Sailing Archive: Emergency Steering Drogue set-up and training

| February 15, 2017

Video training on setting up a speed limiting drogue for emergency steering on a sailboat. 33 minute training video demonstrates two popular approaches that give racers and cruisers more than one option when steering a disabled vessel with a damaged or lost rudder. Each drogue is deployed according to the manufactures recommendations with lots of […]

A few more photos for the Encore archive

| February 12, 2017

Posting a few leftover photos from my last trip to the boat. One is a waterproof fitting to bring the solar cable thru Encore‘s deck (eventually a new project) … and a couple more of an early morning sunrise at the dock at Harbortown Marina in Fort Pierce. Really the trip was a quick getaway […]

Archiving a couple Encore aft deck photos for future updates

| February 7, 2017

It is hard to remember exactly where each rail, cleat and fitting is on the aft deck of Encore, so this post is to archive a couple photos as a way to remember. It probalby won’t help much as it is still hare to tell where there is space and where there is not. In […]

Time for some Whitlock Pedestal Steering gear maintenance

| February 4, 2017

Spent a few days aboard Encore by myself this week doing a little (very little) needed maintenance. It’s amazing how "just sitting" is a killer for aging a sailboat! That’s not to say I’m ready to let her go, just that I need to give her more attention. One of the projects was to disassemble […]

Aviation and sailing in one great Shot of the Week photo

| January 15, 2017

The quality of the photo isn’t the best, but the content is pretty impressive. The latest issue of the weekly Cruising Compass had this photo as the "Cruising Shot of the Week" … excellent! This busy shot of Boston Harbor from July 2013, with the Navy Blue Angels flying over the USS Constitution (Old Iron […]

Thoughts and a video on a rigging bag from Lin Pardey

| January 7, 2017

While contemplating complexity vs simplicity in life and on sailboats, I once again stumbled on a precious morsel by Lin Pardey who has been land-based in New Zealand. Taleisin was sold to a young couple who now enjoys Lin and Larry’s “home” for over 30 years (mentioned before). Lin continues to write, appear at boatshows […]

Awning improvement ideas from another old sailboat

| January 5, 2017

Although I just updated a few of the fittings on Encore‘s ShadeTree awning system, I’d prefer fewer bungee cords and fiberglass and vinyl wear points. After posting a comment to Eben Bruyns the new owner of Taleisin (Lin and Larry Pardey‘s boat), I noticed the D-ring fittings and cinch lines and figured I would archive […]

Archiving: Great sailing related article on reefing sails

| December 30, 2016

There are much better places to save articles than a publicly available blog like Evernote, GetPocket, Google apps as well as locally archived HTML, Docs and PDFs, but I still occasionally enjoy having them on MyDesultoryBlog. So as with a few other archived articles on reefing (1 & 2), I’m saving this Cruising World Seamanship 101: […]

A couple favorite Baba 30 photos from Robert Perry

| December 16, 2016

  Got to love Facebook for connecting people who love the same things … in this instance, a naval architect and sailing guru Robert Perry has posted a couple of his favorite photos of one of his early designs — the Baba 30 (our first sailboat, Brenich). It was a beautiful boat and enjoyable to […]

Generator, Curtain, Solar and overheating diesel on Encore

| December 11, 2016

Wrapping up a weekend trip with a few photos tinkering aboard Encore. Some needed cleaning and a few improvements were the items on the agenda. First up, I semi-fitted the new generator cage for the Honda EU2000i. I welded the aluminum up in the summer/fall and hope that once bolted in place it will keep […]

Still thinking about davits for Encore in 2016

| December 10, 2016

In continuing the quest to be able to bring along our fully inflated Zodiac dinghy when gunkholing aboard Encore, I am still pondering an inexpensive davit option. The dilemma has been trying to keep the Capehorn Steering gear (hopefully functional) while still "safely" toting along a dinghy. The foredeck space is limited since the baby […]

Encore gets a Vetus Strainer and thoughts on a sink upgrade

| December 6, 2016

I headed down to Florida to check in on Encore this past weekend and enjoyed the sunshine but not necessarily the long drive for a short stay. Primarily the in-water project had to do with getting the dodger and bimini back on the boat and getting the deck cleaned up after the harsh summer and […]

Coast Guard boardings? You don’t have any rights.

