Marine Parts Clearance

0 comments for “Marine Parts Clearance

  1. Anonymous
    June 4, 2005 at 9:26 pm

    Why not use a Low viscosity epoxy resin. Longer kick time and then gravity will have more time to work it’s magic.

  2. June 4, 2005 at 11:11 pm

    Good question. I hate to say it, but the reason is cost. The expoxies are more expensive than the polyesters. We will need at least 25 gallons of resin to seal the keel. If polyester will penetrate well enough I would rather use that. I am using infusion resin which is pretty thin.

  3. Anonymous
    June 10, 2005 at 10:47 am

    Once the infusion resin starts to kick though it will go off with a bang! Careull how much you use because I believe the heat created can cause more problems. Even the epoxy will get really hot if you use much of it.

    Do you really think that it will take 25 gallons? Did you measure it with Alcohol?

  4. June 11, 2005 at 11:56 pm

    Yes. I did some experiments filling a pint bucket with some old steel nuts and bolts, then filled it with catalized resin. It didn’t get nearly as hot as ten ounces of plain catalyzed resin (no steel). So expect the steel ballast will absorb much of the heat. Even then, I will only be loading up 3-5 gallons at a time, letting it cure before the next batch.

    Yes, 20 gallons of alcohol did NOT fill up the keel. I was surprised.

  5. Anonymous
    June 12, 2005 at 1:30 am

    Funny, you’re putting one in and I’m removing mine. Have it out now and am putting on an external fitting. Had a 32 before and picked up blisters begining at the bobstay fitting. Hope you mounted yours 6″ or so above the water line.

  6. June 12, 2005 at 4:55 am

    It is not exactly six inches above the waterline. Maybe more like three or four. I will am thinking about installing it differently than originally spec’d. Specifically, I will vacuum bag a layer of fiberglass around ‘wings’ of the stainless fitting itself. Use methacrylate adhesive to bond the fitting to the hull. Then staggered layers of mat/roving on the inside against the hull. Top it off with 5200 on the outside. Also, leave a lead to bond the bobstay fitting with the rest of the bonding system.

    Also, the fitting is 318 SS instead of 304 SS as the original factory used. Should be a bit more resistive to corrosion.

  7. Anonymous
    June 12, 2005 at 10:01 pm

    It wasn’t the corrosion I had a problem with. It was water intrusion into the area between the fitting and the hull. Any water in that area can seep into the hull laminates.

  8. June 12, 2005 at 10:53 pm

    Vacuum infusion should ensure there are is no air pockets for water to intrude. Even on the laminate cross section. If the factory simply skinned the back of the fitting, then squirted sealant in from the front (as is described in the construction manual) then I can see water can get in there eventually, I will be using thickened resin to make sure all gaps are filled.

  9. Anonymous
    June 14, 2005 at 12:03 am

    provided it has the same coeffecient of expansion that the hull has and no undo stress on the fitting then all theoretically would be ok. Because of the stress and different coefficient expansion of the the parts I would still worry. But alas, that’s what makes us all sailors, the differences. 🙂 Good luck.

  10. June 14, 2005 at 12:52 am

    Vynlester resins have more “give” when under stress than polyesters. Certainly more than epoxy.

  11. June 14, 2005 at 1:49 am

    Coefficients of expansion??? I would realy be surprised if the hull expanded significantly over this 1/2 inch opening where there is at least 1 inch of laminates.

  12. Anonymous
    June 22, 2005 at 1:27 am

    You don’ t need much difference. Just enough difference that the bond is broken.

  13. June 22, 2005 at 4:36 am

    send me those coefficients when you got em.

  14. Anonymous
    July 19, 2005 at 12:30 am

    If you have time to mess about with a blog site I think I know one Westsail 42 that will never be finished! ‘Hope I am wrong, though. As an owner of ‘Elan, a W42K, and knowing the time that just maintenance consumes with a boat this size, you have a full time job with the boat!

  15. July 19, 2005 at 2:53 am

    Gee thanks for the words of encouragement. Yeah, this blog takes up ALL of my day. 5 minutes to make a post. I sleep the rest of the day.

    Between my wife and I, we have over twenty years around boats (much of it maintaining them, if not replacing systems). So, I guess were stupid. We dont know anything.
    You’re right, we should just quit.

    You wanna buy the damn thing?

  16. August 2, 2005 at 12:48 am

    I have found your blog and hope you keep it up. I’m in the market for a Westsail 42 and will watch with interest as to what you do with yours.

  17. Anonymous
    August 5, 2005 at 10:22 pm

    Different Anonymous.. Me thinks Elan may be close to the truth. 5 years is quite ambitious considering what has been completed in the last 4 months. I hope you’re able to do it. We’re putting the cabin sole in Elysium and it’s taking two months of full time work for two people and it’s still not completed yet. We expect to be varnishing next week but the work on these boats is tremendous.

  18. August 6, 2005 at 6:24 pm

    Well, A lot has been going on besides what is being posted. Much of it has been design work, planning of hardware, mechanical, stuff like that, before we can get on with the floors. This unexpected keel project has taken this long because of the difficulty in estimating how much resin was needed. You run out, you have to stop, and you cant just go down to the local hardware store and buy more. The floors are the next big milestone, as, you cant do much more inside until you have the floors in. Still, work is starting on rudder parts and other exterior bits in paralell (not by me).

  19. Anonymous
    October 25, 2005 at 7:54 pm

    Enjoying your website. cummins makes a 65 hp diesel that you may want to consider. I believe it is around 10k with transmission.

  20. Anonymous
    June 28, 2006 at 3:57 am

    Hope you haven’t given up. Been over a month since anything is happening here.

  21. June 28, 2006 at 4:26 am

    Dave Kall, is that you?

    Well, yes, quite a lot of design has been done. I havent been bothering the blog with all the details. However, I am taking 3 weeks on the small boat before we consider selling her (the small boat). So things will be quiet for a few more weeks.

    Hope that is ok with you!

  22. Anonymous
    July 24, 2006 at 12:04 am

    Like the CADs. Hope you’ll post more as you get them.

  23. Anonymous
    July 24, 2006 at 12:04 am

    Hi Robert,
    My wife and I are also building a boat from a bare hull. We have a 53′ Skookum hull that was purchased in 1978 and never really worked on. We are currently framing the back deck. We are also in Washington State. Let me know if you’d like to compare notes. My email address is Please don’t publish my email address in your blog.


  24. Anonymous
    July 24, 2006 at 12:04 am

    Really enjoying your postings. I’m looking at buying a 48 ft 30,000 displ. hull/deck at about the stage where you were after removing the bad joists. We’re on a similar time line – looking at 10 years (5-15). Are you tracking your time (to date)? Spent quite a bit of time epoxy plugging, painting and re-bedding hardware on our Newport 28 – takes twice as long and costs twice as much, they say. I’d be very interested in some of the references you find most helpful.

  25. July 24, 2006 at 12:04 am

    Really enjoying your postings. I’m looking at buying a 48 ft 30,000 displ. hull/deck at about the stage where you were after removing the bad joists. We’re on a similar time line – looking at 10 years (5-15). Are you tracking your time (to date)? Spent quite a bit of time epoxy plugging, painting and re-bedding hardware on our Newport 28 – takes twice as long and costs twice as much, they say. I’d be very interested in some of the references you find most helpful.

  26. Anonymous
    July 24, 2006 at 12:04 am

    Really enjoying your postings. I’m looking at buying a 48 ft 30,000 displ. hull/deck at about the stage where you were after removing the bad joists. We’re on a similar time line – looking at 10 years (5-15). Are you tracking your time (to date)? Spent quite a bit of time epoxy plugging, painting and re-bedding hardware on our Newport 28 – takes twice as long and costs twice as much, they say. I’d be very interested in some of the references you find most helpful.

