Showing posts from 2016

Another Geeky Boat hack... this time for Winches!

Winches.... a staple piece of hardware that sailors rely on to haul sails up, and to keep them trimmed.   They can also be used to haul people up and down the mast or out of the water, and are used for many utilitarian purposes such as putting Dingys in and out of the water, and even hauling the engine out of the boat.   It is NOT a piece of equipment that you want to fail at those critical times when they are under load.  Yet this is possible if they don't have proper backing plates.    When I went to remove all my winches so I could take them home and clean them this past winter, I found a surprise on my primary winches. I have removed the nuts from these bolts.  Note how the washers have sunk into the plywood.. That's right... they had no backing plates. just some small washers.  Now why is this a big deal?  well, if you have ever been sailing close-hauled (the fastest point of sail) in 20 knot winds, you know that some incredible pressure can be applied t

A cheap and Geeky Boat hack for your Seat backs!

Okay, I'm a geek, I freely admit that.  One thing I have accumulated over the years as a computer network administrator and technician is an abundance of old Hard Drives.  I just never wanted to throw them out, even though they had failed or been replaced with bigger faster ones... now I know why!     I have always liked taking things apart... even when I was very young.  My mom tells a story of how I took apart a crib, with no tools, while my younger sister was sleeping in it . .. but that's a story for another day.  I found I had the specialized driver bit for removing the star drive screws that hold the hard drives together.  I found two useful things in there - Magnets and Platters.  There are two powerful Magnets in each drive, and between 2 to four platters.  I have figured a way to use both of these in my boat...  This post focuses on using the magnets. This post focuses on using the Magnets that control the movement of the drive head (like the needle on a Record Pla

Dulcinea's Wild Ride

PROLOGUE:  This was the last part of my trip to the San Juan Islands in August 2015... yeah I know... almost a year later, but it is still good! This was supposed to be the most laid back part of my Vacation... but it turns out that Mother Nature had different plans for me.  It started out just fine.  I was back at Echo Bay at Sucia, one of my favorite places.  I arrived on Wednesday and Kayaked to Ewing cove and back. it is pretty picturesque from the water. Scenic Sandstone... The same from shore... kinda looks like a wave Me... hanging ten in the sandstone wave! I went for a bit of a climb... Ewing Cove.... wish I coulda gotten a mooring ball there.... Blue Heron perched on the cliff... As I was coming back from the cove, I took a detour to gawk a little at this guy..... this is the M/V Excellence.  I couldn't find out much about it other than it is privately owned out of Seattle.  It is about 130 feet long... She had 2 massive an

Jones, Patos and back to Sucia

Dulcinea tucked into a slip on the H dock at Friday Harbor   After seeing my sister off on the ferry in Friday Harbor bound for Anacortes, it was time to move on to the second half of my trip.   I was looking forward to it as I was headed for a couple of Islands I had not yet been to, namely Jones and Patos islands.   After stopping by the pump-out dock to, well.... Pump out the holding tank, I bid adieu to Friday Harbor.  It is really one of my favorite places to visit when I am out, and little did I know that I would be back in a week under very stressful and ominous conditions.... But that is a story for another post!   I finally got underway around noon. It was a beautiful day, and my first stop, Jones Island was not very far - only about five and a half nautical miles.  The wind was mostly non-existent as I headed out into the San Juan Channel and winded my way past the western coast of  Shaw Island, past Cliff Island, then in between  Yellow and McConnell Islands.  I moto