Tania Aebi’s semi-famous Varuna sailboat in the marina

| November 19, 2015

I know semi-famous boats can end up anywhere, but ever since I saw Robert Mandry's Tinkerbelle (Ohio) when I was a young boy dreaming of sailing … and Robin Lee Graham's Dove on our honeymoon after idolizing his adventure as a teenager … I keep my eyes open. Low and behold, Tania Aebi's Contessa 26 […]

My favorite inexpensive smaller low wattage LED light bulbs

| November 4, 2015

Over the last couple years, my son-in-law and I have been slowly upgrading our home light bulbs with varied LEDs. For both of us it has been an experiment in getting the most satisfactory bulbs for the least number of dollars … unfortunately that usually means ordering a box from China in bulk (gambling with […]

A stopper knot that won’t slip – Herb McCormick

| October 13, 2015

From Cruising World’s Facebook page: It’s How-To Tuesday! Here is one of our favorite, quick and easy ways tie a dependable stopper knot that won’t slip.

Archive: Try Shoo-fly bug sprays for screens and openings

| October 12, 2015

Lynwood Laboratories, Inc Shoo-Fly – save information and purchase link to be tried aboard Encore. It doesn’t matter what you call them—no-see-ums, gnats, sand fleas—yeah, you know who I mean … those maddening flying teeth! And it’s beyond belief how these little Houdinis can get through, or around, even the finest and most tightly-fit hatch […]

Anchor Marker Floats – Currents

| September 16, 2015

Archiving anchoring advice from a September 9, 2015 article in Bluewater Cruising‘s online Currents web publication. Anchor Marker Floats by Fran and Jean-Guy Nadeau Arriving in a crowded anchorage can be a daunting challenge. The degree of apprehension skyrockets while you bumble about trying to find that perfect spot while the skippers of the surrounding […]

What’s the probability of a little wind in Florida from Erika?

| August 27, 2015

Looks probable. Should have removed the Bimini on Encore this summer … thankfully the sails are down and stowed safely away. Lines are doubled, but no longer as new and stretchy as they once were. Hm … as my buddy Mark would say, “that why we pay for insurance.”

Archive: Reefing sails by Quantum and Cruising World

| August 22, 2015

Wanted to archive this short article from Quantum Sails on the Cruising World website … good info Taking your friends and family out for a day cruise is just about the best way we can think of to enjoy the fall colors that are about to start painting the northern parts of the U.S. But […]

A favorite YouTube channel: Tips from a Shipwright

| July 18, 2015

By far, my favorite woodworking and sailing YouTube channel is Tips from a Shipwright. It is sponsored by Jamestown Distributors in Rhode Island a great source for boat paints, finishes and epoxy materials. I will go there before looking elsewhere because of their sponsorship. The filmmaker Halsey Fulton of Fish Hawk Films brings the impressive […]

A Hamlet-like mortal coil: To sew, or not to sew?

| July 16, 2015

IF … a big IF … I learn a little more about sail repair and “sewing,” I would like to have a few projects to practice on before wasting too much material (or time and money!) We still don’t have the proper sewing machine (perhaps a Sailrite?) BUT KNOW will not try using Brenda’s old […]

Air travel on the cheap. First flight on Frontier Airlines.

| July 11, 2015

It was a quick and inexpensive flight to Florida this past week to do a little tropical weather prep aboard Encore. Summer is the time of year that “commuter cruisers” double their line, remove sails and store an extra windage in case hurricane winds target the area … besides I really was looking forward to […]

Traveller repair: It is always something on an old boat

| July 9, 2015

So much for checking the old IYE traveller carefully on Encore before ordering $81 worth of the wrong bearings. It’s not all bad, since the previously purchased Delrin bearings will be needed eventually as they will either wear out or fail before long.   Unfortunately the broken pieces in the top photos during a recent […]

Corrosion and planning updates to anchor and chain

| June 16, 2015

The photo above is not mine (thankfully) but from a sailing aquaintance anchoring in SE Asia. He has been noticing fairly rapid chain corrosion in only 3 years and in particular on his anchor shackle. It spends a significant amount of time under the saltwater and we suspect that the shackle of inferior grade — […]

A spare Racor 500FG diesel fuel filter and water separator

| May 30, 2015

My good friend Mark replaced his old Racor 500FG fuel filter on his boat last year with one of the newer versions with a heat shield around the bowl (although Mark and Dar recently sold Zola).   From what I can tell the heat shield” was about the only change Parker Hannnifin has made to […]

