Customer service, car covers, warranties and cheap wire

| October 2, 2016

This past week I’ve made a few frustrating online transactions and purchases. First, in dealing with NewEgg, I attempted to use a credit on my business account and decided to handled it on the phone with customer service rather than risk it online. I explained that I was using a "store credit" and wanted 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 […]

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. […]

Monitoring Inverter and Battery with an inexpensive shunt

| September 7, 2016

Instead of spending a lot more dollars on an expensive monitor (like the LINK 2000-R and Xantrex Inverter that we have on Encore) for a battery bank powering a back up inverter when I add our new grilling, greenhouse, generator and porch space, I’ve added a cheap $18.75 shunt and meter from Amazon. I’ve used […]

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 […]

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 […]

Found it! The Vane for the Cape Horn Self-Steering gear

| May 9, 2016

  It is hard to believe I found the vane parts after almost fabricating my own or contemplating ordering a new $160 (plus shipping, I think?) part for the Cape Horn self-steering gear. While going through my bins of spares and the chart table, the clean-up process had me pulling out an outdated chartbook when […]

Temporary LED galley light after removing old fixtures

| May 7, 2016

During our last trip to down to our sailboat Encore, Brenda and I removed the final three tarnished boat lights that were in the galley and over the chart table. The previous lights that we already replace turned out looking good and working out after she gave them the faux verdigris look with paint (a […]

Archive link to Volvo Shaft Seal to add to Encore maintenance

| April 24, 2016

General Propeller Co. link

TechFriday: A digital thermometer is a must have gadget

| April 8, 2016

On our last trip out sailing on Encore I noticed the Volvo was running hotter than it should be. My first thought was a lack of cooling water flowing in through the new smaller strainer, but then it was possible the coolant was low — I added about a quart. After returning home I also […]

Replacing parts on Encore and a couple spring break photos

| April 3, 2016

While out sailing with the family on Encore over Easter week, we suffered a halyard block failure — see photo in previous post. There wasn’t a direct replacement in my spare parts bin (shame on me), but Drew and I zipped over to Marine Connection  and found an acceptable "used" halyard block. The replacement is […]

Catch up post: Evening thunderstorms aboard Encore

| April 2, 2016

We had a few wicked thunderstorms last week while in Florida and enjoyed watching this one “from a distance” in the cockpit of Encore (also a very short clip of Katelyn and Drew heading off to explore distant shores in the Zodiac – below the break). *Video: thunderstorm while aboard encore – march 2016 — […]

March 30th is #ManateeAppreciationDay

| March 30, 2016

According to posts on Twitter and tweets and shares among friends … today is #ManateeAppreciationDay. My interest in learning about Manatees goes back to the the late 1970s when a small group of us college guys in Ohio  decided to join the "Save the Manatee" campaign. We selfishly used it as a rally to travel […]

Enjoying time aboard Encore with Katelyn and Drew

| March 28, 2016

A bit delayed in posting to the blog, but we’ve been a bit distracted. Brenda and I met my daughter Katelyn and her husband Drew for a few days on the boat to enjoy some time together. Way too much time goes by between visits for my taste. The weather was nice with a few […]

Two hatches repaired and reinstalled on Encore

| March 12, 2016

In January a couple hatches were removed from Encore, our older Westerly Corsair II sailboat, in order to be sent to Select Plastics for repair. The project wasn't painless as both the time it took and cost (shipping too) were pretty expensive. Unfortunately, repairing them on my own was not successful and noting the number […]

Mounting a backup anchor on the stern rail

| March 11, 2016

If we upgrade our current Bruce anchor, this Mantus bracket would be ideal to keep the spare ready to deploy on the stern rail. Archiving this “currently $120” bracket for that purpose. I wonder how well it would hold a Bruce?

Impulse buy–4 port 48W 12 volt USB charger

| February 27, 2016

Read an independent review about this IXCC 4-port IXCC USB charger with what it claims as “plenty of power” … although one descriptions says 48W and the other 36W (both claim 9.6 amp) … we’ll see. The Amazon reviews were a very high 4-1/2 stars and since our new “older” car doesn’t have an abundance […]

Great idea for storing your flip-flops when sailing

| February 24, 2016

I’m always looking for better ways to store things on the boat … Kelley Gudahl shared a few things they do on her Sailing Chance blog … so figured I would archive them. First the flip-flop storage idea really caught my eye since we always have them sliding around the cockpit floor. There’s not that […]

Archive: Motor mount adjustment tools need for Encore

| February 4, 2016

While working on aligning the Volvo diesel on Encore last week, I realized that my tool bag didn’t have the correct wrenches to adjust the motor mounts. I’m archiving the correct tools  for the future. To adjust the Volvo alignment requires a feeler gauge and TWO 15/16” open ended wrenches – one needs to be […]

A little varnishing before the NFL playoff games

| January 24, 2016

Really, I did plan for a full Sunday afternoon and evening of football watching with my friends Mark and Dar, but couldn't resist the warm sunshine to add a little Cetol (marine varnish product) to the shaded trim around the companionway. Hopefully I won't be too late to miss anything worthwhile in the NFL playoff […]

Two steps forward, one step back … boat projects.

| January 23, 2016

The weather isn’t perfect in Florida, but it sure is a lot better than most states to the north. As the snow comes down on most of the eastern part of the country, I at least won’t have to deal with it until I fly back. I’m going to declare success in removing hatches, shipping […]

Hatch repair is high on the priority list for Encore

| January 22, 2016

Noticing the weather back home this past week, it was not a bad few days to head down to Florida for a couple more boat repairs. High on the list was to remove and send my Lewmar Superhatches (predecessor to the Ocean series) off to Select Plastics in hopes THEY can prevent them from dripping; […]

Replacing a Volvo Penta raw water pump on our sailboat

| November 25, 2015

As mentioned last week, the Volvo raw water pump (840557) aboard Encore was beginning to drip. This usually indicate a little corrosion (cough, cough) and leakage around the seal closest to the impeller. Instead of sending the pump out to be re-built for $165, decided to purchase a new Johnson “direct replacement” (10-24707-01) pump ($350) […]

Boat tool failure – checking with SeaDog to see about support

| November 22, 2015

The first time I tried to use my relatively new Sea-Dog Impeller Puller and it FAILED. Really bumming that the threads seized at first use and I had to resort to the needlenose pliers again. As soon as I applied a little torque to the T-handle, it froze in place. No amount of heat or […]

Encore is having water pump woes … drip, drip, drip

| November 20, 2015

Yet another part to be serviced, rebuilt or replace on Encore’s Volvo diesel. This time it’s the raw water pump dripping from the weep hole … and indication the seal is no longer keeping the water in the pump. This is a normal wear item and most cruisers not only carry a spare impeller and […]

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 […]

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.
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