  27. Anonymous
    July 18, 2007 at 1:02 pm


    I have been watching your boat building progress for about a year and am very impressed with your workmanship. The drive installation looks very impressive!!

    Jay Bietz
    WS32 Pygmalion #567

  28. Anonymous
    October 25, 2007 at 3:39 am

    Rob, Are you going to paint the bilge before you loose access to it? If not why not? Curious as to your thoughts on the matter.

    Your old friend 😉 Dave

  29. October 25, 2007 at 3:47 am

    Hey Dave,

    Don’t worry. Everything will get painted. Except for the floor supports, nothing is really “permanent” just yet. Once everthing is dryfitted (battery box, tanks, etc.), I will do the final glueing, then spray everything under the floor with bilgecoat, then do the final installation. I dont need to worry until I am ready to do above floor cabinets. Which is a ways yet (maybe this summer).

  30. Anonymous
    February 3, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Great design. I have the head forward and large forward locker that we want to remodel.

    In our view it is important for guests and or children have privacy.

    Great website. Thanks for taking the time to update.



    SV Summer Solstice
    Liberty Bay

  31. Gary
    February 14, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Hello –
    I’m in the process of finishing a westsail 32 kit boat that has never been launched. I have to sand the deck and repaint as the gelcoat is in bad shape with a lot of cracks. I tried sanding with my little Dewald RO sander but its pretty inefectual. Could you recommend a sander please?
    Thanks for any help!

  32. w42
    February 14, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Hello Gary,

    Great question. It depends on what you are seeking to do with the gelcoat. If you are seeking to “remove” the gelcoat, a RO sander wont get you very far. You need to grind it off with grinder, or find someone with those “gelcoat planer” devices.

    However, if simply you are filling and fairing cracks in the existing gelcoat, a RO with aggressive grind/sand disks, like 24 or 36 grit, should work. I used a 6 inch Porter Cable RO (corded) with 24 grit to remove nonskid and fair the deck on our 28 footer. That worked pretty well. I initially tried 80 grit and that pretty much did nothing.

    Hope that helps

  33. Gary
    February 15, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for the reply!

    Which Porter cable do you have?

  34. w42
    February 15, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    We have the PorterCable 7366. Its about ten years old and has really taken a beating. We also used it to sand off bottom paint a few years ago.
    5 speed. You can get a dust hood for it. A bit on the heavy side.

  35. Gary
    February 19, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Thank again for all the help.
    My next dilemma is how to paint the decks….

    I was reading up on your small boat makeover and saw that you used Sterling.
    I’m leaning towards interlux high build primer and perfection for the finish coat. Have you had any experience with this stuff? My reasoning is that it will be easier to roll and tip this paint than the awlgrip.
    I’m very nervouse about painting the deck. I hope I don’t screw it up!

  36. w42
    February 19, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Never used the Interlux 2-part polyurethane. However, as with any paint that is high gloss, proper preparation is the key. Application to a rough unfair, dirty surface, or, poor application can really screw up the paint job.

    A boat a couple slips down from us quickly rolled/tipped LPU on his decks, with the boat in the water, without sufficient prep and it really looked bad. It probably would have looked better had he applied single part enamel with a brush.

    good luck.

  37. Gary
    March 13, 2008 at 4:55 am

    Makes the boat look like a wannabee super yacht!

  38. w42
    March 13, 2008 at 5:45 am

    Yeah, the drop ladder kind of makes it look that way, eh?

  39. Gary
    March 16, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Yeah….what about in a following sea? Huge spout of water comes up the ladder slot?

  40. March 16, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    That was issue was not forgotten. The decking on the pulpit would NOT be solid. Rather, it would be something like fiberglass grate with 1 inch square hole pattern. It would quite readily allow water through, regardless if it came from above or below.

    And, the dinghy would NOT be stowed there while offshore or in big seas. It would go on deck. Davits would only be used for inshore areas.

  41. Anonymous
    April 4, 2008 at 4:15 am

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  42. GB
    April 14, 2008 at 1:41 am

    Good progress – keep it up!
    We started a similar blog about our project
    Nothing near as big of a project as yours but much more work than we originally anticipated. Its funny, I dread going to the boat on fiberglass sanding days but somehow enjoy it when I’m working.

  43. May 6, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Cor. I like your slideshow. I want one.

  44. May 6, 2008 at 1:14 pm


    The slide show is pre-release on blogger. See on the new gadgets and how to use them


  45. May 20, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Looking good!

  46. GB
    July 4, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Good work man! You are doing a great job on everything….she is going to be much better than the factory boats.

  47. July 10, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Interesting re: tapered-valve through-hulls vs. ball valve. In my copy of Good Old Boat, Don Casey says “The best seacocks, by a wide margin, are ball valves.” Thoughts?

    As far as Marelon goes, the only decent argument against them is from a friend of mine who said “I sail close to rocks”. From the inside, all seacocks/throughhulls are required to accept a lot of force (500lb come to mind but don’t quote me) at the point furthest from the hull…so Marelon, Bronze, or otherwise, if ABYC approved, can handle quite a beating.

  48. rl
    July 10, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    The argument for tapered valves, that they can easily be rebuilt, over ball valves, is quite a minor justification IMHO.

    “sailing close to rocks” would be a good reason for bronze I suppose! But a flush mount thru hull should take care of that!

    Besides in all of the search for marelon, I have not heard of a thru hull failing because it broke from side impact.

    thanks for the comment

  49. July 11, 2008 at 1:25 am

    True, rebuilding is a good argument; the argument against was that they’re prone to problems and require significant regular maintenance (rebuilding), whereas ball valves seem to require only lubrication and last as long even without rebuilding. Not much personal experience on this, just curiosity. On my boat, the tapered stuff needs to be taken care of every 2-3 years at least, but are 20 years old; the ball valves seem to be trouble-free but are only 4 years old.

    Also curious ( I haven’t read the standards), what does ABYC say in support of tapered-plugs? I thought the recent standards didn’t specify ball or taper, and didn’t even require a flange, but _did_ require a static 500lb test.

    On Marelon, I agree again…next through-hull I replace will be marelon.

  50. rl
    July 11, 2008 at 1:38 am


    My experiences are similar to yours. Our W/C flanged tapered plug seacocks on our 28 footer only get lubrication every 2-3 years. Last year, we rebuilt them for the first time in 25 years, which included removal. Removal was the hard part, rebuilding was easy.

    I just looked up the ABYC specs and you are correct. Flanged or threaded ball valves doesnt matter, as long as it withstands the 500 lb force:

    “27.7.1 A seacock shall be securely mounted so that the system will withstand a 500 pound static force applied for 30 seconds to the inboard end of its connecting fitting, at any point in its most vulnerable direction, without the system failing to perform as intended.”

    Thanks for clarifying my error.

    I think I got the “no ball-valve-threaded-onto-thruhull” from the few surveyors we have talked to. They seemed to emphasize flanged seacocks where possible. Perhaps it is because “one less joint” to fail?

    My memory is cloudy on that one obviously.

    Oh, there could be one more issue with flanged bronze seacocks. When we rebuilt ours, you could not interchange parts between assemblies. Ones plug and housing would be machined slightly different than the other. You cant get parts for these anymore, and if you found a used one you wanted for parts, they might not fit.

  51. July 11, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    P.S. on your “flanged” comment on the last paragraph…did you mean flanged or tapered? I can see how either can be worn down to not be interchangeable. Flange bolts etc. can not line up, and tapered plugs can be lapped to their own parts so if you mix them they would leak.

  52. July 11, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    I actually don’t have the abyc code handy so I’m more relying on your resources than trying to point out any errors 🙂
    First, tapered vs. ball valves: from what I’ve heard (I’ve never actually done this) these require taking appart, lapping, and lubricating every several years. Mine get jammed and leak, but again, they’re 20 years old.

