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    How's Your Bottom Doing These Days ?

    This isn't like the bay. There is no visibility and the water is so shallow the diver would be laying in the mud. There is a good spot with a sandy bottom near the confluence of the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers that I often use to dive on the bottom. But it's an all day trip up and back...
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    How's Your Bottom Doing These Days ?

    My boat lives in Suisun Bay near Port Chicago in a small minimum maintenance marina. The water temperature is warm and almost fresh during times of heavy flow in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. But it becomes salt in the summer when flows decrease. Barnacles aren't a much of a problem...
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    A crazy story and a forewarning to those with cockpit drains and outboard rudders

    I've towed 3 or 4 disabled power boats and I've always had them throw me their line after they secured it to their bow. That way when I got them near their dock, or launching ramp I just had to take their line off my stern cleat and throw it back to them. Using a motorless sailboat to bring in...
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    GFCI trouble shooting

    This was a common problem when GFCI's were new. Current inrush would cause the GFCI to trip. Later models were improved and the problem became rare. It's possible your CFCI is a cheap one or it's old. It should be replaced.
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    New bottom paint, old barrier coats?

    I've been several years between boats and things seem to have changed. I always removed the bottom paint with grill blocks and water. $20 plus paint and I was ready to go back in. Does no one do this anymore?
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    Sail slugs

    When replacing sail slugs make sure the new ones are identical to the old ones. When I had my sailmaker install slugs to convert my main from luff rope to slugs I couldn't get my main up. The second and third slugs from the head would tilt and jam into the luff grove. I tried lube on the slugs...
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    Pop quiz

    I was driving up the highway in western Nevada near a government proving ground. A sign along side the road said " Watch for Low Flying Aircraft". The sign gave no indication of who had the right-0f-way. The wind was from the east so I guess I was on a starboard tack.
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    Moving mast winch to cabin top for easier solo sailing

    If you single hand a 27 foot sloop you need an autohelm and halyards led to the cockpit. Unless you have all the room in the world to get your sails up and down. If the screws used to mount the mast winch go into the mast removing them might be your biggest problem. When I tried it the screws...
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    Using a trolling motor on small boat

    When the motor on my 3000 LB Columbia 22 self destructed I installed an oarlock on the transom and got a long oar. With a little practice I was able to scull anywhere I wanted to go. One windless night I sculled 2 miles against the current without a great deal of effort. Your 14 foot dingy will...
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    Great Lakes Navigation

    I cut down charts to just the parts I need to make them a size I can handle. It works good for me. Since I'm a single hander I've got to keep things simple.
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    Great Lakes Navigation

    I often sail in shallow waters where there are no channel markers or other nav aids. I need my charts to find my way through shoals and have to keep them in the cockpit for immediate use. To protect the charts and keep them from blowing away I went to the local plastics store and bought clear...
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    Merit 22 Paint question

    If you are getting water in your cockpit you might be getting water in the bilge through your cockpit drain if the hose is rotting or falling off. I had this problem after every time it rained or I washed the boat. I bought a 2 inch radiator hose at the auto parts store that had a 90 degree bend...
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    solar

    I have a 30W panel and a PWM controller and have no problem powering my autohelm and radio all day. My battery drops maybe 1/4volt after a day of sailing. I haven't used my nav lights. But I'm changing them to LED's so I don't expect any power problem. An MPPT would be more efficient. But the...
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    Max Horsepower Rating 20 ft sailboat

    It was interesting to read about using a trolling motor on a sailboat. My merit 22 came with an 8hp Honda that seemed to weigh 100 pounds. I took it off right away. It seemed like too much weight on my transom. I have an old Sears trolling motor so I thought that might work. I guess there are...
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    Max Horsepower Rating 20 ft sailboat

    You mention going 7 miles off shore to an island. You may find that no matter which engine you have that if the sea is running your propeller will be out of the water a lot. I personally don't think it's a good idea to depend on an outboard for anything more than getting a sailboat in and out...
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    Shakleton Expedition

    All that those guys went through and they all survived. An amazing accomplishment.
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    Traveller suggestions

    If you want a traveler It looks like it could be mounted on the coaming where your mainsheet blocks are attached. But I don't know if the bother of a traveler will give you enough of a performance advantage to make it worthwhile. If you have the Bristol 24 I'm thinking of it's a 6000 pound long...
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    Boating Card

    I wonder how the compliance will be in my area. Back in the late 80's or early 90's California imposed a special tax on boats. The fee was dependent on the length of the boat. When the tax was paid a sticker was issued that was to be stuck on the boats bow next to the registration sticker. Not...
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    Ugly, Ugly Sailboats

    True. It is a good looking boat.
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    Ugly, Ugly Sailboats

    I guess it depends on what you like. As a single hander Luddite who hates engines and roller furling my boat choice wouldn't please most folks who enjoy creature comforts. I also believe that except for tillers the sole purpose of wood is to rot.