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  1. The Mighty Tillermaster Autopilot On A Budget

    Among the items the prior owner of my first sailboat left for me when I bought it was an amazing little auto steering device called a Tillermaster. Over 10,000 of these grey, boxy little monstrosities were produced in Costa Mesa, CA. during the 60s all the way through the 90s but the basic design remained the same. The one on Whisper always steered a true course and, though she was a little slow to react and noisy as hell, she never quit on me. When I sold the boat, the Tillermaster went with ...

    Updated 07-19-2014 at 01:47 AM by Gregoryulrich

    Maintenance and Mechanical
  2. Off to Hawaii

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    Tomorrow I depart Marina del Rey for Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii. I am sailing solo, and looking for a passage of 22-25 days--or better, of course. The GC course is 2200NM, or 2500 statute miles.

    Thanks to all who have helped me in the preparation of Thelonious for this voyage. Should things work out as on paper, my family will meet me there for a week , and then I will head back to California--riding the gyre north and hoping to dodge the doldrums ...

    Updated 07-01-2014 at 01:06 AM by Christian Williams

  3. Carrying More Diesel

    I note that another blog here has illustrated a much nicer way to carry more diesel than my, um, traditional one -- light lines and lots of knots!
    Still, we did use a "rattle syphon" to move fuel from the tank right by the deck fill when we were about 15 miles off the WA coast and the chop had subsided to where there were no splashes on deck. As always, it's cumbersome up on deck with two of us in tethers on a rolling boat. Got 'er done, tho.

    From the dock at Astoria ...

    Updated 07-15-2014 at 11:38 AM by Loren Beach

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  4. Fuel Jugs, Bookshelf, Tell-Tale Compass

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    Fuel jugs appear on deck when a cruiser needs the option to motor past his tank capacity. For the 32-3, that's 22 gallons, or 200 miles. The four 5-gallon containers shown roughly double the cruising range to 400 miles or so.

    They're slippery plastic, however, and with only one handle there's no way to easily secure them. What's more, if placed on deck at the shrouds they badly impede movement to the foredeck. ...
  5. Flotation for the Dinghy

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    A good dinghy needs to serve many masters. I have no inflatable or outboard. No emergency life raft, either. So my 60-pound mahogany plywood Eastport pram needs to be a jack of all trades--sailboat, tender and one-man lifeboat. I wouldn't give it up, but the little pram does have limitations. Despite sealed compartments under bow and stern seats, when swamped it doesn't support enough of my weight to bail it out. It sails wonderfully, but for kids, ...

    Updated 06-19-2014 at 12:48 AM by Christian Williams

    Maintenance and Mechanical , Racing & Crusing
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