    Second, flanges: I’ve seen both, and although it’s possible to convince me otherwise, the flanged kind just look stronger. I’ve installed both, worked with both…and I would not install a non-flanged fitting of the kind I’ve seen used. I think the flange definition was there on the ’77 standard and went away in ’88, but not sure of the date on that.

  53. rl
    July 11, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    I guess I was meaning the flanged AND tapered plug seacocks as for poor interchangeability. At least the ones we have.

    I am with you on sticking with flanged bases. In the case of marelon, the cost is not that much more.

    I could see using thru-hull-threaded-on-ball-valves ABOVE the waterline. Maybe for drains or something. But not below WL.

  54. July 11, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Agreed…but even then, in sailboats the standard is above “maximum heeled waterline” I believe, so if you’re going to go to the effort to install a valve, why not spend the extra few bucks?

  55. July 13, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Looks great!

  56. Anonymous
    July 30, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I found your blog a few days ago, great stuff. Yesterday I bought a Whitby 42 is need of restoration(similar layout to the Westsail 42). Prior to purchasing I had been war gaming the steering setup. Have you looked at the Edson setup

    Also Lewmar has a rod system called “mamba”. Similar cost issues as it is a UK company.

    I can be contacted at gtod25 at



  57. rl
    July 30, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Hello Gerry,

    Yes, we have a contact at Lewmar for the Mamba system, but have not really pursued that line. As you mentioned, I suspect the costs will be similar to the Jefa system.

    The current cable system design is using Edson components. Despite the fact it will require a couple custom fabricated aluminum brackets, it should not be too difficult to install.

  58. Anonymous
    July 30, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Do you have a side view of the new steering system. I am having a hard time visualizing it.

    What type of bearing/gland system did you use to support the rudder shaft as it entered the hull. The Whitby 42 one is famous for leaking.


  59. Anonymous
    August 3, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Great info, thanks. Will watch with interest and contribute when I feel I have something worthwhile.

  60. September 8, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    I wish my fuel tanks looked like that.

  61. September 8, 2008 at 2:37 pm


    Just taking a break from TIH to get fiberglass out of my hair. Ref your steering, please see this link.

    I’m not suggesting for a minute that I will get permission from the Admiral to run a S/S pole down the middle of the aft cabin but the idea has some merit.


  62. September 8, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    wait till you see what I have in store for the tanks themselves! 😉

  63. September 18, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Remember to plan stowage for paper charts. A lexan (or similar) sheet that could be laid on top of a chart in use might be an interesting idea. This could be removed when not underway.


  64. September 21, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Yeah, my wife espcially wants this. We are thinking of installing shallows drawers underneath the main dinette riser specifically for charts.

  65. September 22, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    I have followed your progress with interest. I am building a 32′ sailboat of similar design. I also used coosa in similar applications. Now using corecell, especially because of thermo formability in radius structures.

  66. Anonymous
    September 26, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    On our boat we too discovered those spaces. But we did cut openings in the floor to access them and we’ve used them for more storage. Even though one thinks the 42 has infinite room she doesn’t. Ironically I think our WS 32 had more but more than likely it’s that we’re older and we have more.


  67. September 26, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Yeah, I hear what you are saying Dave. When I was looking at the space I asked my self “Am I really going to pull up boards and/or get upside to reach down in there to store something?”

    Answer, probably not. And if I did, I would completely forget about what I stored there. We have a couple spaces like that on our 28: “Oh! Thats where that went!”


  68. Paul
    October 2, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    I admitily have not followed your blog in some time, but conserning your interior design issues I urge you to contact the owner of Maruska. The owner is a great guy who did most of his work in the yard we keep our Pearson. Talented and resourceful. maybe a way to get a hold of him also he has had a few articals in Good 'ole boat as well, tell him Absum the red boat sent ya 🙂

  69. October 7, 2008 at 1:42 pm


    Indeed, it’s an short introduction in fiberglass boat building.

    Searching the net I found your blog very descriptive, so I thought it will be a good reference.

    Keep on the nice work!

  70. Anonymous
    October 12, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    How timely. I’m about to go to the Annapolis boat show to talk to Glacier Bay about their system. I’ll push them more on the electrical switching systems.

  71. rj
    October 12, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    I’d be interested to hear what the latest is with Glacier Bay’s system.

  72. Anonymous
    October 13, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Howdy RJ
    I saw both the Glacier Bay guys and the E-Motion guys. Too much to go into detail here, but will update my own pages soon with what I have. To summarize:
    Glacier Bay now only seems to offer the 25kw generator, which is entirely too big to fit to any sensibly sized monohull. They did tell me, however, that they plan on making the systems more modular, which will allow them (or us) to use any suitable generator.

    E-Motion: meeting these guys, esp. Dave Tether, completely changed my mind about going with them .I’d originally written them off for several reasons. But they know what they’re talking about, they’re sensible about how the do things, and they seem to be reasonable. They had a ready answer for every reason I had to not go with them…and a good one at that. I think the problem is they don’t portray that on their website. They also said (in a manner that was educational rather than mud-slinging) that word in the industry is that Glacier Bay is not doing that well, that there have been problems with the common-rail-injection engines in the marine environment, and that the Nordhavn hybrid boats caught fire. Part of what made me change my mind is their commitment…they had a smaller and more removed booth than Glacier Bay, but they had more expertise by far: They had a guy there who didn’t know much beyond the construction of their motors, but knew that inside and out. Dave Tether himself is a wealth of information and knowledge, and talking to him you know he’s done his research.

    Anyway, I’ll write more details on my DE pages and online ship’s log. If you’re interested, I’ll post a link here.

  73. rj
    October 13, 2008 at 1:58 pm


    Yes, I am impressed with the information on E-Motions website and Dave Tether’s videos he has on YouTube.

    Glacier Bay, though a more “slick” looking website, hasnt been updated for a long time, so I have been wondering about just how serious these guys are.

    Please, post a link to your DE pages and I will cross reference from here if you dont mind!


  74. Anonymous
    October 13, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Howdy RJ
    My notes and research etc. on DE are here:
    I still haven’t updated from the boat show much but it’s a work in progress.
    I also post ideas and less concrete stuff on my ship’s log at occasionally.

  75. Anonymous
    October 16, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    That brings back memories…it’s also annoying when you’re painting topsides and sweat is dripping through your respirator onto your brand new paintjob!

  76. Anonymous
    October 22, 2008 at 2:57 am


    So, I see two fuel fittings (feed and return, presumably), and two other “small” fittings (tank vent…and what?). Where’s the fuel fill fitting?
    Or are you planning on filling these from the fitting using a pump from the main tank, with the main fuel fill on the main tank only?

  77. rj
    October 22, 2008 at 3:02 am

    Hey mickey,

    The small 1″ npt ports are for:

    1- fuel feed (to engine
    2- fuel return (from engine
    3- vent
    4- fill (pumped from the mains, not the deckfill)

    Exactly how these will all be connected together (i.e. manifolds, pumps, valves, filters) has not been completed designed until we know exactly what needs to run off the fuel. In fact not all ports may be used. But they are there if needed.


  78. Anonymous
    October 22, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Grand! that was my guess! Do you plan on filtering/polishing between your main and the day tanks? Within your main tank? If so, any thoughts on polishers yet?

    I’m waiting to see your switching/manifold system.

  79. rj
    October 22, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Yeah, polishing is a planned feature. Also, I hope to plumb things such any one of the tanks can be isolated in the case of contamination.

    Check out the “Filter Boss” from kti systems. A device designed to allow polishing and multiple filters. Comes in a couple of variants, but they have their own special manifold system. I was figuring installing something like this.

