Question: Is keeping the interior of the boat dry in the midst of prolonged damp, chilly weather, and/or sea spray just a matter of dorade vents, hull insulation and your Espar heater? Do you have success keeping the interior dry or does it inevitably get damp? Answer: If you already have a boat, there are [...]

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 [...]

QA&: GSM Phone

Question: I recently purchased a GSM phone for when I travel on business and pleasure to Europe and Asia. What interests me is how do I arrange in advance the software and Sim cards for say Hong Kong, so that when I am there, I can get my e-mail as well as use the phone [...]

In the winter of 2002/03 we decided to replace our aging Icom SSB with a new Icom. You would think that installation on a metal boat would be easy. Not so. We had many problems with stray RF resulting in low output power and poor tuning. We were working with Eric Steinberg of Farallon Electronics [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Question: What can you tell me about receiving Greenland ice charts by satellite phone?  Is it a good solution and more reliable than weather fax? Answer: We have had problems getting ice information reliably by weather fax too, but unfortunately satellite transfer does not completely solve the problem either: We have an Iridium and a [...]

Question: We are having trouble getting our Treadmaster deck covering to stay stuck to our bare aluminum deck. What can you tell me about getting epoxy to stick to aluminum reliably? Answer: We did not have to stick our Treadmaster to bare aluminum, but rather to the filler that covers the entire boat. However, we [...]

It all started with six weeks of intense work last June stripping the deck for painting.  Every cleat, every track, every fitting and every hatch came off and slowly a 10’x20’ storage unit filled with boat bits. As we suspected, it was definitely time to go over everything and although the boat and her gear [...]

Question: How easy is it to get money and shop in Greenland? Answer: ATM machines in larger towns will give you Danish kroner on your card. Provisions are surprisingly good in the larger towns, although fresh vegetables are hard to get and the price of what is there will curl your hair.

Question: I am wondering if you know whether anyone has circumnavigated Greenland in a sailboat. Do you think it’s possible? My guess is that global warming has changed things up there and it may now be possible. Answer: As far as I know, Greenland has never been circumnavigated in any vessel. If memory serves, the [...]

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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