Projects

When I bought my aft-cockpit ketch, Silverheels, she had no bimini top at all. While I attended to other upgrades in preparation for tropical cruising, I pondered how I might have full-time shade in the cockpit and still get at the mizzen sail to furl and reef it.
Bonding circuits tie all the underwater metals together and hold everything at the same potential, and thus reduce the amount of galvanic corrosion. 

Boatworks:The Dodger Project

by Andrew Howe, Posted January 21, 2015
Arguably, there are few items on a cruising boat more oriented to your sailing comfort than a dodger, especially in Maine, where cold water rules. Bashing to windward, pushing to get somewhere in a cold downpour or just keeping the crew happy, the dodger plays a major role.

USB Electronics Charging Offshore

by Ben Ellison, Posted January 17, 2015
It was easy to gather a slew of devices on board Gizmo that hunger for a USB power supply at least occasionally. Heck, when the Verizon Android Galaxy phone is providing an LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and also streaming Bluetooth audio to the Fusion IP700 stereo as it is now—
As part of a general refit of the boat, I wanted to install a toilet that was somewhat more streamlined and—more importantly—used fresh water for flushing. Boat toilets have a reputation for being smelly with a tendency to clog.

Tested: Raymarine aSeries MFD

by Ben Ellison, Posted January 15, 2015
The frozen Raymarine aSeries MFD had almost finished a two-day low temperature test, but that was only the beginning of its suffering. Next it had to run another two days in a high-temperature cabinet with 85 percent relative humidity, followed by 19 more days of torture as part of Raymarine’s ERT (Early Reliability Test) Qualification Process.
Bilge pumps live in a hostile environment. On most boats they sit in at least a little saltwater and are expected to uncomplainingly pump water that may be contaminated with all sorts of detritus.

Repairing Wooden Rubrails and Toerails

by Paul Calder, Posted December 19, 2014
Thanks to the high cost of marine lumber and a growing aversion to brightwork maintenance, fewer new boats these days have wooden rubrails or toerails. This is understandable—wood is pricey to install and, if finished bright, is a lot of work to maintain.
Many boat owners look upon insurance surveys as a necessary evil, a rite of passage to be endured to propitiate their insurers. It’s important to remember, though, that insurance companies understandably want to protect themselves and make sure that a boat is an insurable risk
Installing shore power on a cruising boat is an easy and relatively inexpensive project, as long as you have basic DIY skills, can read a manual and are realistic about your needs. If you’re just planning to live aboard your boat in a marina and want to run appliances like a heater, a fan, a TV and a blender (hey—why not?), then you can get by with a simple installation that will set you back just a few hundred bucks if you do the work yourself.   
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