ICS Navtex, Problems

The Problem In 1999 our trusty old Furuno combination weather fax/navtex machine died after many years of faithful service. We decided to use our PC for weather fax and buy a dedicated navtex. We selected a unit from ICS. We installed it with an active antenna and grounded it well through capacitors to our aluminum [...]

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. [...]

Question: We want to replace the current inoperable depth sounder on our aluminum boat with a forward looking type (EchoPilot or Interphase), but we have run into the dilemma that the transducers suitable for our hull have bronze stems.We have been advised that bronze stems can be installed in aluminum hulls if the stem is [...]

Question: Do you have bronze sea cocks in your aluminum hull and if so what level of corrosive activity have you seen? Answer: We have bronze sea cocks insulated from the hull with fiber spacers. The through hulls are plastic. There is no sign of any corrosion around most of the sea cocks, which are [...]

Question: You call painting an aluminum hull a mug’s game yet you painted your hull? Answer: The problem is that Morgan’s Cloud was built before computerized plate cutting and bending and like all boats of the time has a lot of fairing compound on her to cover small dips and hollows induced in the plate [...]

Question: What advice and cautions would you have regarding buying older aluminum boats? I have been told to pay particular attention to the area under the heads and engine and around the through-hulls. Is there anything else you might be wary about in an older aluminum boat? Answer: All the areas you mention are important. [...]

A number of our friends have written that they have missed our news letters, which have been few and far between lately. Their reminders, plus the quickly approaching holiday season, have galvanized us into doing something about our long silence (due to a very busy schedule, not apathy!). Our last news letter was written in [...]

Question: Would you cruise the high latitudes in a fibreglass hull? Answer: There are two parts to the answer: Depends on the fibreglass boat, and depends on the area of the high latitudes. (On this last I will restrict my thoughts to the Arctic and North Atlantic since I have no Antarctic experience.) Given that [...]

Question: We’re preparing our boat for cruising in the North. Do you advise a dedicated stern-anchor system? Lots of Scandinavians sail around with one. Danforth, CQR or SPADE? Right now our main bower is a 60lb CQR on 100 meters of 12mm chain. Our spares are a 60lb CQR and a 30lb Danforth on board. [...]

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 [...]

Question: I’m considering taking our new (to us!) 60′ schooner to Newfoundland, maybe instead to Labrador, this summer. I haven’t stumbled across any cruising guides for anything north of Nova Scotia. Any suggestions? Answer: See Pilot Press for information on the Cruising Guides to Labrador and Newfoundland published by the CCA.

Question: We plan to go through the Strait of Belle Isle about July 1st. Is this practical given ice conditions? I have been told that a northeast wind can choke the Strait with ice at that time of year. I also have been told that ice is less likely on the Newfoundland side of the [...]

Question: The cruising guide for Iceland contains a list of Icelandic charts. Comparing that with the US chart catalog, the Icelandic coverage is much more extensive. Is it practical to expect to purchase charts in Reykjavik for the remainder of our Icelandic sailing? Are they in stock? Reasonable cost? Or would you recommend that I [...]

Question: How seriously do I need to take the threat of polar bears in the Arctic? Answer: I have never hunted and don’t like guns much, but the threat is real. On our Greenland, Baffin Island and Labrador trips I have always been a bit skeptical and lackadaisical—carrying a gun, but unloaded; walking into broken [...]

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