To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

  • Ph. III, day 36, Stuart

    Nothing much going on here.

    I've cleaned out the pile of Tohatsu/Nissan spares.

    Box of Parts
    Tohatsu/Nissan Spares and Parts

    We remain docked at the Harborage marina in Stuart. 27°12.702′N 080°15.451′W. Slip J-38.

    We placed an order about a week ago for a motor and …


  • Southbound Ph. III, day 10, Waiting

    Waiting for weather in New Smyrna Beach. Weather is pleasant. Anchor is holding.

    Safe Anchor Screen Shot
    Safe Anchor Screen Shot

    This is the SafeAnchor app on the iPhone. It shows about 60' of movement between where I marked the anchor and where we are. In the SW corner of the circle, there's a …


  • Southbound Ph. III, Day 6, Fuel Tank Ickiness

    The dinghy's name is Scout. Scout's original fuel tank was pretty beat up.

    Dinghy Fuel Tank
    Dinghy Fuel Tank

    The tank was ancient — came with Red Ranger almost a decade ago — which means some of the plastic had started to crack. And other bits and pieces were starting to fall apart.

    The …


  • Dinghy Death and New Life

    Our 2012 Walker Bay has finally become more liability than asset.

    Here she is, waiting to get rolled up and ready to be unshipped.

    732ECFF2-0512-4A9F-A3E0-1FBB2B5C2A48 1 105 c
    732ECFF2-0512-4A9F-A3E0-1FBB2B5C2A48 1 105 c

    The high-pressure air floor finally sprang a leak.

    We talked with repair places and they were not optimistic.

    So we started looking …


  • It's been cold

    Nighttime lows have dipped to 2°C (40°F?). This means heaters. Since we're at the Cooper River Marina, and we seem to have reliable shore power, we can run electric heaters in the evenings and mornings. There are a lot of steps between shore power, dock power, boat, and …


  • Dinghy Life, Repairs

    Life at anchor means taking the dinghy everywhere. When Red Ranger is our home, the dinghy, named Scout, is our car. We're looking at a replacement. We really like the air-floor because they're light.

    She was new in 2012. It's been a good, long run. But. Her days are numbered …


  • Midship Cleats

    Upgraded our mid-ship cleats.

    5E949426-4DCF-46E1-8BE6-EE805935AECA 1 105 c
    5E949426-4DCF-46E1-8BE6-EE805935AECA 1 105 c
    49638240-85F4-4D8D-B53E-C72D90BF684D 1 105 c
    49638240-85F4-4D8D-B53E-C72D90BF684D 1 105 c

    Here's a picture of one of the old 6½″ cleats.

    Good for ½″ line. Rock solid.

    You can see the new dock line behind the cleat. It's ⅝″ and you can't really make a proper clove hitch around …


  • The Starter

    Mr. Lehman's starter has been getting flakier and flakier. We've put up with it for a few years now.

    You push the starter button and "Click". Nothing else. Just "Click".

    Last time we went anywhere (see "Got off the Dock") there was a sequence of five pushes to get the …


  • The Topping Lifts

    Topping lifts hold up the end of the boom. It's expected to hold the boom up for years and years and years. It's kind of important. And no, I did not make a mess of them. They've always been a mess.

    The topping lift keeps the boom up when there's …


  • Binnacle Cover

    The 10+ year old binnacle cover finally collapsed. The zipper teeth finally eroded to a point where they wouldn't actually zip. They zipped open one last time.

    567D1001-424C-42E8-AB58-64E91A7F2885 1 105 c
    567D1001-424C-42E8-AB58-64E91A7F2885 1 105 c

    CA made a new one.

    The color scheme doesn't match anything.

    2D939E90-5AD6-4007-8ED7-F55B3A82A60B 1 105 c
    2D939E90-5AD6-4007-8ED7-F55B3A82A60B 1 105 c

    But.

    It was cheap …


  • Replacing the Running Rigging

    Just about every piece of running rigging has a shackle (or a loop) spliced into it.

