Monday, April 14, 2014

 These are exterior pics tomorrow I will take inside pics

On trailer mast raised and rigging repaired.  Mast rewired with tinned wire has masthead anchor light or tricolor at sea with changab;e lens. 2/3 uo is steamong light when onder motor and has down facing l\deck light.

No blisters, cracks dings or even many scratches.  There is little crazing on the upper deck and no soft spots.

Port Syde view  no bl;isters, scratches dings 

NOTE blocked up weight not on tiores
EDSON Wheel Helm  and motorwell with holds on either side.  There is a Ritchie Compass for the binnical.,

Cover slides in lower track to form a seat.  Steer like a riding mower.. secure and safe.

Looking down the motorwell.. prop positions just fwsd of the rudder.  The 240 is rated for  up to 10 HP

Aft cockpit.. mootorwell and 2 holds

Starboard side in cockpit 

Port side in cockpit both sides need a wood cover glassed in and thwe top sanded and finished.

Stern and Rudder This Edson wheel helm is cable operated on the rudder

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sailing With a Puppy.. SailPup a Navigation package

Last timr I mentioned Navigatrix which is about the best free package out there,

But what to do if you have a really ancient laptop with a Pentium 2 or 3 Processor and less than 256mb total RAM?

Sail Pup is a navigation and sailing package developed atound the popular PUPPY Linux  Puppy can  run in as little as 32mb RAM and from a live CD or can be installed to a hard drive or memory stick  I does use Seaclear II rather than Open CPN but it is functionasl and has tidal programs and many other extras.

If yopu have troub;e getting the download email me and I have a download file on DivShare



Now, the newest sailpup is ready.

It based on lucid-puppy 525.
Some network-tools and seachart-viewer are added. Further a grib-file-viewer and some other sailing-stuff.


gpsd (+scripts)
gpsd-clients (xgps)
xtide (with shorelines)
Positionslichter--------------------------needs Java

It can be downloaded by MU's server.

(user: puppy passwort: linux)
 Filesize   31.29 KB
 Viewed   2257 Time(s)

 Filesize   38.13 KB
 Viewed   2050 Time(s)

 Filesize   38.11 KB
 Viewed   2035 Time(s)



Thursday, December 26, 2013

What's in Navigatrix?

A Short Introduction to Navigatrix


This documents aims to provide a short introduction to Navigatrix, a Unix- (or, more specifically: Linux-) based operating system and applications suite developed by cruisers for cruisers. This introduction will provide you with an overview of the different bits and pieces that together make up Navigatrix and it will describe how some of these can be customized and extended.
This document is especially written for people who are familiar with the way Microsoft Windows works but who had only minimal exposure to Unix-based platforms. You can use Navigatrix without any knowledge of Linux/Unix. If you are familiar with Microsoft Windows you should easily be able to draw the analogies required to understand this document, which does not provide any basic Unix tutorial. If you are interested in getting a better understanding of Unix, there a few good introductory tutorials on the web. A list with links to tutorials can be found under There is also a YouTube video (approx. 1 hour):


Typographic conventions used in this text:
  • Menu entries are set in italics (as is emphasized text but the difference should be obvious from the context)
  • Path/file names are set in bold face (as are leading labels in lists but the difference should be obvious again from the context)
  • Code and quoted script files are set in monospace
  • Keyboard shortcuts are set in monospace with individual keys enclosed in square brackets and simultaneous pressing of key denoted by “+”. For example, [ctrl]+[alt]+[T] means pressing the three keys “ctrl”, “alt”, and the letter “T” simultaneously (which launches a Terminal window).

Friday, October 25, 2013

MOTORWELL in a 24 Foot Boat Part 2

This is part 2 of my explanation of how I repaired and replaced the rotted wood in the motorwell and adjacent holds of my 24 foot boat.  Last time i discussed the extent of the damage  which was all above the waterline and confined to after market additions of the motor well and two holds.

