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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More boat projects

I took advantage of an unusually warm New Hampshire day and applied more bottom paint to the boat. It’s not often we get temperatures in the 60s during the month of November. I feel really good about being able to get the job done before heading south. I thought the final bit of painting would have to wait until we got to sunny Florida. While the Florida heat’s nice, the only place I could work on it at my dad’s is infested with fire ants. Fire ants are not my friend.

My custom tiller is finally completed and delivered to my house. The old “temporary” tiller had been hacked out of a 2x4. The new one was lovingly crafted from a select piece of mountain ash. It’ll be a real pleasure to sail with that in hand. A good friend of mine made it for the cost of materials.

I ordered something called “water bricks” from Amazon. They are rectangular 3.5 gallon water containers that stack up like Legos. Four of them will give me an additional 14 gallons of water and they should store well. Water is fairly heavy, 8.33 lbs/gallon -much easier to break it down into 3.5 gallon jugs than 5 or 6 gallon containers. No sense getting water containers my wife won’t want to lift.

I also ordered some marine strobe lights for the life jackets. Since we are sailing longer and longer distances, and occasionally at night, they might come in handy.

Every little thing done now means I can go sailing sooner once I get to Florida in January. I miss it already.



  1. Those life jacket strobes are good stuff. We would run one up the halyard in heavy fog. Makes one feel a little better about getting run over !

  2. Spud, I told my wife pretty much the same thing.

  3. You may want to purchase a cheap radar detector. I talked to a guy who was sailing a small boat across the Atlantic by himself and he said he got one so he could sleep more at ease at night. Seems the big ships use radar all the time and since their radar will not pick up a small fiberglass boat, he wanted to be able to pick up their radar signals and be warned of approaching ships. Sounded like a good idea to me, but will they work on all radar frequencies?

  4. Maybe leaving a little air space in case they freeze might be a good idea for those water bricks? You being from New Hampshire, you probably already have that contingency covered.

  5. Oh, fire ants... I HATE those buggers! It's a constant (losing) battle trying to get rid of them... Good call on the strobes. Also, get you a radar reflector. I've seen them on radar myself. They work!

  6. Dizzy: I'm not going too far off shore. I should be out of the main large boat channels. However, being more visible on radar is a good idea.

    Anon: My water bricks will be loaded last, and loaded into a warm camper. Air space is a good idea, just in case.

  7. Craig: They really work? I've gotten mixed messages on that. Probably should have a radar reflector on the off chance it will do the job.

  8. I was at the helm of a large offshore party boat coming back in at night, had a contact on radar about ten miles away, and as our courses converged near the jetties, it turned out to be about a 25' sailboat. Like Dizzy Dick said, small fiberglass boats don't show up on radar until your almost on top of them, but I "saw" this one ten miles away.

  9. Craig: good enough for me. That goes on the shopping list.