  80. October 23, 2008 at 3:34 am

    I really enjoy your site. My wife and I are looking for a project boat. I think I will check the Westsail out. There are several for sale around the great lakes.
    Colin, Amherstburg

  81. October 25, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Nice, nice, work.


  82. December 15, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Check out this guys sailing blog. He left the Great lakes with wife and 2 kids in a woody and is holed up in Newfoundland for the Winter. Today he saved a guys life.

  83. Anonymous
    January 13, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I am firmly in the Electra San “hate” category. The boat I bought had one installed, and I had constant problems with odor that I fought with no avail with new hoses, gaskets, etc.

    When I removed the Electra San — to the huge amusement of my dockmates as I walked to the dumpster with a dripping sewage system in my hands — and went to a standard holding tank, the odor problem was eliminated.

    Also, during the treatment phase, my amp meter totally redlined — these things use a lot of juice.

    Paul Kessinger

  84. January 14, 2009 at 12:22 am

    Greetings exalted one. Finally an area where we disagree. Vacuflush is stinkpot stuff, no place on a blow boat. Still as they say, its your boat.

    Paul: Interesting about the Lectra San, I am still looking at one but am open to being educated. How old was your system?, was it a “scan” (old model) or a “san” (new model).



  85. rj
    January 14, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Ok Gerry. You are not gonna get away a statement like that without providing some support!

    So… Vacuflush is “stinkpot” because?????

    Please, relay your experiences (or those you may have heard of).

    I’m open. To be honest, it is being considered simply because I can get a REALLY GOOD price on the stuff. And I don’t want a conventional manual head (been there done that).

    Regarding the Raritan product. The “Lectra-San” is the old one. “Electro-Scan” is the new “improved” one. I just discovered it first came out in 1974! Primary complaints seem to come from those who repair them. Most causes for problems are user error (flushing something that shouldn’t). Others problems seem to be malfunctioning electronics, poor salinity etc.

    Current thought is I might install an Electro-Scan on one head, but not the other.


    PS. Please refrain from addressing me as ‘exalted one’. You should refer to me as ‘hack’, ’cause that is what I am LOL!

  86. January 14, 2009 at 1:49 am

    Hi Rob

    Got my san and scans mixed up. Ahhh the “good price” trap. Than sounds familiar and its probably the reason I have acquired a 5.5Kw generator. Ref the vacuflush, I have actually worked on one. I was begged, cajoled and finally bribed heavily to unblock it. It actually was not a major undertaking. Those things are well built. BUT..all that technology to move a turd 3 feet???? There was a funny postscript to the task but as this is a family blog…

  87. Anonymous
    January 14, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Gerry and Rob —

    Mine was the old “San”, maybe the Scan is better.

    I really think the odor problem was that it just wasn’t treating the poop and remnants were always decomposing in the system. On the other hand, it drew a pile of amps during the cycle so you’d think something was getting zapped in there someplace.


  88. rj
    January 14, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Usually, for “properly” installed heads, most smells originate from the decaying tiny critters in the seawater used for flushing.

    For this reason, VacuFlush recommends using fresh water. This slightly complicates incorporation of an Electro-Scan as it requires salty water to do its job. I think I read that without salt, the electrodes can be damaged. Hence, the “salt feed tank” option for the Electro-Scan.

    Apparently the newer units monitor salinity and will not work if there is too little or too much salt.

    But I wonder that with VacuFlush (or Lavacs) as they use less water, therefore higher concentration of salt, might cause problems?


  89. January 14, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Wow, I actually have an answer to the salt question. I read/heard from a used who kept a salt container in the head and if the system was being used in fresh water (e.g river/lake) simply dropped a spoon of salt in the bowl.

  90. rj
    January 15, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Yeah, we stayed on a boat in USVI that kept a case of Morton Salt behind the head for use with the Lectra-San.

  91. January 19, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Like your blog! What a challenge and thrill it must be to take on such a project. I bet the reward of a finished boat will be well worth all the effort.

    You may not recall, but I put your blog on my website, Sailing and Such, a while back. I just recently began blogging myself and I would love to be able to keep up with yours. I wonder if I could suggest adding the Followers Widget to your blog so that people could follow your blog easier, it notifies people when you post a new entry. I would be a follower!

  92. rj
    January 19, 2009 at 2:48 am


    Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, I found SailingAndSuch a few weeks back thanks for the link (should be linked back on the sidebard).

    I’ll look into adding the widget. Never had followers till now ;-).


  93. January 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Any chance that the halyards were meant to run external to the mast. i.e. over the sheaves. Do you have exit holes in the mast about 6 feet above the deck?

  94. rj
    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    We were wondering about that. There are no exit holes (actually no holes at all except for shroud attachment points).

    But, the sheaves are set so “deep” into the headbox (see the holes closest to the center of the headbox in the pic) that I doubt this setup is for external halyards. At least that is my guess.

    Very strange.

  95. January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Sorry for the sad sketch but does this make sense.

    This was the arrangement on my last boat.

  96. January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Go to photo 120.

  97. rj
    January 21, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Ahh. I see what you mean!

    Well, on your sketch, where the small sheave forward is on your drawing, there was a toggle installed. So, no sheave there. The rest of the arrangement would limit the sails to something like only a main and jib.

    Some of these did come with spinnakers. No roller furling for jibs back then so dual jib halyards were unlikely.
    There is no opening for the staysail halyard either so that may have been external as well.

    So, I guess it is possible it was intended to be rigged for external halyards!

    Seems somewhat messy and limiting IMHO.

    Seems it could be easily converted to internal if those holes could be drilled.

    I will have to ask around the Westsail forum see if external rigging was originally spec’d.

    Thanks for that! This is somewhat enlightening.

  98. Anonymous
    January 21, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    I don’t know if it can be of any help, but on my boat ( Tanzer 26, 1980 ) there are only 2 halyards, all external to the mast. The spinaker halyard is carried by a block afix to the mast head crane.

  99. January 23, 2009 at 2:13 am

    Ref the mystery. Running backstays is all I can come up with, but it should be higher up to counteract the staysail.

  100. January 23, 2009 at 2:26 am

    Just to add to your misery, have you considered a sloop or cutter rig. The sloop would require along boom but it may be feasible. The Whitby 42’s evolved into the Brewer 12.8 which was a cutter. The mast was moved aft, which might or might not be a major undertaking.

  101. rj
    January 23, 2009 at 3:00 am

    Yeah, we considered a sloop/cutter way before this. Same problem. Compression post is too far aft and would get in the way walking forward.

  102. January 25, 2009 at 3:09 am

    Just two questions;

    Would your wife like to do some contract work in Miami (its warm here).


    what is her hourly rate?

  103. February 5, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Watching the thru-hulls with interest. I posted some comments on Marelon on my blog.

    Chilly here in Miami, low 40’s last night. We may have to burn the palm trees for heat.

  104. tania
    February 21, 2009 at 12:06 am

    i have a project and i need help plzzzzzz

    in what order these go ( im a girl and i have no idea 🙂

    1. hull
    2. deck
    3. engine
    propeller shaft
    fuel tank
    fuel filters
    4. sails
    5. masts
    6. boom
    7. roller furling
    8. wires
    9. sheets
    10. blocks

    generator , batteries, lights, charger , circuit panels

    stove, propane tank, hose, solenoid, sink , faucet, microwave

    head : toilets, pump, sanitation hose, sink , faucet, shower,

    fresh water system: tank pump accumulator, hose

    i need the order of these categories and sub categories in order to build a sail boat

    thank you for all the help 🙂

  105. rj
    February 21, 2009 at 12:13 am

    That order doesn’t sound too bad.

  106. February 22, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Interesting looking product, Coosa board.

    Do you nail/screw it like plywood, or glass it in?

  107. rj
    February 23, 2009 at 12:27 am

    It will take nails and screws. Though smaller tapping screws have a tough time making a bite.