| December 5, 2016

Sorry, but when it comes to Coast Guard boardings, you don’t have any rights. I’m surprised how many boaters don’t know this. The US Coast Guard can board your boat any time they want, and look anywhere they want, without probable cause or a warrant. They can do this on the open sea, or while […]

Archiving a sailing route planning site — fastseas.com

| November 24, 2016

On the recommendation of Carolyn Goodlander (wife of Fatty Goodlander), I’m giving the FastSeas.com weather routing and passage planning online tool a try. Not that I’m planning a bluewater passage to Bermuda just yet, but it is interesting how technology has changed route planning. Where it seems to help is in tweaking departure dates and […]

Sailing around the world for 8 years with 3 kids taught us to live without structure

| October 10, 2016

The Giffords are part of a growing, but little-known community of people called cruisers. (A 2011 survey placed the global total number of cruising boats at 10,000.)  “Cruising requires that you learn to live without structure. And some people are really afraid of that.” While many cruisers are couples or individuals who have given up […]

Renewable low cost hot water idea for a sailboat

| October 9, 2016

Archiving another project idea for living on the hook (someday) yet still having hot water for dishes, cleaning and SHOWERS (a freshwater shower is a luxury for most sailboats).

Watching Hurricane Matthew and Cleveland Indians

| October 7, 2016

Hurricane Matthew is blasting up Florida’s Atlantic coast at this early morning moment. I’ve been back and forth between baseball and the Weather Channel which spent much of the night broadcasting from all places, Fort Pierce, FL. I exchanged text messages at midnight with our friends riding out the storm there and will stay up […]

Curtains for Encore — Just call me Sailor Homemaker

| October 6, 2016

Let’s hope this “curtain call” (cough, cough) isn’t a precursor for Hurricane Matthew bearing down on Encore in Fort Pierce Florida? The subject line was more of a slip of the tongue regarding “curtains” when I really intended a twisted “Suzy Homemaker” innuendo — Sailor Homemaker (my attempts at sewing curtains). Failed joke aside, I […]

Hurricane Matthew projections are not good for Encore

| October 5, 2016

Perhaps I’m being a bit to self-focused in worrying about “just a sailboat” when millions of lives are going to be impacted by Hurricane Matthew? I think it is time for the final preparation … pray for safety for those in the path of this storm (and Encore). EDIT: A buddy of mine was asking […]

Hurricanes Matthew prep a priority for Florida and Encore

| October 4, 2016

The Category 4 Hurricane Matthew is wreaking havoc on Haiti with 145 mph wind and up to 40 inches of rain, I’m keeping a close eye on new projections that put this powerful storm way too close to Encore.   Thankfully my good friend Mark called me last night and offered to add a couple of […]

Boat generator and securing cage project ready for Encore

| October 3, 2016

The generator "security cage" project for our sailboat Encore is ready to be installed. I’m not fond of making a few more holes in the deck, but it needs to be done. The final touches (minus adding Velcro) were taken care of this past weekend. That included softening the aluminum edges, adding shrink tubing to […]

Saving the Sailrite “How to make a Dodger” video playlist

| October 1, 2016

Sailrite has years of on and off water How-To YouTube Videos

Generator cage project and relearning TIG welding skills

| September 21, 2016

In a previous post, I sketched out a "Generator Cage," for the lack of a better term, for our sailboat Encore. The idea is to slip off a Sunbrella cover so we can use the Honda EU2000i Inverter Generator mentioned here on the aft deck when needing power at anchor to charge the batteries and […]

How loud are Honda and Predator inverter based generators?

| September 19, 2016

Good question: By ear, the slightly smaller and far lighter Honda EU2000i inverter based generator is definitely quieter than the less expensive, but larger in dimension, weight and power Predator 2200. Read on for a few more points. I like both of inverter generators and each will serve a slightly different purpose. The Honda is […]

The old Mercedes is out and about and starting a boat project

| September 18, 2016

After sitting quietly most of the summer, my friend Jeff needed to borrow a set of wheels for a week. He has intimately name the 1982 MB diesel the "old girl" and seems to appreciate her many quirks. Since it isn’t covered, there was a little dust, but she still looks pretty good to me. […]

