The lower unit on my 8hp Tohatsu was looking pretty rough. The original owner apparently did not maintain any type of sacrificial anode on the engine, and when I bought the boat the lower unit was fairly badly pitted on the outside.  I cleaned things up with a wire brush, installed a zinc, and applied new zinc anti fouling paint, and this was good enough for a couple years. Read the rest of this entry »

This is part 3 of my fuel system related posts, the previous post being about the part selection and through hull work.

Now that all the fittings were installed and ready to go it was time to install the actual tank, pump(s), filter, hoses, and do the electrical work to hook everything up. I fit the tank in through the less than roomy opening to the lazarette that was about to become my prison and personal hell for the next two days.  The tank fit through the opening with hardly any room to spare, just as I had designed it to, and slid down into the lazarette behind the rudder post without much trouble at all.  I climbed down into the lazarette for the first of far too many trips climbing in and out of there during the installation process. Read the rest of this entry »

This part 2 of my fuel system related posts, the previous post being about the planning and prep work.

Now that I had  the fuel tank designed and on the way, I had to start getting all the rest of the pieces to make the system work.  Starting with the basics, and how I was going to actually install the tank, I started doing some research. I knew that I wanted to mount the tank so that it was raised up so there was no chance of trapping water under the aluminum and causing corrosion, Initially my plan was going to epoxy in some Tee Nuts into marine plywood and epoxy / glass that into the hull for a good solid base, Read the rest of this entry »

This is part 1 of 3, to Skip ahead to the prep work click ahead to Part 2, or for the installation go to Part 3

Anyone who is familiar with my boat or has followed my projects over the years should already be aware that I have an outboard engine with a 3 gallon steel running tank that sits in a small well in the cockpit.  Access to the well is easy, and through a hatch that lifts up as long as the tiller is raised to a near vertical position. In this hatch is the fuel tank and the manual primer ball to pump fuel to the engine, and herein lies the two main problems with the design. Read the rest of this entry »

Nothing makes a long passage go quicker than favorable winds, except for favorable winds and music.   Along with all the other electrical upgrades I did this year, I also added a stereo to the boat.  I opted for the West Marine WM3000RF in part because it was about 40% off at the Grand Opening of one of the new West Marine stores this year, but mostly because it was the only unit that I found that had every one of the features I wanted; RF remote, 3.5mm aux input, USB input, AM/FM/CD, and of course it had to be marinized (EDP-coated, rust-resistant chassis, conformal-coated circuit boards in this case).  As an additional bonus, this unit also has SD card support, rear RCA inputs, and a IR remote. The 40% off sale just sped up my purchasing decision.

Stereo Installation Location

Stereo Installation Location

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Every ship needs a Ships Bell.  My ship needed a bell, so I picked this one up at Defender on clearance for $7.  I used extra line from the flag halyard that was replaced this year and made a very simple but still nice looking bell rope.

As a former owner of a wireless company who spent a fair amount of time out in the field and up on cellular towers installing or fixing equipment, One of the things that has bothered me since the day I bought the boat was the way the VHF cable was ran through the deck and connected to the mast cable.  It was ran through a hole in the deck and sealed with silicone, had a male connector attached to the end, had a female to female barrel connector on that, with another male connector on the end of the cable coming down the mast.  This meant that A) the connectors were not secured anywhere and thus able to move around unrestrained, and B) the female barrel connector was serving no purpose other than connecting the two male connectors since it seems no-one manufacturers female cable ends.

Old Fitting

Old Fitting

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I don’t have as much storage onboard as I would like (who does?), it’s a trade off for having an unusually large amount of cabin space for a 27 footer.  I had a week long trip scheduled in early August, and I had been thinking about what can I do to add storage space before departing.   This project had been on my mind for quite some time, but I just hadn’t came up with any good solutions. One day I saw a post that another sailor had done where he essentially built a shoe rack in the cabin of his MacGregor for additional storage.  That got me thinking and I started googleing shoe racks for ideas, and I came across this rather interesting design from Ikea Read the rest of this entry »

The reasons for adding cabin fans are self evident.  I got the Hella Marine Jet Single Speed fans, they don’t move a ton of air, but it’s enough to create a pleasant feeling draft and they don’t use much power so they can be left on all day without any concern about the power drain.  Installation was fairly simple, although running the wires was a little tricky. I also added an additional 5A breaker to the panel for the fans.

I didn’t like the way the power cord was routed on the fans, so I drilled an extra hole in the mounting base to allow the power to go through the base and the hole be concealed by the base as well.

After a number of overnight trips this season, this simple upgrade was well apprecieated!

When I had the bimini made, I asked them to install a hinge allowing the frame to collapse and fold up for those days you don’t need the bimini, but they told me that the hinge necessary was A) not available, and B) would cost over $100 each of they did. So I accepted that from the canvas shop and never gave it much thought, until I came across this part from which was exactly what I had wanted since day one.  I ordered 2 immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

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