Tag Archives: Mods

A Site for Sore Wallets

Met these folks at dinner a week ago. Their site is worth several looks.FM

Garhauer Motor Crane Cleating Mod.2

In the past several days quite a few people have clicked on the original of this post and have found the picture missing — no idea why it disappeared. Here it is again.

garhauer-modThe pivoting cam style cleat shown replaces a vertically mounted clam style cleat. This new arrangement offers a wide range of places to stand and still control the line, and it is easier to cleat in an emergency.

Battery Hack


Click Pic

Got a battery that’s a bear to get out of the slot? Wrap a piece of tape around it to provide an extraction tab. We also write the date on the tab.

It Sucks, Hooray!

Cond2OK, It “aspirates.” That orange in the photo is rust from non-marine materials having been used to make the condensate trap tray on our otherwise excellent marine air conditioner. (It looks like jiggling gelatin dessert because the AC is running.)


Prior to adopting this lifestyle. A/C usage was periodic and infrequent. Not so now. In Deale and in Brunswick a summer of usage left an orange streak down the side of the boat from where the sump pump drained the condensate overboard. Had to launch the dinghy to clean it off.

IMG_20140414_144321_370Enter the Mermaid Condensator — basically it’s a lab aspirator. It slurps water from the sump* as a result of the low pressure created by the cooling water flow across an orifice. As long as the AC compressor is running, it is. It slurps constantly and silently. Yeah, it’s another filter to check, but no more rust streak.

Cond3*However, this is a new sump — below that hole on the left.  It’s a collection bottle that keeps the condensate from entering the bilge. Spiral Wrap is an excellent way to protect hose from chafe.


The Mermaid comes with excellent instructions and friendly phone tech support should one need them.

Odds and Odds

What? No “Ends?” There are no ends when it comes to maintaining a cruising sailboat. So here are some snippets crammed in between sore back work.

Morning Visitor

Morning Visitor

Seasoning for beans and rice. Nutmeg, Paprika, Thyme, Worcestershire, Goslings Black Seal, Olive Oil, sea salt, pepper. Proportions to taste.

Low Tide Visitor

Low Tide Visitor

Satellite TV up and running

All sewing repairs made.

New dinghy number boards for Florida registration.

Four new Jack-lines made

New lifting harness for outboard — bridle for 6 horses.

Satphone external booster antenna installed and not working properly.

Engine water pump must be replaced.

Check valve must be added to wash down line.

It ain’t all relaxing, folks

To M3ST or not to M3ST…

IMG_20140402_132045_389The TracVision M3ST steerable TV antenna is pretty simple stuff. Especially compared with the military systems I worked with over the years. The whole antenna unit with radome weighs in at 18lbs. Like most things these days the magic is in the software that provides antenna guidance derived from systems costing very, very much more. It delivers 300+ channels, especially regional weather.

IMG_20140402_133717_688I should have held up a 16 inch round fender for scale. In relative terms the M3ST is tiny, 17.5 x 15.5 inches. It’s facing the wrong direction (E) so I can get to the bolts that anchor it to the platform it took me several days to fabricate in a marina that has rules about too much tool noise. A sabre saw on 0.2 inch aluminum plate is not “quiet.”

IMG_20140402_164550_292And here it sits, radome in place, waiting for me to snake the cable below and forward to the TV. Progress.

It looks as if the next cold front will keep us here a few more days, then we should be able to break free of Velcro and head for the Abacos. Tomorrow we buy fuel. That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it!