Boat Insulation – Part 3

Boat Insulation

This is part three of a three part series. Be sure to check out part one and part two. I finally finished fiberglassing in the hemlock ‘studs’ that will be used as scaffolding to support the upholstery and insulation. The final step was to mount the insulation and upholstery. Unlike a house, almost nothing on a boat is ‘square’ as the concept of ‘level’ doesn’t really exist on a boat. When trying to retrofit anything in tight quarters, construction become even more difficult. My friend…

Yee Ha!

Whitecaps danced along to top of the waves as I drove by Rosario Strait on my way to the boat. Today was going to be a real test of my growing skill as a sailor. For the last three days I’d been planning my trip. The weather called for steady 15 mph winds from the NE and slack tide right after work. These would be perfect conditions to sail due west, through Lopez Pass, and into Lopez Sound. I figured I could duck in behind…

Sasquatch and the Wilderness Trail

When my brother proposed a camping trip, I jumped at the opportunity. We missed a previously planned trip on the boat, and we hadn’t done anything together since our journey to Alaska. With as much time as I’ve spent in the woods, I’ve never done a multi-day backpacking trip; certainly not in the Pacific Rainforest in the middle of February. The week before the trip was stressful. I knew that if I was not adequately prepared, the trip would be miserable. The two things I…

Insulating a Boat Hull – Part 2

Insulating a Boat Hull Part 2

This is part two of a three part series. Be sure to check out part one and part three. After identifying the materials that I had at my disposal, the real work began in earnest. The first step was to remove the old vinyl covering that had been glued to the inside of the hull. I’m sure that when the boat was new, this stuff was great, but 20 years later large swaths of it had turned black from mold growth. It felt very healthy…

Who Needs Radar?!

Rosario Strait Fog

Living on a boat requires a significant downsizing of possessions. Before Christmas I warned my family that I can no longer accept physical gifts, but gift cards will be gladly accepted. I was delighted to receive a gift certificate from my parents for the Rosario Resort on Orcas Island. I set out on an early Saturday morning and the conditions appeared perfect: glassy water, a flood tide, not a breath of wind, and warm sunlight glancing off the nearby islands. No sooner did I poke…

Infrastructure Independence

Infrastructure Independence

I’m increasingly feeling that I should focus my blog on promoting a lifestyle of … I’m not really sure what to call it. Cruising? Living aboard? Off-grid tiny houses? ‘Infrastructure independence’ is the best phrase that comes to mind. The point is this: I believe the root of ‘the problem’ with our world today exists in our infrastructure. Most people today still live the lifestyle of the industrial age: Income obtained from a single job, paying taxes to a central government. Groceries obtained from a…

Sailing in Solitude

Bowman Bay Rocks

When I set out the water was as placid as a lake. The only ripples were those from my bow cutting through the calm, cold water. This weekend I was headed to Bowman Bay, just west of Deception Pass where Fidalgo and Whidbey islands meet. This is a great little bay with a floating dock, three mooring buoys, and another dock at Rosiaro park on the other side of the bay. It’s a tricky entrance though. The mouth has three rocks, one of which is…

How To Insulate a Sailboat – Part 1

This is part one of a three part series. Check out part two and part three when you’re done with this one. This article presents the research I’ve done in anticipation of insulating the hull of my sailboat. I’ll cover the actual work in a future article. One task I’ve had stored in my winter arsenal of rainy-day to-do projects is insulating the hull of my boat. Despite a lack of rainy days this winter, I’ve managed to plow through the lion’s share of my…

Winter Sailing

It’s been a few weeks since I left the dock, and with these back-to-back inversion layers we’ve been having, the weather has been nearly ideal. I was chewing at the bit, ready to get out. The cold snap this weekend also represented some of the coldest weather this region ever sees. That made it perfect to test the heating ability of my new propane heater. I’ll be insulating the boat soon and I wanted to see how it would do, pre-insulation. Because it gets dark…

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,…

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