Obit: I am going to miss sailing advice from Mark Handley

| September 12, 2016

Unfortunately when one faces cancer, the outcome isn’t always what we want. It is a terrible disease and one which we can only hope medical science will eventually cure … the sooner the better. I’ve corresponded with Judy and Mark Handley for many years via email and Winlink (email via Amateur Radio) and we have […]

Keeping an eye on tropical disturbances

| August 22, 2016

Archive: Birthday wishes to my wife Brenda … a day late!

| August 13, 2016

No I didn’t forget my wife’s birthday … I just didn’t post anything on the blog until my son Taylor requested a photo of "both of us when we were his age." After sending him this one for his Facebook page, I figured that I might as well archive it here. We regularly sailed and […]

Flip-flops are becoming my preferred summertime footwear

| August 9, 2016

There was a day, when all I wore for casual footwear were boat shoes … but Sperry Topsiders in particular (also athletic shoes of course ). In recent years I’ve opted for simple slip on sandals around house, pool and at the dock or if you preferred flip-flops … or if you go WAY back – […]

Archive: Photos and researching Cape Horn steering gear issue

| July 30, 2016

Last trip to Encore I attempted to loosen up the Cape Horn self-steering gear and failed. Seems the paddle arm that is currently in the upright or vertical position is stuck or binding even after taking off the line preventing it from swinging down. I’ll admit, I’m unsure if there is a different locking mechanism […]

How to Make a Whipping in 60 Seconds

| July 26, 2016

Did you know that burned or melted ends could cause more problems? It may be a fast way for marine stores to cut new line when you purchase it. But if that hardened end catches on the outer core, it can chafe and break down delicate rope fibers. Follow these five easy steps to make […]

A naval architect and bagpipe accompanied ruckus music

| July 19, 2016

Maybe the term isn’t ruckus, but HARD “rockish” music …  I’m not sure at the moment??? Anyway, one of my Facebook friends Robert Perry, and designer of our first boat Brenich a Baba 30, shared an AC/DC music video probably influenced by his years growing up in Australia? The clip from the Bon Scott years […]

Hot enough to put up the ShadeTree awning

| July 17, 2016

After buzzing down to Florida last week to show the condo in Delray Beach, I spent a couple days “hurricane prepping” Encore for the tropical weather likely to show up in a month or so (could happen any day now). My good friend Mark gave me a “sweaty” hand in getting the sails stowed away […]

Monthly Maintenance: All Charged Up

| July 16, 2016

Use these tips for properly charging and monitoring AGM batteries to maximize their efficiency, output and lifespan. Source: Monthly Maintenance: All Charged Up

Phrases You Never Knew Came From Sailing

| June 27, 2016

Here are a few phrases that you may not have realized were born in the days of sailing ships posted on the American Sailing Association site. “A clean bill of health” According to dictionary.com this phrase derives from the days when the crew of ocean going ships might be a little less than hygienic, so […]

The Obscure But Ultimately Very Useful Halyard Knot

| June 19, 2016

Unknown to many sailors, the halyard knot is nonetheless an elegant compact knot that is particularly handy to know about if you need to bend a line on to some sort of shackle or clip (a halyard shackle being the eponymous example) on a more-or-less permanent basis, but are too lazy (or ignorant) to be […]

Video: Heavy rains in Australia wash away a marina

| June 7, 2016

This makes me a sick to my stomach as I’m thinking about our Encore sitting in a marina as hurricane and tropical storm season move closer to peak months.

VIDEO: How to Make a Soft Shackle >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

| June 1, 2016

Soft shackles made from Dyneema are lighter and stronger than stainless steel, they are also kinder to your boat and your hands. Yachting Monthly demonstra Source: VIDEO: How to Make a Soft Shackle >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

TechFriday archive: Using your tablet or iPad on the boat

| May 27, 2016

Top ways to use your tablet or iPad on board your boat — Matthew Sheahan 12/15/2015 How are sailors using their iPad or tablet on board? Matthew Sheahan talks to cruising sailors, racers and industry professionals Photo: Tor Johnson

Archive: Flag flying protocol for cruising on boats

| May 20, 2016

Read and email from an ActiveCaptain.com the other day and wanted to archive it as information/discussion when talking about "flag flying" protocol.   >>> The Flag Advisor – 1 >>> Nearly every cruising boat on the water flies one or more flags. But get into a discussion about flag etiquette and rules, and no one […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.