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

  • 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 …


  • 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 …


  • Home Handicrafts — Splicing

    I can do an okay job of whipping. I've tried my hand at seizings. I've woven the anchor chain to the end of the rope rode.

    8728A441-850F-4F24-9122-868638138B2A
    8728A441-850F-4F24-9122-868638138B2A

    But.

    Double-braid splicing?

    I'm working on it.

    More accurately, I'm struggling with it.

    It's not terribly difficult.

    7A7FD0F7-2559-48F9-8B0B-F376F70B9FDC 1 105 c
    7A7FD0F7-2559-48F9-8B0B-F376F70B9FDC 1 105 c

    But. 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 …


  • New GoPower 55W Panels

    After removing a random pile of solar panels, here's what we have on the foredeck. Two little 4′×1′ super thin panels. Super thin. Tiny.

    F03007F2-4812-42E0-825E-EA381318B9AD 1 105 c
    F03007F2-4812-42E0-825E-EA381318B9AD 1 105 c ""

    Right now, they're lashed to the handles. I may put four small holes in the deck, filled with butyl tape and …


  • 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 …


  • That Range Light

    Coping with operator error is difficult.

    The ColRegs (The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea) are required on boats. Rule 20 describes when lights must be used (sunset to sunrise and restricted visibility). Rule 25 describes lights to be used on sailing vessels.

    We have both version of the …


  • The Galley Sink Story

    I am not good at finished carpentry. That's the kind of job that intimidates me: it's something we're going to be looking at for a long time. It has to be done right. Am I up to it?

    Mistakes were made. But this is how we tweaked our counter-top for …


  • What are the odds?

    What are the odds of seeing other Whitby folks in cars at the corner of 27th and South Dixie Highway.

    Actually, remarkably high. We don't get that far up 27th all that often.

    On Thursday, we were up there so we could take the train to the modern art museum …


  • CA's Rain Fly

    IMG_1986
    IMG_1986

    Our hard dodger has two tiny gaps at the for'rd corners.

    IMG_1988
    IMG_1988

    It looks good, but, there's a path for rain to drip on the bench.

    If the bimini cover went down low enough to prevent all dripping, it would be right difficult to get out of the cockpit …


  • Great Success

    Four big things yesterday.

    IMG_1740
    IMG_1740
    1. The Battery Filler. Totally works. Waited until a few hours after the sun went down and the batteries had finished charging. Put the pickup hose in a jug of distilled water. Pumped in at least a quart. I guess they were low. Need to do …

  • The A/C Issue

    Another issue to wrestle with: the air conditioner.

    IMG_1733
    IMG_1733

    We've used the forward A/C twice in the last two years. About a month ago when it was hot. About a week ago to test it after I pulled it out to get at the chainplates.

    It's been hot. Really …


  • Chainplates Halftime: 8 down, 8 to go

    The machine shop did an excellent, outstanding, amazing job of cloning the first 8 chainplates.

    It took some beating to get the new ones into the boat. Mostly the beating was because the new steel was perfectly straight and the fiberglass knees are slightly irregular.

    The trick appears to be …


  • Chainplates, Chapter 2

    We spent part of our summer dismantling Red Ranger to get at the chainplates. They seem like massive blocks of steel. Except. While stainless is chemically tough, it's not really all that stiff. I learned this while westling with 12′ pieces of bar stock.

    See Week 46: Deltaville Days, Week …


  • Week 51: End Of Year One

    Now is the time to write a pithy, clever retrospective on the first year of living aboard a sailboat and seeing the watery parts of the world.

    Instead, I've posted a picture from our first sail on Red Ranger, from June 27, 2010. We hadn't rigged the ratty old dodger …


  • Battery Filler

    Highly recommended product: The Pro-Fill system from Jan Watercraft Products.

    DSC03486
    DSC03486

    I saw the video. Discovery recommended it highly as a great simplification in topping off the water for large battery banks. We have four Trojan T105 Plus batteries, and the two in the back of the area are almost …


  • Painful Head-ectomy

    The Commodore Says: "I don't want to depend on pump-outs, since they're an America-only requirement; and I don't like the head flushing directly into a bay or creek."

    Enter the Air Head and the Nature's Head composting toilets. These are very similar products that separate solid from liquid waste. Liquids …


  • Radio Upgrade, Plus Bimini Issues

    Next up: radio replacement. The old radios both work nicely. However.

    The radio that's accessible from the helm is inside the aft cabin. That means that the aft cabin hatch cover must be left open. What do you do when it rains? It also means that anyone off watch who's …


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