Some of the wood was so rotted it crumbled in my hands and no tool was necessart but as i got closer to the hull wall the wood became harder' 

An Oscillating Saw made easy work of cutting out the rotted  wood in hard to reach areas and is able to cut flush to  adjoining surfaces.  It has sanding attachments and with #50 oxide grit I was able to sand the hull smooth to accept the new wood which will be epoxied to the hull and sealed tight all the way around.

I has made patterns on brpwn wrapping paper so when the adjoining surfaces were ground or sanded smooth I cut out the new bulkheads from 3/4 inch marine plywood.  I coayed the plywood with epoxy resin to seal the wood.  This step was nwglected by the previous builder and so the wood was not protected from rot.

The panels were loosely set into place to be fine fitted and glassed to the hull.

You can see the new pieces loosely fitted into place.  Note I allowed extra wood above to be scribed and made to match the curvature of the hull. Each side bulkhead is a single piece exytending under the deck and cut to the curvature of the hull where it will be epoxied into the hull and sealed water tight all the way around.  Yje longitudinal pieces ecclosing the motor well are in two pieces to fit in place, an upper and lower piece.  The crack will be covered with fiberglass tape and then the entire surface covered with resin and painted as it is mostly enclosed.  The frontal areas will be glassed into the cockpit seats to match.

Looking down into the motorwell you can see how the bottom from the waterline down flares inward to form a cavitation tunnel.  The lower white areas are all solid laid fiberglass. An outboard up to 10 hp clamps to the cross beam and allows for tilting the prop up out of the water for sea sailing.

Looking into the motorwell from the starboard side hold
for a little closer view.

Each hold is 26 inches long by 30 inches wide by 44 inches deep.
The motorwell is 22 inches wide by 36 inches long.

The motorwell cover can be placed at 2 positions,, flush with the top or dropped down to seat height. One can sit on the cover and steer the boat with the wheel helm like a riding lawn mower.  The recessed seat is very secure in weather handling.  

SPECIAL FEATURE:  Fast Draining Cockpit!
The forward edge of the motorwell cover and seat supports a truck mudflap which hangs down in front of the OB acting as a baffle.  The rear of the cockpit is open providing a drain 2 feet wide by 1 foot high.  The entire cockpit filled to the gunwales can drain out and down into the sea in less than 15 seconds!   The top of the OB remains high and dry!  In the rare event of a strong following sea, the flap shuts forward keeping most water out of the cockpit floor.

Each hold will be fitted with a flat flush surface and a hatch and cover.  One hold will easily carry 12 rectangular plastic buckets and each contains 2 weeks of meals ready to prepare, pre-measured. The bucket in use is kept in the cabin.  I will discuss how I pack food stores in another post.

View down Starboard side Hold  

View down Port Side Hold.
Note ventilation exhaust fan in this hold
because portable OB tank is stowed in here and stove cooking fuel.

The nest  installment in this series will show the top scribed and cut flush and well cover and seat cleats made and cover in place.  Hangers for the hold lids will be made and prepared for the hatch cover openings to be cut.

[continued in part 3]

MOTORWELL in a 24 Foot Boat Part 1

My last three boats have all had a motorwell in the stern to accommodate an outboard motor forward opf the rudder.  I like the arrangement and a short shaft motor will fit without a problem.

When I bought this boat I was pleased to see after market modifications if a moroewell flanked by 2 generous storage holds and offering a FAST draining cockpit.  I mean filled to the gunwales it can drain completely in under 15 seconds!  This is a great feature.

When I brought the boat home it had spent its life sitting on its trailer in several RV storage lots.  The hull had no bubbles, flaws and almost no crazing of the deck.  The interior had suffered sun heat damage from being tightly closed.

You can see the rudder was removed for hauling and the outflow tunnel of the motorwell is visible behind me.  Also visible above is the top of the Edson Wheel helm another owner addition.

