Friday, December 26, 2014

Portable Watermakers

I happened to spot an ad in the December issue of Latitude38 for a portable

Although it is a a bit more expensive than I would have imagined...if prices come down, I would definitely consider it as an option.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

1978 Ericson 30 ft sailboat, St. Petersburg, Florida []

This looks like an incredible value for the $7,000 asking price...

If I didn't have a boat already - I would snatch this up and spend a few months sailing in the Caribbean

Cruising World did a review of the Ericson 30 back in March 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2014

October 2014 Exploration of Maine's Coastline

This month I spent a week on the East Coast of the United States, exploring as much of Maine's coastline as I could squeeze into a frenetic period of almost constant driving and exploring.  I also managed to spend a little time in New Hampshire, as well as the area surrounding Boston.

On my way North, I stopped in Portland to visit my second cousin, who lives with his wife on Peaks Island.

By far, my favorite stop on the trip was Boothsbay Harbor, ME (more info  - where I stayed at the Tugboat Inn.

Second favorite stop would have to be the area around Wells, MA - where I stayed at The Garrison Suites.

The Starlight Cafe in Bath, ME serves an excellent breakfast...

While heading South back to Boston, I managed to spend a few hours in Gloucester, NH...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Favorite Places in Washington State

The Edgewater Hotel, on the water, downtown, looking West, Seattle

Salty's Seafood Grill, West Seattle

Pike's Place Fish Market, Seattle

The Falls at Snoqualmie

Snoqualmie Salish Lodge & Spa

The Resort at Port Ludlow
The Fireside Restaurant

In Port Angeles, this is THE place to eat:
The Chestnut Cottage

Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival

Olympic Peninsula, Hurricane Ridge

Lake Crescent (near Port Angeles)

Deception Pass

Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands

Deer Harbor, Oras Island, San Juan Islands

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014

2014 July - Boat Projects

July is going to be a busy month with a lot of boat projects

I have a number of projects related to the wiring on the boat - these are potentially useful resources I want to remember:

One task on my to-do list: label all of the wiring and plumbing. After an initial search, I'm considering either the RhinoPro 5200:

Or, the Rhino 4200

I have three new Group 31 AGM batteries for which I need to sort out a new plan for where to install them.  This week I'll ask a local yard for quotes on a number of projects - including relocating the batteries - and glassing in a new platform for them.

I've swapped the wiring on the Battery Selector switch to assign #1 to the starting battery, and #2 to the house battery bank.  My rationale for switching the assignment: To avoid the potentially inadvertent skip to "Off" when changing from starting to house, once the engine is running.

If #2 is wired as starting, and #1 is house - as was previously done on my boat - you run the risk of turning too far - as I once did when I turned the selector to off - while the engine was still running - which risks damaging the alternator.  You can also install selector switch that has a field disconnect  (or fail safe diodes) to eliminate the chance of alternator damage due to inadvertent switching.

Now with the starting battery on #1, when I switch to #2 for house - I have avoided the risk.

I'm also installing a new mounted battery charger, the Professional Mariner, ProSport 12 Heavy duty Marine Battery Charger, 12A, 12/24V, 2 Bank Charger.

Which is replacing an old Ray Jefferson Guard Model 15S

From my research, this model is categorized as a ferro-resonant battery charger - and there are some comments on various forums that indicate these possibly resulted in overcharging / damaging batteries.  For example:


  • "The introduction of electronic, 3-stage chargers in recent years has been a vast improvement in battery maintenance because these chargers are able to sense when the battery cannot take any more charge and then shut off"
Killing Batteries [how to]

  • "Use a ferroresonant charger in a liveaboard situation."

and this Technical Note, by PowerDesigners, LLC - Battery Chargers - Technology Overview

Ferroresonant Chargers: 

  • "The absence of electronic controls makes these chargers more durable and dependable in various applications."
  • "Ferroresonant chargers have many limitations including lack the sophisticated control circuitry to give batteries what they need. As a result, these chargers may work well with flooded batteries, but can easily overcharge and damage more delicate modern sealed batteries. In addition, ferroresonant chargers are very sensitive to slight changes in line frequency and have low efficiencies since the ferroresonant transformers dissipate more heat than conventional transformers"

I'm also having a technician take a look at the auto-pilot installation - I suspect the issue of the wheel feeling tight/gripping when auto-pilot is not engaged - is possibly related to an improper cut/length of pin on the pedestal bracket

This weekend I had a few spare minutes, and finally got around to installing some new stainless steel oar locks for the dinghy oars:

Another project to tackle this month - replacing two porthole dog bolt assemblies due to some corrosion.  This item from JPW Marine looks like it would possibly work:

There may also be another supplier to consider:

From time-to-time, I have needed to bleed air from a diesel fuel line - here are two very good videos for how to do that:

A good video on how to bleed air from the fuel lines of a diesel engine at the injector

Another good video on how to bleed air from the fuel lines...

Friday, June 13, 2014

Creating new battery cables

This is a very good youtube video on creating new battery cables

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Oil Change Automation

Over the years, I've tried various approaches to simplify changing the oil on the diesel engines on my boats (all of the previous approaches were ad hoc, messy, and required retrieving and stowing messy oil changing gear) - this year, I want to try out something a bit more automated. has a pump in particular, the OP-6, that looks quite interesting. Their web site lists a price of $265 today for the 12V models.


  • Ideal for diesel, oil, or water
  • Reversible: Transfers hot or cold oil quickly and cleanly to and from the oil pan
  • 3-Position switch (On-Off-On)
  • Safety lock prevents accidental activation
  • Easy operation: Flow is in direction of switch
  • Available in 12 and 24 volts

  • Flow Rate: 3 GPM / 11.35 LPM
  • DC 12V or 24V
  • Ports: (Ext) 3/4" Male Hose, (Int) 3/8" Female NPT
  • Self-priming: 3 ft / 0.91m (wet gears)
  • Max Work Pressure: 15 psi / 1 bar
  • Standard nitrile impeller for oil or water
  • Optional fluoroelastomer impeller for diesel or oil