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 [...]

Morgan’s Cloud’s mainsail is big at 600sqft and has full length battens. The Frederiksen (now Ronstan) system is reliable and smooth running. It makes the main substantially easier to hoist and even more importantly makes it easy to get it down in a hurry. However, the biggest payoff is that we can easily reef and [...]

Question: I have an opportunity to sail from France to the Canaries to Tortola, leaving the end of September through October. What can I expect from a weather perspective based on your experience? My assumption is we will be in the area of hurricane formation (eastern Atlantic) for the first week then right in the [...]

Question: I wondered if I could seek your advice on a trip that has been suggested to me but that I have serious reservations about: Sailing from the UK to Boston, leaving around the end of May, taking the North Atlantic route. The skipper seems to be under the impression that we will have easterly [...]

The Problem When doing a scrupulous 50 hour check of our then brand new engine, I (John) found a bolt in the bilge. After much twisting of myself into awkward positions with a trouble light and a mirror, I finally found where it had come from: the oil pan. Things only got worse. When I [...]

Question: Is slab-reefing (jiffy reefing) and lazy-jacks genuinely viable for a 667sqft sail, given we will be only two sailing our boat most of the time? Answer: Sure, perfectly viable: We have sailed over 80,000 miles with such a system on a mainsail that is only a little smaller than the one on the boat [...]

Q&A: In-Boom Reefing

Question: Would you, if you had the chance to refit free of cost considerations, stay with your slab-reefing system, or would you yourself seriously consider in-boom reefing? If so, why? Answer: We looked at Leisurefurl some years ago. The system looks attractive but is a 25 to 30K refit for Morgan’s Cloud to do it [...]

Question: I’m planning to purchase a navtex receiver (NASA model, made in UK), so your comments about your experiences with navtex captured my attention. I wouldn’t want to purchase something that didn’t have a good track record where it counts. We considered the Furuno, but based on [magazine] reviews, the NASA model would suit us [...]

Question: We are looking at sonar options for use in areas with poor charts and low visibility. Our interest is primarily for checking anchorages and narrow passages, looking for obstructions. We have a small plotter/sounder in the dinghy, but nobody wants to go out in the dink when it is cold and rainy (and warm [...]

The Problem In 2005, KVH abruptly stopped supporting the Quadra system, which had served us well for many years, albeit after its own set of teething problems. After considering most of the options and nearly settling on B&G, but finally being put off by a sudden and substantial increase to their already, in our opinion, [...]

The Problem In 1999 we installed a new Northstar GPS. At the time we could have bought a perfectly functional GPS for one quarter the cost but we went with the Northstar because of its reputation for quality and reliability and its easy to use software. Also, Nick Nicholson had given the Northstar a ringing [...]

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 [...]

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