    So. I've been trying to learn to splice loops into double-braided line.

    4647F496-E79C-4280-A7A4-45CC62A9A16C 1 105 c
    4647F496-E79C-4280-A7A4-45CC62A9A16C 1 105 c

    See Home Handicrafts — Splicing for my first few attempts.

    Here's the mizzen outhaul: white with green.

    I spliced …


  • If it's not one thing, it's another

    Usually, it's the other. This is how one repair tends to expand into more than one.

    Haul out means some slopping around in the slings as they lift Red Ranger up and whisk her away. It also means that she's often blocked with the bottom of the keel level, which …


  • More Home Handicrafts — Three-Strand

    D40C8F54-BD07-4FEE-A75B-60C6AE8F1BB5 1 105 c
    D40C8F54-BD07-4FEE-A75B-60C6AE8F1BB5 1 105 c

    I'm slowly getting the hang of some of the rigging jobs.

    Here's my version of a "Shackle Splice". It's a Crown Knot and then the tails are buried under four turns of the line.

    The splice is (clearly) bigger than the line. It's bigger than the …


  • The Stove Didn't Spark Joy

    See Preseverence. The gas didn't work on cold mornings. Jeri fixed it by wrestling the hose up into the air to slosh around a drop of condensed, cold propane so the gas could flow past it.

    Before that, however, the electric sparker on the Force10 hasn't worked for a while …


  • World's Noisiest Fan

    E0C7FCED-75BD-4295-BDEB-5BB4B896BF21 1 105 c
    E0C7FCED-75BD-4295-BDEB-5BB4B896BF21 1 105 c

    One of the earliest jobs I did on Red Ranger was replacing a hulking beast of a fan in the aft cabin. It was huge; with a wire cage and blades that had broken and were glued back together. Really.

    This is kind of a mortuary …


  • Solar Panel Life-Spans

    I've been experimenting with solar panels since 2012. (When you think about it, everything on the boat is an experiment waiting for replacement with something better.)

    BLUF

    After about eight years on deck:

    • Obsolete SunForce: not good. No longer sold.

    • Ganz semi-rigid: really good.

    • SunWize semi-rigid: weak.

    • DMSolar 158W rigid …


  • The Anti-Siphon Drippage

    We had a fabulous Groco anti-siphon loop. Emphasis on had.

    37133F3A-F149-4A0B-9C91-9500643E0A73 1 105 c
    37133F3A-F149-4A0B-9C91-9500643E0A73 1 105 c

    It was a big, bronze thing that worked nicely for about 10 years. Then. It developed a tendency to drip.

    If you're not an engine-room nerd, that's wire-reinforced 1″ hose coming into the bottom. ⅝″ coming …


  • Perseverance

    The stove doesn't work. Actually, it doesn't work reliably. You can't fix an unreliable thing without a sensible diagnosis. Why doesn't it work? And diagnostic work is very much a learned art form. Something you learn from others who've been there before you.

    047D9553-6682-4258-BFC4-5E0CA30B1030 1 105 c
    047D9553-6682-4258-BFC4-5E0CA30B1030 1 105 c

    It's all fun …


  • Asking "Why?" Enough Times (or) The Uninspectable Pump

    A65D6BB4-D78E-4566-8E8F-AD4C2D811C47 1 105 c
    A65D6BB4-D78E-4566-8E8F-AD4C2D811C47 1 105 c

    There are a lot of boat status details. Voltage level. Charging. Course being steered. Bearing to the next waypoint. Fuel level. Wind. Weather. Traffic.

    And the number on the bilge counter.

    It often goes like this: "Bilge count is zero. That's a container ship. Course is …


  • Second (and Final) Head-Ectomy

    Are two heads better than one?

    I've reached my limit on removing marine sanitation devices. There were two heads on Red Ranger, and I've removed them both. That's my personal limit. There's a world of pain in dealing with sanitary hose and (I hope) I'm past wrestling with it.

    The …


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