  108. February 26, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Watching with much interest, mind your fingers.


  109. March 1, 2009 at 4:43 am

    What are you up to with that much cloth?

  110. rj
    March 1, 2009 at 4:54 am

    tabbing bulkheads and framing, though that roll will be more than I ever need. But it was most cost effective to buy it by the roll.

    Maybe I will build a second boat with the leftovers lol!

  111. March 6, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Great pics to find, I love the history of it all. So impressed with your progress.

  112. March 10, 2009 at 2:17 am

    Nice work, but I’m just a little curious. Normally I would bolt the track using flush head bolts. This would allow track slides to move forward or aft as necessary.

  113. rj
    March 10, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Ah, the bolts are temporary. This project was simply to get holes drilled and the backing plates aligned perfectly with the track.

    Just before deck bonding the bolts and track will be removed. Once the 5200 is applied and the deck is lowered, the bolts will go back in, this time from the TOP with NO TRACK, in order to clamp the joint while the adhesive sets up.

    Finally, when the caprail is finished and trimmed out, the track goes on with proper flat head stainless bolts (that is a ways away yet).

    Make sense?
    There will be a quiz on Friday.

  114. March 10, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Much clearer now. It sometimes helps when I read all the text, but then again not always.

  115. March 12, 2009 at 1:50 am

    When working with 5200 I would recommend shaving off ALL body hair before starting work. It makes later cleaning of self much less painful.

  116. rj
    March 12, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Right! I forgot to list a Tyvek.

  117. March 23, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Nice to see you using the Wema senders also; it felt good to replace the ancient swing-arm junk in my tanks with those! I’m using 3 of the Maretrons, but am really curious to see if that new Blue Sea unit will use the mystery port to pass the data onto N2K. Of course, the budget approach would just be a micro with a multichannel A/D input; it’s a linear resistance change and with a bit of filtering (and even tank-shape lookup table) you could do just as well for a fraction of the cost (and lots more time!).

    Cheers from Nomadness,

  118. April 3, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    So what were his reasons for making these changes? Same sail are you said, but better balance I assume.

  119. rj
    April 3, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Possibly. We have no spars except for a couple masts, and those are a bit light (not even sure they were intended for a W42).

    New rig will at least be stronger and stiffer with the keel step and double spreaders.

    The original W42 drawings showing the rig is kind of scary by today’s standards.

  120. April 5, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Before we did our infusion we surfed Youtube and came across your infusions. They were very informative and greatly assisted in our decision to go ahead with the infusion.
    We used Kinetix R246TX Resin with Kinetix H160 slow hardener. Standard 1:4 mix which gave us time even though we were working in 30+ temperatures.
    Thanks for the kind words
    Trials and tribulations

  121. April 7, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Congratulations, great work.


  122. April 10, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Congratulations! ONE GIANT STEP FORWARD. How much extra 5200 was there to remove? I find estimating the goo to be a delicate art… I’m not artistic like that… always a mess. Looks great.

  123. rj
    April 11, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Well, I estimated 28 tubes, ordered 24 (two cases) used 17 + 1 i already had == 18. We estimate about one tube of excess “squeezed out” was scraped and went into the trash.

    I cant imagine what it would have been like using a manual caulk gun. My hand would probably be broken.

  124. Jak
    April 13, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    A couple questions:
    Will there be a bowsprit under there?
    Will stays attach to this?

  125. rj
    April 14, 2009 at 3:06 am

    Yes, I plan on a pole fitting for an asym or similar sail.

    Yes, the forestay will attach to the end, but the inner stay (staysail) will not.

  126. April 14, 2009 at 5:22 am


    Glen here, an Ingrid 38 builder. Jak, told me about your site as I’m wrestling with the same bowsprit issues right now. Would you mind sharing tubing size and wall thickness with me.


  127. rj
    April 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm


    The platform tubing is 2 inch schedule 40 pipe (actual o.d. is 2.375).

    I added some dimensions to the PDF if that helps.


  128. Anonymous
    April 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm


    The additional information is great. Please let me know if I can assist you at some point. I’m retired, but do metal art and have a complete CNC machine shop in my studio, lathe, mill, and plasma table.


    S/V Semper Fi

  129. rj
    April 15, 2009 at 1:33 pm


    Thanks for the offer. Oooo, I wish I had room for a CNC table.

    I am trying to convince my wife to learn welding. She has been thinking about doing metal art type stuff. I know nothing of welding (other than the theory! lol).


  130. Anonymous
    April 16, 2009 at 12:30 am

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  131. April 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    I have always understood that square holes tend to fail ( cracks form in the corners.)
    Why not round ,drill ,ream and countersink?

  132. rj
    April 23, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    That is a good point. I’ll look into it.
    Thanks for that!

  133. Tom
    May 17, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Between Judy’s requests late at night and finding my self earlier reading this latest post of yours I will have to break for sleep. I just had to say how very similar your conclusion about the larger serial tasks vs parallel tasks is to my own thoughts. I keep trying to convince myself that with 10 or so parallel tasks I can always find something to be done, however there is always the design element which has one standing around building bits in one’s mind onto the existing infrastructure.

  134. May 26, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Use tooling made for cutting plain steel. The trick is “A” LOTS of coolant force fed onto or into the cutting area. “B” correct speed and feed. Turn the cutter slowly.
    If you feel it bounce it is because the cutting edge of the drill is riding on the work. “C” sharp tool,the cutter can not be dull. This brings me back to cheap drills. Made in china drills are just high carbon. If you just keep sharpening they will do the job.
    What kills them is that the cutting edge rounds off at the periphery and the cutting occurs on the side of the drill. If you see this condition, grind the drill until you have a clean transition. If you are drilling a 1/2 inch hole, try drilling 1/4 and then finishing 1/2. When you do this decrease your rpm even more. Drills work in wood by spinning quickly and tearing up the fibers. In Stainless they act like a hard chisel which has to travel at the right speed and feed to work correctly. What speed you ask, That’s all touchy feely reguardless of what anyone or any chart says.

  135. rj
    May 26, 2009 at 1:40 pm


    Thanks for the tips!

    Yeah, we will be trying some basic stuff in a drill press, which can be slowed down to 130 rpm.

    I have been told to prepare to go slow and steady when cutting stainless, and use lots of cutting grease.

  136. May 27, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    CUTTING GREASE?? use water or something close…er American beer.

  137. Tom
    June 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Good Day,
    You will have to cut down below the small pits you still have first.
    Have a read of
    I used to polish scratches from large multi-laminated glass windows in a past life. I suggest that we are looking at lower surface hardness with ss so you could certainly try Cerium Oxide
    You will need:
    cerium oxide powder for the polishing
    polishing pad (felt or leather) on a backing disc
    adjustable speed drill (<1500rpm to keep heat down) – use with the polishing pad
    lint free cleaning cloth to wipe and allow inspection of the work area
    small spray bottle – use to apply C Oxide and water mix to surface while polishing

    good luck, Tom

  138. June 28, 2009 at 1:59 am

    My thoughts entirely as I am done with varnishing teak every 6 months. Check out;

    My only concert is that it could get very hot in the sun, which might not be a major problem with a cap rail.

  139. rj
    June 28, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks for that link. Wow, they went whole hog on that! Looks pretty good.

    Yeah, I figure if it doesn't work out after a few years, It can be replaced with real teak relatively easily.

  140. July 1, 2009 at 2:23 pm
  141. rj
    July 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    right. I better get on it!

  142. July 10, 2009 at 12:22 am

    I've been trying to follow as much info as possible for 20 years on stainless steel chain plate failures. I believe there are 3 main reasons.
    1. Inferior metals. Use 316 or 316L(if welding).
    2. Welds.
    3. Inadequate material mass. Skinny straps fail much more often. For instance, if you take a 2" piece of metal and drill a 1/2" hole in the middle of it for the bolt, you now have (2) 3/4" pieces holding your rig. When masts 'pump', and rigs/boats flex, there is a cycling loading on each 3/4" portion. This work hardens the metal eventually and will add to crevice corrosion opportunities.