Contemplating sailboat anchors and anchor chain options

| May 17, 2015

  I’m looking for some anchor chain advice and before posting to a sailing/cruising forum and figured posting the links to my blog might be a good first start. In April I cut off a rusted link from Encore’s anchor chain and brought home a 4 foot length to measure, inspect and contemplate re-galvanizing (also […]

Four Delrin bearings from Rig-Rite, Inc. –$81

| May 5, 2015

Last week the traveller on Encore started to shed a few pieces of plastic when we were out sailing and I knew this meant a few new bearing were in my future. What I didn’t know is that the IYE Traveller is no longer made and that the parts are a bit scarce. Unfortunately being […]

Video: A 30 year old Westerly Corsair II sailing at 6.5 knots

| May 1, 2015

Sharing and archiving a little left over video from our recent trip sailing on Encore with our son Taylor last week. He stretch out a week using some of his vacation time (wisely … more later) while coaxing Brenda and me to do the same for a few days. We had great spring weather (80s) […]

Sailing and small repairs continue on our sailboat Encore

| April 29, 2015

While enjoying some time day-sailing aboard Encore this past week, I squeezed in a couple of repair projects. First I replace the plywood shelf in our lazerette with a new 2×2 X-braced shelf. I really wanted to add a couple coats of paint to protect it from moisture and dripping water, but a single sprayed […]

Does our Zodiac inflatable really look like a manatee?

| April 28, 2015

A friendly manatee visiting Encore and our Zodiac inflatable. 🙂

Life is good …

| April 25, 2015

We are so fortunate to have great kids, steady employment and the flexiblity to escape once in a while to enjoy the fruits of our labor … AND to recharge our batteries for a few days.

Archiving a few Westerly Corsair links

| April 24, 2015

Adding an older (2012) video from a boat broker from Europe as it is always good to see other Westerly Corsairs.

Archive: Cape Horn Self Steering and degrading plastic

| April 6, 2015

There are several issues to address before gaining much confidence in our existing non-electric Cape Horn Self Steering gear … first and foremost is that I’m missing both the light and heavy air windvanes. These are the vanes which set the course based on wind direction and transfer the “off-track” detection to the paddle which […]

Archive: Encore improvements and repairs from March 2015

| April 5, 2015

The advantage of having a “desultory” blog is that  I can archive any and everything without guilt. This post includes a collection of photos from last weekends’ projects aboard Encore. First, I added a small semi-permanent shelf to the galley for our Sodastream device. Although I haven’t convinced Brenda to give up her cans of […]

The Treasure Coast was a popular place this weekend

| March 30, 2015

After the rain on Friday (above), the weather improve for a weekend finishing up a long drawn out engine work (plus a few other repairs) to Encore at the marina in Florida. The weather improved and was high 70s on Saturday and Sunday but with the north wind felt cooler in the shade. I wasn't […]

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry

| March 22, 2015

Last year about this time I had mentally decided that Brenda and I would be cruising the Bahamas aboard our sailboaat Encore in March 2015, but as “life happens” those dreams were not meant to be. As the year progressed, both of our surviving parents had health concerns requiring more of our attention, Encore started […]

Functional bolt-on gadget from Mantus to secure an anchor

| March 4, 2015

Elegant, but simple solution to fitting and securing one of the new Mantus anchors or other modern anchor on the bow roller. Eventually I’d like to upsize our Bruce claw anchor (photo below) and will be looking at the Mantus or Rocna.

More work than expected on the Volvo diesel

| March 3, 2015

“Nothing that's worthwhile is ever easy” wrote Nicholas Sparks; that must be true since getting Encore's Volvo diesel back in shape is testing my patience and finances (but then we're talking about a boat, so that second part is a given). Thankfully I have a very experience diesel mechanic who keeps one boat here in […]

Rain, leaks and cold showers

| March 2, 2015

Just as it was in the French Revolution, I’m back and forth telling A Tale of Two Cities and “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” so to speak. I spent the weekend taking care of a condo rental issue in Delray Beach, Florida and of course was staying on […]