I bought the boat cheap as a project boat and kndew I was capable of doing the refurbishing of it.  Even so the view from above at the rear of the cockpit was daunting and not for the faint of heart.

The motorwell cover (center) had rotted and fallen in on top of the outboard motor and the hatch covers on either side were missing.  Weather and bad ventilation had combined to cause serious dry rot from above the waterline.  When I  went to tow it home there was about a foot of water lyinhg in yhjr boat which I pumped out.  The factory hull was in perfect condition and damage was limited to these additions by a previous owner.  He was skilled at fiberglassing because it was well thought out abnd created with compound curves and joinery.  The failure was not coating the inside of the wood with resin.  Had that been done it would have sealed out any rot.  Mt work was cut out for me.. or rather waiting to be cut out!  And the farther i cut into rotted wood the more rot I found!  I will get to the steps of the work in a bit, but fiorst I want to discuss the arrangement and motorwells in general and compare with the well in my pold sharpie.

On this boat, the rear  1/3 of the cockpit was cut off across and a main bulkhead installed blocking the interior.  Then the rear section was divided into three compartments with the motor well in the center.  It was cut thru the bottom of the boat and a cavitation tunnel constructed of glass aft toward the rudder.  There was no roy below the waterline because this was solid fiberglass.  I traced patterns on brown wrapping paper and then proceeded to cut out the rotted wood.  

An Oscillating Saw made easy work of cutting out the rotted  wood in hard to reach areas and is able to cut flush to  adjoining surfaces.  It has sanding attachments and with #50 oxide grit I was able to sand the hull smooth to accept the new wood which will be epoxied to the hull and sealed tight all the way around.

[continued in part 2]

Thursday, October 24, 2013

UPDATE: Powering small DC devices from your Boat 12v Battery

Some years ago 12 volt adapters for a laptop or boom box were bulky, expensive and wasted a lot of power in the conversion.  They basically inverted the 12 volts and then rectified it back into the desired voltage.  Some wasted as much as 30% of battery power in this process.  This was not a problem with a car alternator running, but it is a huge issue aboard a boat with only a DC Battery Bank.

So my previous post explained how I got around it by choosing a laptop whose battery was 12v and making a custom cable to bypass the charging circuit for my laptop.


Technology has brought us a modular chip that converts one voltage to another.  They are called DC to DC converters and are very efficient with little current waste in the conversion.

You can buy UNIVERSAL  12 volt power adapters on eBay for under $10 which have a slide switch to select voltage and come with an assortment of power plugs to fit your device.  Many include USM on the box so you can also charge your phone.

Input SC 11 to 15 volts
Output  15v/16v/18v/19v/20v/ @ 4.5 Amps Max  DC 22V/24V 3.75A 90W max
power:90W Max
Fuse for overload protection: 10 AMP
Stabilized output, low ripple and low interference
Power LED monitor to indicate proper output setting
Compact size and minimum weight for easy packing and traveling

Compatible with:
Acer Acernote/Travelmate/Extensa
Compaq Armada/Presario
Fujitsu Biblo/Lifebook
Gateway Solo
HP Omnibook/Pavilion
IBM Thinkpad
Micro Transport
NEC Ready/Versa
Sony Vaio/Picturebook
Toshiba Libretto/Satellite/Portege/Tecra

While sold for notebook or laptop use, these Will;l power many small devices which use less than 4 Amps at 12v.  Power tablets, your kindle, Walkman, boom box and recharge your phone.

YES they are mostly made in China but the DC tp DC converter is a module and the rest of the parts pretty common so you should have no trouble.  I have been using a UNIVERSAL one for my AC outlet to test various devices when I repair them and in spite of shorting it several times it is still going Strong after 5 years.  I am getting 2 or 3 of these to use on my boat with no more custom building.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rigging: DIY Swagging... Not Bad Sometimes!

