Let’s start this book off with some simple rules you can put to work immediately to make maintaining your boat less frustrating.
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Maintaining a Cruising Boat
When we think of voyaging, we think of tradewind passages and beautiful landfalls. But what will really govern how much fun your cruise will be is much more mundane: It will come down to how good you are at maintaining your boat.
In this book, Colin and John share knowledge gained from a combined 100 years of maintaining offshore boats.
Table of Contents:
Let’s face it, cruising boats are horribly unreliable, and gear failures are the most common cruise-ruiner. But we can reduce the problems a lot by thinking about fault tolerance. Here are three real world examples you can use right now to make your boat better.
There is not a lot of point in writing about maintenance without addressing the 800-pound gorilla in the room: what it really costs to maintain a cruising boat. Get this wrong and your cruise will be miserable and short. In this chapter we give you a simple, but surprisingly accurate, tool to estimate what maintenance is going to cost.
A chapter that will give you a whole new way to think about boat maintenance, including an easy-to-use gear selection method that will save you a bundle as well as untold grief.
We in the offshore cruising community talk a lot about the right way and the wrong way to equip and maintain our boats, but that’s all meaningless until we have answered one basic question…
You will never get everything done on your boat. This we guarantee. So one of the most important skills you can have as a boat maintenance technician is prioritization. In this chapter John tells a story of when he got his priorities wrong, and what he learned from that.
We sometimes write about cool new gear here at AAC, but now it’s time to take a step back and remind ourselves of the vital stuff that will actually get us out there voyaging.
We all want to maintain our boats at the highest possible level, but on the other hand if we do every job perfectly we will never go cruising. Here are some thoughts on maintaining a sane balance.
Having the right spare parts aboard is one of the biggest contributors to a fun and stress free voyage. But how do you decide what to buy and then keep track of what you have? John answers those questions and provides downloads of our parts list and the program we use to keep track of them on Morgan’s Cloud.
Some thoughts from Colin on vital training for voyaging sailors. Taking the steps he suggests could save your cruise.
Unstepping the mast for winter storage is a royal pain in the neck…but it’s the right thing to do.
Unstepping the mast is one of the most stressful tasks we sailboat owner’s face, but here are some tips to make it a lot easier.
A quick read that can make a huge difference to the reliability of your engine.
Colin has some great tips that will help you maintain your engine’s raw water system.
When you have decades of experience running commercial research yachts where downtime is not an option, you learn how to make repairs while out there. Colin shares information that could save your cruise, and maybe even your boat.
Your engine mixing elbow can damage your engine. Here’s how to prevent that.
You should lubricate your seacocks every year before launching, and here’s an easy way to do that.
Here’s a simple easy-to-build gadget that will make a huge difference to the effectiveness of your freezer, by circulating the air so the stuff at the top and farthest from the plates does not thaw, while the food at the bottom and against the plates remains frozen, particularly when the freezer is packed tight.
Propane is an intrinsically dangerous fuel to have on a boat. Here are 10 tips to ameliorate the risk of an explosion.
Lightning strike! Just the words can make us cruising sailors, who sail around the ocean with the highest thing in hundreds of square miles sticking up above our heads, nervous. In this chapter Matt, AAC Engineering Correspondent, will help you understand how lightning strikes happen and what you can do to reduce the associated risks.
A quarter century of caring for an aluminum boat has taught John a lot and he is sharing it all.
What started as a simple list post is now a care manual for aluminum boat owners. If you are an aluminum boat owner or are considering buying an aluminum boat, don’t miss this series, it could save you tens of thousands of dollars and untold heartache.
The final chapter in John’s magnum opus on aluminum boat care. Includes some good news about how durable the material really is and some thoughts on why you might want to buy a boat built of it.
A simple guide from Colin on how to select, manage and (perhaps?) enjoy your stay in the boatyard, wherever it may be.
Managing a boatyard stay is all about good planning and getting the details right. Colin provides vital tips that will help from haul to re-launch.
Many boat owners just shrug and say to themselves that all boatyards are a bunch of incompetent crooks and we are going to get screwed no matter what we do. But it does not have to be that way. John shares what he has learned over some forty years of managing boat projects, both large and small, about how to keep costs at least semi-reasonable and how to decide what tasks are best delegated to a boatyard.
John provides specific tips, including a meeting script and scope of work outline, to help you get a quote or an estimate from a boat yard and then manage the project to stay at least close to that agreed price.
Over the years, John has written often about the importance of carefully planning and documenting the maintenance of our boats. In this chapter he shares the computer and hand held device software (apps) he and Phyllis use to do that.
John had been putting this project off for years, but it turned out to be easier than he ever would have believed possible. He shares how that happened and eight vital things he learned.
John is a bit of a tool freak. That said, like most cruisers, he also tends to be conservative about stuff that costs money, takes up space, and adds weight to his boat. It’s a fine balance. Here are four tools where he got it wrong.
A tale of bilge pump woe got me thinking about one of the best pieces of gear we have ever fitted to our boat: The world’s best bilge pump switch.
Morgan’s Cloud still has the same Jabsco 36600 bilge pump that was installed when she was launched in 1986. John explains how he keeps that pump in good running order.
When John realized that the large bilge pump on Morgan’s Cloud was not really suitable, he went looking for an alternative in the commercial and industrial world and found a good solution.