The hatch screen idea and a Whale Gusher Mk3 pump rebuild

| February 23, 2015

  While getting sidetracked from the Whale Gusher Mk3 pump rebuild (soaking and cleaning), I started working on Encore’s hatch screen idea since it will soon be bug season on the sailboat in Florida. I’ve been mulling around a few way to “frame” the fiberglass screen material and ending up forgoing the stainless steel for […]

Archive: Saving the dimensions for missing Cape Horn vanes

| February 16, 2015

Eventually I’m interested in getting the Cape Horn Self-Steering gear working aboard Encore, but I’m still missing a few parts. Two of the crucial items are the Light and Heavy vanes that make the corrections that pivot the steering gears paddle. The paddle (in the water) amplifies the force in order to control the rudder […]

My Valentine set a great table for just the two of us

| February 15, 2015

After reading the subject line, I realized that “more that the two of us” would have been a little odd … but thank you Brenda for making dinner special. One of Saturday’s projects was taking apart a Whale Galley water pump and ordering a rebuild kit online. After pricing it on a few boating sites, […]

Catching up on a few more Encore projects from last week

| February 9, 2015

When I was down working on our sailboat Encore last week (helped my friend Mark on Zola), I must admit it felt good to be in shorts and flip-flops for a couple days. The weather was sunny but not necessarily hot … but perfect for boat work. Primarily the goal was to meet up with […]

More work on the boat — the Volvo diesel among other things

| February 4, 2015

While walking out to the boat in the evening, I glanced down to see an odd looking object floating and then sinking in the water next to the dock. Sure enough a quick LED light from the iPhone illuminated the Manatee “sleeping” just beneath the water. The purpose of this trip was primarily to meet […]

Halyard Knot — better than a bowline for some purposes?

| January 30, 2015

Besides splicing a shackle to a halyard on a sailboat, I’ve used the mighty bowline tied directly to a sail grommet or to a shackle. Here’s a knot I haven’t tried — the Halyard Knot — and considering that it is most likely a permanent knot, perhaps whipping the end to the standing line would […]

A hardware-aholic is when you buy hose clamps by the pound

| January 29, 2015

I’m the prime example of a “hardware-aholic” because I needed to replace a couple stainless steel hose clamps and ended up buying over 3 pounds of used clamps. I know grocery and clothes shoppers do it, but my weakness is hardware … and perhaps tools. My recent eBay buy was a perfect example of single […]

Archive: A mini woodstove for a sailboat

| January 15, 2015

While posting a few bits on Facebook this weekend, I ran across a January  “sale” for Cubic Mini Woodstove sized for RVs and boats. I’ve entertained the idea before and concluded that a small propane fired bulkhead stove aboard Encore would be the best way to warm up the cabin, but there is something attractive […]

Parts arriving for the Mast Mate climbing ladder

| January 9, 2015

After tinkering a little bit with my “climbing board” idea mentioned last month, I decided to spend a few more dollars and rig a Mast Mate climbing ladder with sail slugs to fit Encore’s mast. My liveaboard buddy Mark measured my Selden slugs and sent me a drawing so I ordered enough slugs to fit […]

A boat project: The Easy Climb for sailboat mast climbing

| December 30, 2014

One of the challenges aboard a sailboat is go up a mast to inspect or take care of maintenance items. The tasks is not for those who are uncomfortable swinging back and forth on a stick 55-60 feet in the air. When I was in young and stupid, and only 165-170 lbs, the thought of […]

Video: Cruiser or Copper Jiggler Siphon demonstration

| December 3, 2014

I’ve entertained putting one of these siphons aboard Encore but haven’t ever used one (still do the suck on the hose thing). Every time I put a Harbor Freight version of this jiggler siphon in my basket, I take it out again since it looks too cheap. Might have to keep it in next time […]

Sailboats are a great place to relax, even when not sailing

| November 26, 2014

Took this photo while enjoying a warm and quiet evening relaxing in the cockpit before heading for home and back to less attractive weather, but it will soon be Thanksgiving and a time to be “thankful.”  I’ll need to keep reminding myself that when the snow starts to fly! On the positive side, having a […]

Encore weekend, LED Navigation lights and Solar Nicro Vents

| November 24, 2014

A little damp where I’m at, but at least it was far warmer than points north this past weekend. I’m sure glad not to still be closing up my mother-in-laws farmhouse in western New York … whew, just missed traveling in the “Snowvember.” One of the projects I worked on was installing new LED navigation […]

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.