Installing a Shower Drain in a Head

head drain

This article shows how I installed a simple, inexpensive drain into the floor of the head (bathroom) so that I could install a shower. I’m beginning to seriously considering moving aboard full time in April. One of the main drawbacks to the idea is that my boat doesn’t have a shower. There is plenty of room for it, there’s just no drain or pump to handle the water. I researched several different options, originally hoping to install a filter-and-bilge-pump-in-a-box kit that West Marine sells. However,…

Heavy Weather Sailing

Heavy Weather Sailing

Ken enjoys heavy weather sailing and after last weekends gale force winds, he was jonesin’ to get out on the water. Myself, I had a wonderful weekend at Watmough Bay and felt like a champ for reading the weather so well. At 8 PM on Saturday night, I checked the weather and saw NOAA was issuing a gale force warning for the next night. I quickly popped of my head out the hatch to revealed that all was calm on the water. It was still…

Fiberglassing Teak Handrails – An Experiment

fiberglass over teak

Wood on a boat can be a touchy subject. It seems as though every sailor has their own opinon about how much wood belongs on a boat, based on the (often conflicting) aspects of beauty, functionality, and maintenance. Solace has only a few pieces of teak above deck and a quite extensive teak interior. I love the rich wood interior, but abhor the maintenance required to keep the above-deck teak maintained. The hand rails running the length of my cabin make up forty percent of…

How to Install a Marine Battery Box

Install Marine Batteries

This article shows how to install a marine battery box in your boat according to coast guard regulations. Batteries… we all need them. In order to install them properly, it’s important to comply with coast guard regulations. I recently installed two Group 31 deep cycle AGM batteries on my 27 US Yacht sailboat, Solace. I was careful to comply with the coast guard regulations. Below is how I did it and how I recommend you do it too. As my sailboat has a pull-start outboard,…

Going Solo

I haven’t done much writing lately because I haven’t spent as much time on the water. As I write this, I sit on the Aggada Da Vida watching the sun come up over Lopez Sound. The quite, the solitude, and the beauty are what give me the inspiration to write. It is the serenity that I find out here which gives meaning to my life. It is this solace that I long for, like an addict looking for a ‘fix’, every time I return to…

Boating Life, Preventive Maintenance

“Agadda Da Vida History” Our 32′ sailboat is 35 years old. We have had her four of those years and have added to and replaced a lot of parts. We have added an anchor windlass, an inverter, extra lighting and stereo. We have replaced the running rigging, the bilge pump, the engine, the port-lights, the water heater, the water tank cover, the head, the cabin liners, the flooring and the wood stove. There are probably a lot of other items added or upgraded that I…

Does Size Matter? Yes, it does.

bayliner_buccaneer

I recently stumbled across a solicitation on monkey’s fist for boaters to give their opinions on size. I know several cruisers like Teresa and Ben of One Simple Question and Stormy of Art of Hookie, who are pocket cruisers and love it. My wife and I live aboard a forty foot Cruise-a-Home, with approximately eight tons of displacement. We upgraded from a twenty-five foot, Buccaneer sailboat, the Sea Muse. Let me tell you why. You can read about how I came to possess the Sea…

How to Restore and Repair Gelcoat

how to repair gelcoat

After any fiberglass repair to your boat, the final step is to restore or repair the gelcoat. Gelcoat is a two part epoxy, just like the kind used in fiberglass repair, except you do not use fiberglass or filler and the epoxy contains a pigment to give it a specific color. Why is Gelcoat Important? The gelcoat is most important when working with polyester resin. Specifically, this covers boat repairs since virtually all boats are built with polyester resin. Polyester resin will absorb water, whereas…

How to Use Fiberglass Resin

fiberglass techniques

Fiberglass can be messy and hard to work with for the beginner. I know that I made a lot of mistakes and messy work when I was first learning how to use fiberglass resin. The video below shows you the fiberglass techniques that I use when doing repairs on my boat. Many people are familiar with mixing two part epoxies. The instructions for mixing them are clearly labeled on the container. Less well documented is the use of additives. One tip on how to do…

How To Work With Fiberglass

how to fix fiberglass

Over the next month, I’m going to write a series of instructional posts on how to work with fiberglass and do common types of fiberglass restoration on a boat. This first article explains an overview of how to work with fiberglass and do basic repairs. The second article will show you how to use fiberglass resin. I’ve done a ton of fiberglass repair on the Rock ‘n Row already, and I still have a bit more left to do. I never took any classes on…

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