Archive for the ‘gear’ Category


Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

…is how you drill holes in your yacht.


pedestal guard mounting holes

pedestal guard mounting holes

Keywords: 1/2″ drill, centerpunch, epoxy, nerves of steel.

Chartplotter and AIS

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Quixote is really a turnkey sailing machine. Several things I would have done for offshore or cruising–like AGM house batteries and a smart charger–are already completed.

The one think I want to do before the delivery is add a better chartplotter with AIS capability. In my opinion, this is poor man’s radar and a “must have” for sailing in/near the shipping lanes.

Although I’m brand-partial to Simrad, I’m leaning toward putting a Garmin 740 at the helm station. The touch screen gives the best ratio of screen real estate to unit size. Plus it has a built-in antenna and a good built-in basemap. For traffic detection, the Garmin AIS class B tranceiver is proably the best bet. Since it includes a built-in VHF antenna splitter, it’s not horribly more expensive than the ACR or West Marine models.

GPS 740:

AIS 600:

Probably this locks me into a Garmin radar in the future, if that ever comes to pass. On the other hand, for the type of sailing we do, I’m not sure my (slight) brand preference for Simrad or Furuno matters. Or, to be honest, whether we’ll ever need radar on this boat at all…

So many sportboats

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

so little time.

Flying with inflatable PFDs

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

I’m flying back east for the j/30 regionals in conneticut this weekend. Something that’s always an annoying source of stress is whether an over-zealous TSA screener will impound my spinlock harness because of the compressed CO2 cartridge. Which, considering that they confiscate chapstick that’s not confined to a ziplock bag, is a legitimate concern.

What I usually do is print out a copy of the CFRs with the appropriate exception (that an inflatable PFD is allowed by the FAA) and tape it to the harness. It seems to me that the subspecies of Pettious Athoritorio in question might respect this type of talisman of higher regulatory authority.

Here’s the relevant CFR (49 C.F.R. § 175.10 (25)), and here’s an easy-to-understand PDF.

New boots!

Friday, November 9th, 2007

So sweet.


These run at least 1/2 size small, so I’m glad I got the 13.


Monday, September 17th, 2007

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was interested in continuing to upgrade the boat. I think the excuse is going to be all the singlehanded sailing I want to do this year. Basically, I’m a gearhead.

Solo-sailing upgrades

  • Monitor windvane steering
  • Tillerpilot
  • Windward sheeting mainsheet car
  • Spinnaker sock?
  • AIS system

Performance upgrades

  • Carbon masthead wand
  • Line adjustable jib fairleads
  • Double spinnaker sheet turning blocks
  • VMG display

Nice-to-haves or cruising upgrades

  • Utility bilge pump – Gulper 320
  • LED cabin lights
  • Second (Zulu) clock
  • Cockpit sheet bags
  • 2nd compass
  • Heart link 1000 batt monitor


Monday, July 30th, 2007

Now that we’re in, I can mention how terrifying the idea of a man overboard on a short-handed ocean race is.

During our initial MOB training in May, Colin the then-neophyte sailor suggested a dedicated GPS near the MOM8 for MOB use. At the time, I poo-pooed the idea a little, but since the TP, I really have been considering it strongly. It’s a great idea.

It also turns out that the big guys (i.e. the V70s and the like) have a single “big red button” dedicated MOB system that logs a GPS position. I’m going to look into getting a low-draw handheld with a dedicated MOB button, hardwiring it to the 12v system and hanging it on the port stern pulpit. The power cable can come up through the obsolete DGPS beacon antenna fitting.