What Worked

After having spent the past eight years crossing oceans on our 40 year old Valiant 40, we have discovered what equipment has given us the best service and lasted the longest  (published October 2015) STEERING PEDESTAL [caption id="attachment_8637" align="alignleft" width="360"] Looking towards the future: Cricket Edson steering[/caption] [caption id="attachment_8636" align="alignleft"

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Get A Grip!

Stronger deck handles and no varnishing  (published September 2015) A wise sailor once said to me, “sand or sail”.  All his topside teak was unvarnished, gray, but functional. (He on the other hand was varnished, gray, and moderately functional).  Having invested the time and effort of a full paint job,

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Understanding Your Diesel Engine

How to become a more confident, anxiety free diesel mechanic  (published March 2013) I had departed the marina in Charleston, South Carolina bound for Florida, it was my first cruise on my cutter and there was no wind. But, as the two-cylinder diesel pushed my boat across the harbor towards

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The Five Stages of Crisis Management

How to deal with the unexpected and learn from your experience  (published March 2013) The day started off great. It was a gorgeous morning. My wife, Heidi, and I got up at a civil hour and readied things on our Shearwater 39 for a short hop from our beautiful anchorage

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The Core of the Matter

The principles of fiberglass construction, what to look for in buying an older boat and how to assess and repair any damage  (published May 2015) There are many types of materials used to build boats these days and have been for a long time—wood, steel, alloy and for a while,

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The Devil in the Details

It has often been said that the devil is in the details. It's those same details that will decide victory on the racecourse or pleasure throughout a long distance passage.  (published May 2015) Whether you are entering a competition merely to be among those who race or are actually out

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Prop Shaft Line Cutters

A line or weed tangled in our pop can ruin your whole day, if not end your cruise. Here's the remedy.  (published April 2015) Every year we hear of boats that are abandoned at sea or along the coast because they have lines or sheets tangled in their props and

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Paint It Black

Afer two years, renewing the bottom paint quickly moved atop our spring fitting out list  (published April 2015) While kayaking back to the boat after a hike ashore, I decided to do a lap around the hull to take a look at the condition of our bottom paint at the

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LEDs Save the Night

Retrofitting our cruising boat with LEDs drastically reduced our energy bill and significantly improved the lighting experience below decks  (published November 2014) Rosie and I and our boat partners Tony and Judy Knowles spend a lot of time cruising and living aboard on Lime'n, our 15 year old Jeanneau 45.2,

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