Our last news letter described our circumnavigation of Newfoundland in the summer of 2005 and our return to Maine for the winter of 2005/06, with a plan to complete the refit of Morgan’s Cloud over the winter and move back aboard in the spring of 2006 to resume our cruising life. It was not to [...]

Question: I have perhaps a total of 40 hours sailing the New England coast. I have been invited by an experienced sailor to sail from Newburyport to Ireland in 2008 on a 32’ boat. My question is, what could I do between now and then to better prepare myself as a useful crew member? Answer: [...]

Okay, this is a big one and to fully understand it will take you a lot of reading. But, if you are contemplating a major custom project, such as a new mast or even a new boat, the time expended here may save you a lot of money and aggravation. We made a lot of [...]

Spartite Mast Chocks

Spartite is a pre-measured two part polymer that is poured directly into the cavity between the mast and the partners while the mast is in the boat. Spartite makes a one-piece perfectly fitting mast chock that replaces archaic wedges.

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 [...]

Our laminated spectra sails have retained their shape over eight years and many miles of use; much longer than the Dacron sails we had in the past. The fabric is from Dimension Polyant and Hallett Canvas and Sails in Falmouth, Maine made the sails. Incidentally, the first set of laminated Spectra sails delaminated very quickly [...]

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 [...]

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