    It costs so little extra, to make the strap maybe 2 1/2" or 3" wide, instead of 2" and then you have overkill, rather than accepting the risk of failure.

    I strongly suggest wide tangs on any chain plate, or extra width in the entire strap. The 3rd plate from right in your drawings might be suspect, in my opinion. Hope you don't mind my thoughts. ron

  143. rj
    July 10, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Thanks for that Ron. Comments appreciated. Yes, the material will be 316 L.

    On the qty of material, according to our designer we should be ok. He says the critical part for mass is the top where the rigging attaches. Apparently we could go thinner in the "strap" and double layer the tang at the rig point and that would be just as good. But we wont do that.

    We are at least as thick on the material (more in some cases) over the factory and using cap head screws over carriage bolts eliminates crevace corrosion risks at the square corners.

  144. July 12, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Nice, shiny stuff.

  145. July 16, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Rob I really enjoy your Blog. Been awhile since we communicated. Hope you are well.

    I am exploring adding a rear pulpit and rear davits for coastal crusing. I know you have put some thought into this. Wondering what your final determinations were.



    ps We have moved from Missoula and now live in Bainbridge Island with our vessel.

  146. Tom
    July 21, 2009 at 12:54 am

    Suggest an extractor with a Hepa filter
    (for fine fibre)
    We have a portable sold around the world under a number of different brand badges
    See our post:

  147. July 26, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Good idea (saves removing the caprail later to reseal) — are you going to glass the joint together?

  148. rj
    July 26, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    None on glassing the joint. Too impractical considering the amount of effort needed to glass for any meaningful strength. Its a debatable topic, but there are plenty of these boats out there doing just fine with thru-bolts and polysulfide adhesive/sealant.

  149. August 17, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Have you been following your fellow W42 Fiona's try at the Northwest Passage?

    Eric is having a bit of a tough time.

    One of his crew also has a pretty decent blog.

    Paul Kessinger

  150. August 18, 2009 at 2:30 am

    I like the fake teak toe rail!!!

  151. August 25, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Great blog and pics. Thanks for the extra effort to share with us.
    If you have not decided on an engine yet, take a look at the Buck Marine diesel. Simple, powerful, easy to maintain and such. It's a new engine but he definitely has the right ideas for simple.


  152. September 6, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Looks good. Check out this site for a possible option on the planking. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of wave pressure on this platform in a heavy sea, so I would make the gaps as large as possible;

    "I removed the previous post because the internet has made me dyslexic."

  153. rj
    September 6, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Thanks for that. I am thinking about using this stuff to cover the platform.

    In the spirit of NO WOOD! lol

  154. September 6, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Very nice. Teak on a cruising sailboat is for rich people. Or ones who don't cruise.

  155. September 12, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Don't forget to test for a Mason Supreme and Rocna. On your boat I would look at a 25Kg (55lb) Rocna, or a Mason Supreme 45lb. In this case bigger IS better.

  156. rj
    September 12, 2009 at 2:03 am

    Yeah. Those will with the "roll bar" will present a challenge.

  157. September 25, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Well done RJ. I'm happy that you are busy working on my next problem as I will be fitting a bowsprit of TIH eventually. I still believe that the modern anchors are the way to go.

    Whatever you decide the recovery process is critical. I have seen many anchors that jam on the recovery as the anchor shackle comes over the roller. Lots of force is then used to pivot the anchor up until the shackle clears the roller. I also do not like using any form of swivel arrangement.

    Hopefully you will not be making your blog pay-per-view anytime soon.



  158. September 26, 2009 at 1:37 am

    You can get the diamensions of the
    anchor from there site. I did and a fab shop made me a copy for 100 bucks. It works great

  159. rj
    September 26, 2009 at 1:13 pm


    Look for an "anchor roller design testing lab" here in a couple weeks (in the style of Practical Sailor LOL).

    No charge for this drivel… er… blog. Maybe a beer next time I am in the Miami area.


  160. October 15, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Did you get a copy of;

    "The Complete Anchoring Handbook" available on Amazon. Good read.

  161. rj
    October 15, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I will soon. 😉

    thanks for the tip.

  162. October 18, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Great stuff. Looking forward to following developments. Hopefully you will be snowed in soon as I have a bunch of projects for you to work on this winter.

    Greetings from a chilly Miami, we are expecting 59F tonight and trying to remember where we stored the blankets last year.


  163. October 18, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    The problem is that the test is static and the bow never is. I guess you can only go so far with that. One thing I have always wondered about is changing the tackle so that there is a heavy swivel attached to the anchor followed by, say 18 inches of 7/8"
    SS round stock, another heavy swivel and then the chain would start. This would reduce the amount that the anchor swings once the Stainless shafting starts over the sheave or wheel at the end of the roller ass'by. It is just a thought exercise but I think it would improve launch and retrieval.

  164. rj
    October 19, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Colin, interesting idea. Yeah, this is not exactly a pitching bow. Furthermore, there is no guarantee the boat will sit on her lines when launched. Could be a little bow up or bow down (likely bow up). Just in case I will be drilling another rear roller position one inch higher if needed to help with the self launch.

    Gerry, don't freeze down there. Oddly enough, just after a very mild indian summer here in the PNW, we hit record lows one clear night last week.

  165. October 19, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Hi Colin

    I agree that it is an interesting idea. However, I have a a love/hate relationship with SS swivels, mostly hate. Two of them with a SS bar would definitely offend my KISS principles. Still, I remain to be convinced.

  166. October 19, 2009 at 2:37 am

    I think I might mess around with the Idea. I get that the big Westsail is a heavy boat but the bow is always the most active place on the boat in terms of rolling and pitching. I have seen some comical solutions to keeping the anchor clear of the fiberglass when dangling.(The sailboat as a sailfish)
    The idea behind the SS rod is to keep the weldment from getting too long. The rod would act like a fulcrum which would force the anchor away from the hull as it is drawn over the roller. It would raise a few eyebrows. I see your point about the two swivels. I would have to machine something robust up. Winters coming, play time on the Mazak, not much else to do right now!

  167. October 22, 2009 at 1:17 am


    Off the subject but what was the thickness of your fuel tanks.


  168. rj
    October 22, 2009 at 2:45 am

    Gerry, fuel tanks are 1/8-inch T-5052 aluminum.

    FWIW (since I am looking at the invoice), water tanks are 14ga 304 stainless.

  169. October 24, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Very well-reasoned design and construction! I'm writing a substantial series of articles on anchors & anchoring you might like to check out on my blog, that go into some depth about anchor types and why various "features" are either sales gimmicks or actually work. Sadly, there's a lot of the former about. Deltas don't follow wind shifts well and can bend shanks in rock but are otherwise ok; Rocknas are very good but that roll bar's both unnecessary and a pain; CQR's my favorite plow-style anchor.

  170. October 25, 2009 at 12:58 am


    Thanks for that info. As I know you gave the matter some thought why did you go for .125 and not .25 thickness for the aluminum tanks?


  171. rj
    October 25, 2009 at 2:00 am


    .125" Was what the fabricator ( recommended for the tank sizes. Each big tanks has two baffles welded inside which help give structural strength. I trusted the guy as he is the sole fabricator for a local production builder (Nordic Tug).

    .250" strikes me as quite thick for tanks this small, but it would work.

