Stuff That Works

Ideal Windlass

We have oversize anchors and chain to deal with tough conditions and so require an oversize windlass as well. Though we don’t like the extra weight on the bow, we think it’s worth it to have a reliable, quick way to weigh anchor, especially when a rapid retreat from ice is necessary. Our Ideal Windlass is a [...]

McMaster-Carr

During this last refit, we had custom wood bezels with embedded helicoils built to fit permanently around the cabin ports (we’ll discuss these further in our Refit Series). During cold weather, we screw Plexiglas covers to the bezels and voila…no condensation! However, after installing them we realized that the little chains with small bars at [...]

Navtec Hydraulics

Morgan’s Cloud was fitted with an hydraulic vang and with hydraulic backstays when we bought her. Initially we were skeptical, feeling that such complexity had no place on a cruising boat, especially one that sails to remote places. But over the years we have come to appreciate the convenience and ease of use of our [...]

Maloney Marine Rigging

It’s not often that we run into someone that is as obsessive about making sure the details are right when working on Morgan’s Cloud as we are. Jay Maloney is one of very few people that we trust to do the job right without us having to look over his shoulder. We have called on [...]

Harken Fittings

As it becomes necessary to replace blocks and other deck gear, we are replacing them with Harken equipment whenever possible. We have never had a failure to date, and they stand behind their products: When the bearings on our 16-year-old Harken jib roller furler system needed replacing, Harken found the parts and did it for [...]

The Joys And Tears Of TurboCAD

For the last few years we have been using TurboCAD for visualizing and designing projects on Morgan’s Cloud. TurboCAD is a great value, with much of the functionality of systems costing many times more, at just US$150, and you can often get it discounted to as little as US$80.00 by shopping around on the Internet. [...]

Tank Tender, Hart Systems

Our Tank Tender from Hart Systems is 20 years old and one of the few pieces of original equipment left on Morgan’s Cloud. For those of you not familiar with this unit, it relies on hand pumping air down a tube in the tank and then measuring the resultant pressure to determine fuel or water [...]

After years of fighting with an unreliable diesel heater, we are very pleased with the Espar heater we installed in 2000. It is one of the bigger ones they make and keeps us toasty in all weather. One thing we would suggest, though, is not to use the exhaust exit in the hull that they [...]

Furuno NX-500 Navtex

Navtex is an invaluable resource for weather and ice information. When our old Furuno combined weather fax and navtex receiver died, we balked at paying the high price (over a thousand dollars) of a new Furuno navtex and so bought another brand. So started a long story of not being able to receive navtex transmissions [...]

EchoPilot Forward Scan Sonar FLSII

We have found that having a forward scan sonar has made exploring in the high latitudes safer and more feasible. Instead of feeling our way along at 2 knots when off the charts, we can now travel confidently at 6 knots, since the forward scan reaches out up to 200 meters ahead. Also, the sounder [...]

Alpenglow Lights

Before spending the winter in Arctic Norway, knowing we would be spending a lot of time below on the boat during the winter darktime, we replaced our old dim, inefficient overhead lights with Alpenglow fluorescents. What a difference! They give off a warm natural light and are beautifully designed and built. Not cheap but worth [...]

Lifeline Batteries

We purchased two Lifeline batteries in 2001. After only two years, one of the batteries failed. We contacted Lifeline, told them our charging and use patterns, and they sent us two new batteries at no cost to us—they even paid the shipping—and with no arguments. That’s standing behind your product! Update, August 2010: AGM batteries [...]

Avon Dinghy

Our 16-year old Avon dinghy may not be much to look at, but it just keeps on floating! The bottom is covered with patches necessary after many rocky beach haul ups, not to mention being used as a pusher boat to move growlers in Greenland, but the pontoons still hold air for at least a [...]

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