Rigging is one of the inevitable things that catches up to you sooner or later.  Most maromnas have a rigger available that can make hydraulic swages of turnbuckles and eyes.  They will make cables to match your old ones or from specs for your model boat.

These are Liner grip swages meaning they grip against a straight pull like you gripping a rope in your hands.  That is why they have to be so strongly swagged.  You CANNOT make these swages yourself without an expensive hydraulic machine.

Now imagine that rope in your hand and instead of just gripping you wrap the rope around a post and then grip it.. the post absorbs most of that liner pull and the grip just stops it from slipping around the post!  That's why cowboys wrap the rope around a post to hold a 1600 lb steer!

There is a DIY Swagging method that works like this and it is called NICO-PRESS and SWAGE-IT makes the tool to Do It Yourself.  The Swager and cutter to match look like this...

Here is what SWAGE-IT says about the process...

Here is an economical way to make your own swagged rigging for your sailboat. These tools are much cheaper than the Hydraulic ones and may even cost less than a custom made set of standing rigging even with the cost of the cable and fittings. 

The cutter is pretty self explanatory, but the swagging tool is not obvious. The way it works is you position the sleeve in the tool and tighten the bolts with a wrench, just as in the illustration below.

When an oval sleeve is swagged properly with a "Swage-It" tool, the fitting will hold the rated strength of a copper oval sleeve. When using the tool for loop ends, one oval sleeve will hold the full strength on 7X7 or 7X19 cable.

Our standard zinc plated, copper oval sleeves are capable of supporting the tested breaking strength of the cable to which they are attached, when properly applied with a "SWAGE-IT" tool.

Always use a five to one safety factor when designing cable assemblies. If the breaking strength of the cable is 2000 lbs. (1.8" 7X19 galv. Cable) then the maximum load to which the cable is subjected should never exceed 400 lbs.

"Swage-It" tools are precision manufactured of steel. They use grade 8 bolts for strength and durability. All tools are plated for maximum rust protection and pre-lubed for working ease.

Our Zinc plated copper sleeves will work well with either stainless steel or galvanized cable

The SWAGE-IT tool comes in small and large size for up to 1/4 inch cable

Some years back I built some hang gliders and we swagged like this but had a swagger that looked like a big bolt cutter with swagging jaws.  This is very compact and toteable and I like it better as it is almost as fast using a socket wrench.

SWAGE-IT instructions assume you will use one oval swagging sleeve and you swage that 3 times to completely compress it

For 1/16" and 3/32" cable:
1) Insert bolts with washers in holes on either side of size to be used
2) Insert sleeve in proper hole (centered); tighten bolts LIGHTLY to hold sleeve in place.
3) Insert cable and double back through sleeve, extending cut end approx. 1/16" through sleeve.
4) If using thimble, insert at this time and hold cable snug against thimble while folloowing step #5.
5) Tighten bolds EVENLY to bring two halves of tool tightly together
For 1/8" cable:
Complete steps 1-5 above. Then loosen bolts, move tool and repeat step 5 at both ends of sleeve to produce THREE SWAGED AREAS separated by ridges approx 1/32" wide. 

When using 1x19 strand cable, use two sleeves at each

 I used the two sleeves and double swaged.. crimping each sleeve 3 times.  It produced a very neat swage that looked like this when done.  This was for my lifelines using existing rigging wire.


My conclusion is that this is a viable method for making repairs at sea or for many uses and as an alternative to mechanical fittings.  This costs much less with a thimble and 2 sleeves costing under $1 per swagged joint.

This would be an acceptable rigging method for small boats particularly under 28 feet.  Duckworks has a magazine article about rigging a small home built wooden boat using this method.  

Read the article making Stays and Shrouds here...

I am now planning to carry the SWAGE-IT tool and cable cutter to make emergency repairs at sea.

Here is a handy hint.. I made a safety cable with it to tether my rudder to the transon in cade it breaks loose i will not lose it completely