These days the offshore sailing community seems to be fixated on rig automation, but a well-specified and installed set of winches will contribute far more to a successful passage than all that expensive failure-prone stuff.
Good cockpit cushions are a lot more important on an offshore boat than you might think.
Transiting the Welland Canal in a sailboat makes for a long day, and half the night, of line handling and ship avoiding.
Phyllis and I have been thinking and talking a lot about which boat we will buy after Morgan’s Cloud sells. And a big part of that has been setting a specification and budget, but in a different way.
We have just installed a new site design, the product of two years of thinking, investigating and building. John shares our goals for the new design and details of what has changed.
These days it seems like hardly a month goes by without the announcement of a new and/or improved safety device, aggressively marketed as the latest thing that we all must buy, to the point that it’s getting impossible to keep up. Here is how John decides which of these new technologies to put energy into understanding and which to ignore.
There are few areas on any boat that are used for more diverse tasks than an offshore sailboat cockpit. Everything from lounging on a quiet day at anchor to handling a fast-moving emergency at sea with a bunch of sail up…in the black dark…in fog…with a ship bearing down on us.
Given that, picking a boat with a good cockpit layout is one of the most important parts of boat selection. Let’s look at what really matters.
In Part 1 I looked at induction electric cooking and concluded that for most cruiser usage profiles, particularly for us live-to-eat types, propane was still a better solution, and greener, too. So what about liquid fuels Alcohol, Kerosene and Diesel? Let’s take a look.
Most sailboats have companionway washboards sliding into channels. And while this is a good simple solution, a little work needs to be done to make them really safe. Here’s a simple hack that will take less than half an hour and cost less than US$20, together with a couple of tips on how to actually get out there, rather than working on your boat the whole time.
Three months ago I did some experimenting with induction cooking and wrote about it. And that spawned four more articles as I investigated the changes to a cruising boat’s electrical system required to support high loads like those from electric cooking. So now we can properly answer the original question, is electric cooking practical on a yacht?
These days there seems to be an endless fascination with yacht (both motor and sail) cockpit amenities, but we must never lose sight of a cockpit’s primary function: to be the command and control centre of a vehicle that operates in a potentially hostile environment.
Phyllis and I wish everyone the very best for this holiday season. Here’s hoping the world will be back to some semblance of normal by this time next year. Or maybe a better new normal. Read on for more on that.
In Part 1 we learned that it was inefficient, and often impossible, as well as potentially dangerous, to supply the high-load equipment, that so many cruisers seem to want, with a 12-volt system. And, further, that the solution to this problem is either to forgo all very high-current (amperage) gear, or select a boat with a 24-volt system. So let’s look at that.
So which is better, 12 or 24-volt DC systems for live-aboard cruising? Like most things, it depends. Here’s a definitive way to determine which is best for your boat and usage.
These days we are seeing some great new battery technologies for a live-aboard voyaging boat, but with that we are also seeing some wild claims. It’s important not to let our enthusiasm for the former blind us to the latter.