Projects

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.
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.   
A survey of the boat in question immediately after an electrician—and I use the term advisedly—had installed a battery charger, I got to the battery compartment and was faced with the snake’s nest you see here...
A stitch in time truly saves nine when it comes to diesel maintenance. By taking a few easy steps, you can go a long way toward ensuring that you won't be plagued by engine problems when on passage.
The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is all too true where boats are concerned, and some of the systems that are out of sight on a typical sailboat can really ruin your day—or your season. Take the exhaust mixing elbow, for example—and give yourself a pat on the back for actually knowing what it is.
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