  172. October 25, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    I let my anchors out so they'll self-launch when the time's right, as I'm preparing to anchor. Really, I wouldn't worry too much about self-launching because if the weather's nasty enough to really not be on the bow, you're probably not going to be able to anchor and should be out to sea. You're doing the right thing with your mock-up!
    On another note, that's not the "Bruce" Asian knock-off, is it? If so, return it as fast as you can – West Marine had so many returns of them (I saw several) they stopped carrying them. The shank breaks off from the blade due to very poor metal and casting.
    Yes, .125 is just right – Very strong and half the weight.
    – Jerr
    ps – I'd be interested in your thoughts on my anchoring series of articles, Gerry, Collin and RJ – I'm planning on publishing after New Year's.

  173. rj
    October 26, 2009 at 1:20 am


    It is the SeaDog-line knockoff. I am sure it is asian made, but not sure if it is the same one WM oem'd.

    Sure, look forward to your anchoring articles.

    I added your blog to my list.

  174. October 26, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Thanks RJ – I'm looking forward to any input you may have. Best wishes with your Bruce – It's a terrific design and I'm glad to see you're aware of the need for different anchor types. You've got a terrific blog and I'm quite impressed with your thoughtful, sound design and construction.
    – Jerr

  175. Tom
    October 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    RJ, You have done a great job! It's great to see that I am not alone in spending time and effort to get it right.
    I am not working to suit all types though, just one, Rocna, but at least three different sizes which means roller adjustment fore and aft. The I just have to build the stern set up.


  176. rj
    October 31, 2009 at 4:28 am

    Thanks Tom,

    You know, if you stare at something long enough the obsession sets in.

    I think you know what I mean! lol!


  177. November 2, 2009 at 8:31 am

    Excellent empirical testing, RJ! You've saved yourself a couple frustrations repeated hundreds of times and I appreciate your generosity in sharing your knowledge gained.
    Cheers to your new roller!
    – Jerr

    ps – Love that quote! Another favorite is from Santiago – A fanatic redoubles his efforts when he's forgotten his aims.

  178. November 28, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Great move! Have you considered a downdraft table w/cover for finishing? They're easy to build and you'll be so thankful at the dust problem going away!

  179. December 3, 2009 at 12:35 am

    I don't know if your familar with Bridgeport mills. They are fantastic machines made obsolete by CNC. They are cheap to pick up and are the best woodworking machine in the world. I use mine more than any other machine. For all those crazy compound angles on boats you can not beat it.

  180. January 6, 2010 at 7:28 am

    They're all pretty good – Most of the inaccuracies stemming from these portable thickness planers comes from feed and take-up board setup problems. If you make sure to bed the machine accurately, it's actually pretty good. I used to have a similar model but upgraded to a model with 120# of iron ballast. That, a feeder and board buddies give a great result without scallops.
    – Jerr

    On another note, too many folks depend on thickness planers when they should joint the wood first, take the same off each side and season it.

  181. January 13, 2010 at 3:21 am

    OK, Obi-Wan Kenobi, how do you and your ABYC certified electrician wife plan to avoid "any cluster@%#$ of wiring like that shown", on your "new" boat. I'm so depressed at the prospect that I'm even looking at the Capi2 system.

  182. rj
    January 13, 2010 at 4:07 am

    I guess we are on the same wavelength. Capi2 is a strong contender in my book. I have mentioned distributed power systems here before and am a firm believer that is the way to go. Traditional star wiring schemes will go the way of the dinosaur is my prediction.

    I also like E-plex, especially for the high programmable geek factor, but it may be more than is practically necessary (in complexity and cost).

  183. February 19, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Welcome back. You need to warn us, in future, before you go walkabout in Urop. I and many of your followers thought you had fallen into the bilge.

    I met the Mastervolt team at the Miami Boat Show, very impressive .

  184. February 19, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I think mastervolt is the way to go.

  185. February 24, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Mastervolt Combi just won the "Best Choice" award in Practical Sailor, march 2010;

  186. February 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Wow. Good find on the stoves. I was about to drop some dough on the Force10. Any ideas on availability?

  187. February 25, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Sure Marine in Seattle had them on display at the Seattle Boat show. So I presume units are shipping.

  188. February 25, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks. Now that I did some legwork myself, I also see they're available at defender and go2marine.

  189. February 26, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Don't ignore Seaward Products, good people and a good product, IMHO.

  190. February 26, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Have you (or anyone here) done research to compare Seaward vs. Dickinson? My thoughts:

    * Both seem (on spec) well-made.
    * Seaward is cheaper. (by about $500). Also Dickinson does not include gymbal kit?! Not sure
    * Dickinson has better styling IMO, and is all stainless.
    * Top burners are all 7000BTU on seaward; dickinson has one 11k burner.
    * Seaward's oven is 10K BTU; Dickinon's is 7k.

  191. February 27, 2010 at 12:23 am

    I have never seen the Seaward products, but FWIW, the Dickinson stoves appear just as bulletproof as their BBQs. Made of thick gauge stainless.

  192. March 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I ould use your mock up cabinets as the real deal, they look sweeeeet!…Allan

  193. March 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    I've had good luck with the delta 12 1/2" for the past 12 years. It performs flawlessly.

  194. March 19, 2010 at 12:50 am

    are you just tabbing in the coosa board or is all going to get a layer of fiberglass over the foam?

    just curious.


  195. March 19, 2010 at 1:50 am

    In this particular area, the Coosa will just be tabbed. At least two layers of 17oz cloth.

  196. March 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    I like the ventilation on design #2. Most cabinet ventilation, or lack of, has me thinking people never use their cupboards.I can't stand cane faces on doors or the louvered teak look.

    I also like the clean lines of #2. One idea i had was for light colored wooden faces with inset stainless vents.

    just my 2 cents.


  197. March 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Great blog you have. I would go for the rounded edges, i know it's more work but in rough weather I'd rather slam into a rounded edge as opposed to a squared off one, but that's the comfort lovin' me talking…

  198. March 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Thanks for the comments guys.

    Allan: yes, rounded corners has been first in my mind in this process, particularly on cabinets and tables, to save one from gashing oneself. Reconciling that style has been part of the process.

  199. March 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Maybe you can meld the two styles? I can see from reading your blog you definetly have the skill to pull it off.

  200. March 26, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Spiral away. You will know the correct design when you see it. I have always liked the simplicity of the Ovni range


  201. April 6, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Glad to see that you are still looking for logic where none exists. My total inability to saw wood in a straight line is perfectly suited to boat work, where there are no such lines. Thanks again for the coosa board.


  202. April 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I believe in learning from the best (assuming I can afford it).

    This is the Dashew solution.

  203. April 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    That Armaflex stuff looks ideal. Thanks for that!

  204. Bob
    April 17, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    "Anyway, like I always say, there is ALWAYS something work on with a project like this."
    Ain't that the truth.
    Hi Robert: Just wanted to say hello after noticing that you linked to our site, Your boat looks great and progress seems good. The a-frame plat form bowsprit and pulpit are a bigger sub project than I thought they would be… all told I spent at least 250 hours on them total, and I have a bridgeport and a tig welder in my shop and did it all myself. Probably at least half those hours were just the design and thought process, as you have already done and are still doing. And, as you've said, money is a constant problem. Keep the faith.
    Best, Bob

  205. April 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks for the kind words Bob. I can only hope this project comes out as nice as yours.

    As for the pulpit welding, I have ABSOLUTELY NO experience welding anything. I would like to learn, but the pulpit is not something to learn on. I am having a local fabricator do it, so I want to especially make sure the design is right.

  206. April 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Robert

    Thanks for the comments on the exhaust fitting.


  207. May 10, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Welcome back. I suspect that you had hit stage 3 of the seven stages of a project.

    Seven stages of a project
    Phase 1: Uncritical Acceptance
    Phase 2: Wild enthusiasm
    Phase 3: Dejected disillusionment
    Phase 4: Total confusion
    Phase 5: Search for the guilty
    Phase 6: Punishment of the innocent
    Phase 7: Promotion of nonparticipants

    Check out this company

  208. May 10, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    No, I am still happily at Phase 2. There are just too many projects going on (boat and house) that I am getting behind on the blog.

