Bermuda this fall? Get your weather information wherever you like; there is a huge amount available for free on the Internet. Maybe it would be a good idea to hire a weather router; we have used three different ones over the years and they have all been helpful, within certain limits. But get [...]
So, after years of slathering on sunscreen in order to avoid getting skin cancer, we’re now being told that a number of the chemicals used in these very sunscreens are themselves carcinogens. It just makes me crazy! However, after getting over my snit and doing some research, I have found what I think is a [...]
We think this anchor is the next best thing to sliced bread! We like the SPADE so much, we have a 120lb as our bower anchor and a 66lb as our secondary anchor. The SPADE has replaced the Luke as our primary high latitude anchor because it is the only stockless anchor I know that [...]
We are long time users of WeatherFax 2000, from Xaxero Marine Software Engineering Ltd in New Zealand, for the reception of weather faxes on a Windows PC. WeatherFax 2000 is one of those products that are all too rare around boats: it just works; no fuss, no muss. Not only does it do the best [...]
When we have a tough passage to make, particularly early or late in the season, and we need expert advice on picking a weather window, we call Commander’s Weather. They provide excellent individualized forecasts and routing advice, based on information we give them on boat speed, preferences, etc. We still make the final decision on [...]
Maintaining an aluminum boat has made us especially paranoid about making sure we use an anti-corrosive agent whenever we screw anything to anything else. We have found that Tef-Gel, a teflon product, does the best job. Stainless steel screws back easily out of aluminum even after several years if they’ve been applied with a liberal [...]
It used to be that when we wanted to attach something to our aluminum hull we had it welded. This requires special equipment and a skilled operator, not to speak of all the attendant mess and paint damage. Not anymore, we now use Plexus. Plexus will stick to just about anything, and without much, or [...]
We are finally nailed to the deck, thanks to Treadmaster! Though we had the most aggressive non-skid paint we could get, we still used to slide around whenever there was snow on the deck. It was a huge job to template, cut out and glue down all the pieces of Treadmaster it took to cover [...]
Steiner is one of the few companies left (it seems) that is still building good quality equipment and then standing behind it. We have had the same pair of Steiner Commander RS2000 binoculars for over 20 years. They have lived in the cockpit for a good part of those years, banging and crashing around, without [...]
The UUPlus software and server substantially reduce the time it takes to send and receive e-mail via cell or satellite phone. At $35/month it’s not cheap but it saves a fortune in download time and makes good sense if you have a fairly high volume of e-mails.
Vibration and movement are always present on a boat at sea and can easily loosen screws. To avert the substantial problems that even a single backed-out screw can cause, we use Loctite thread lock fluid. Use Blue if you want to undo it easily, Red if you want to work at it and Green if [...]
Finally, a pump that can actually work for three years without a rebuild! After years of 6-month rebuild schedules on our other pumps, we were ready for Shurflo!