    Thanks for the anchor lift link! I like the "hinged dual roller" design. I may just have to incorporate something like that.

    Now, you do realize if I do this refinement, YOU will be included in the "guilty" should I ever get to Phase 5 and 6! lol.

  209. May 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Nice work, I hope that I never get the bill for all this consultancy work.

  210. May 27, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Excellent, what paint are you using?

  211. May 27, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Interlux Bilgekote. Probably overkill, but I want something that has least chance of flaking with minimal prep (acetone wipe). Besides, my cost on this stuff is pretty reasonable.

  212. May 28, 2010 at 12:42 am

    I Love Bilgekote. I normally mix equal parts white and gray to give a lighter gray colour.

  213. May 31, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    As You are now getting to the woodwork this is a site to check out. He is doing the interior of a Diesel Duck. The guys work is great and he will help you in any way he can. Please check it out

  214. May 31, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Thanks for the link Colin. Definitely worth bookmarking. He is doing some great stuff there. I can only hope my work turns out as good!

  215. June 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Arne't you worried about the boat flexing, even a little bit? Maybe a short piece of flexible tubing in the longer pipe runs might stave off premature failure? just a thought. Lovely job dry fitting. I enjoy your blog and am willing to admit stealing an idea or two off you:)….Allan

  216. June 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Hello Allan,

    No real concerns with flexing for this application. The plumbing is being "supported" by the tanks themselves, which are quite secure in the 1-1/2" thick framed sub-floor. There will be eight feet of flexible hose from the valves to the deckfill, so no worries there.

    As for sealing ideas, steal away! Don't hesitate to suggest any ideas you may have, on anything.

  217. June 4, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Robert – I love the blog and all the details! With your conduit installation did you drill 'weep/drainage' holes at intervals? I'm considering pvc for re-wiring my Seafarer 26 right now and have read that suggestion somewhere so I was curious regarding your thoughts. Thanks!

  218. June 4, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Tony, I had thought of, but not sure yet, about the weep holes. The tee fittings for the wire exits will be pointing down, so they can act as drainage for possible moisture. Wether that is enough, I am not sure.

  219. June 7, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Your missing out on a fun tool to quickly remove the fiberglass. Crude but very fast. Pick up a cheap 4.5 inch electric grinder and a few cut off wheels ( the very thin ones for cutting off bolt heads. It will go though it like butter for the rough out. You will likely get the core too. If you drill some holes though to show the position inside the boat you can get it from both sides. Messy but very fast.

  220. June 7, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks for the idea! I do have a grinder and some cutoff wheels. Just never thought of using them on glass. Maybe that is the "right" tool.

  221. June 12, 2010 at 2:28 am

    Best sailboat engine room I saw had a small seat where the owner could sit when doing routine maintenance, oil, belts etc. The hunkering down things gets old as we get old.

  222. June 21, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Gotta love the "his" and "hers" added touch! Wish I lived closer and could talk you into my dropping in for a visit! Enjoy watching you work. Keep up the steady progress.

  223. June 22, 2010 at 1:28 am
  224. June 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I really want to use the fiberglass composite tanks, but I do not have enough side deck width. As it is, I will need to use two 10 lb aluminum or steel tanks instead of one standard 20 lb cylinder (whatever construction). A compromise I am willing to accept.

  225. June 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    If you are not able to get at that area later, why did you put all those hose clamps and connections like you did ?

    I would be afraid they may become loose at a later date or a hose go bad.

    Bill Kelleher

  226. June 23, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Bill, already thought of that. The thru-hull and hose clamps will be accessible via a cabinet door (future). It is the missle silos themselves that will have limited accessiblity. Even so, they will be fully accessible with the removal of a panel or two.

  227. June 23, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I should have known better with the way you plan things ahead.

    Bill Kelleher

  228. July 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I've been looking at fake teak for some time, just in the cockpit area. One area of concern is how hot it can get in the sun. I have been onboard sailboats in the Caribbean with artificial teak where you could not walk barefoot on the deck during the day.

  229. August 5, 2010 at 12:37 am

    1. Have a big drain hole even if you have to put a s/s vent cover on the outside to keep sea water from entering. If you have the rail buried that that much you should have reefed. The drain hole on TIH was constantly blocked and you could have grown mushrooms in the coaming, it had so much mud and grime.

    2. Line the bottom with Dri-Dek to keep stuff dry.

    3. Clean out regularly. I have never yet seen a cockpit coaming that was not full of cr@p, in various stages of decay.

    4. Paint light gray. (I still mix white and gray Bilge Kote and it works for me)

    Just MHO

  230. August 5, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks TIH, all good ideas. On the drain holes, I could have it drain directly to the side deck by going sideways, but that could allow water to backwash in on a wet port tack. Otherwise it will have to go down, to the side and overboard.

  231. August 17, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    That is just depressing, I'm not reading your blog anymore. I spent a week procrastinating before I bought this POS;

    You just spoil everything…..:-(

  232. Anonymous
    August 18, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I agree with TIH, very unfair, ooh well, I'll just keep using the router freehand against a ply template cut out with a jigsaw.

  233. August 27, 2010 at 2:19 am

    Very impressive. Because I live in an apartment i suggested replacing our dining table (which we NEVER use) with a CNC table but the boss vetoed the idea.

  234. August 27, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Gerry, perhaps my boss should speak to your boss ;-).

  235. August 29, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Was up in Tobermory last weekend and met a guy in a SIC home built wooden 34 footer. He and his wife like two showers a day. They have two rubberized 1.5 gallon bags they hang in the sun. When he showers there is a deck fitting above the shower area he "plugs" the bag into. No cost to heat and water usage is now known and monitored. The boat has a water heater and plumbing but even in cool weather with sun it works great. Simple but clever.

  236. August 30, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Colin, thanks for that. Yeah we use similar type "sun showers" on our 28 footer. We have also been wondering if one of these would be useful on a small boat.

  237. September 11, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Nothing like putting a mark on the wall like "Watch this space". Just keep a little time for non-boat antics as we're able to schedule them.

  238. September 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    For what it's worth, I check twice a week.

    Bill K

  239. September 18, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Very cool, nice lateral (vertical) thinking and no stubbed toes.

  240. September 18, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    or ankle bites! 😉

  241. September 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I love the fact that you are using backing plates. My boat only had washers for back ups. I have been replacing those with 1/4 inch alumnium plates, Iknow, I know, stainless and alumnium don't play well together but this is my practice boat…lol…Allan

  242. September 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks Allan. There is a product to deal with the Aluminum/Stainless dissimilar metals problem. Its called Tef-Gel and it does eliminate/dramatically reduces corrosion. We have used it for years on our small boat and it works great. See

  243. September 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I am no welder, but I have had training and the best training you can do is the basic course just like your doing, then practice, practice practice on scrap. Then practice some more. I seem to forget how to weld between jobs and have to practice before I commit. Due to the fact I weld so infrequently I lose what lttle skills I have. Nice machine…Allan

  244. September 27, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    The unit you purchased should work just fine. Your welding class is the best way to get started. A good hood with corrected lenses will help with seeing the "puddle" as you weld. Now days there is a mask that will darken when you start welding – beginners have a hard time with the shaking of the hood then starting to weld w/o moving the position of their stinger in relation to the material. Steady hands help also.

    SS will be the trick as it likes to warp when hot as well as leave carbon on the surface near the weld that will rust. I'd discuss with your welding teacher as to SS welding and maybe take your welder with you to class so you learn on your equipment.


  245. September 28, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    I use a Lincoln TIG machine as a non-welder and it's not much easier without a lot of practice. Getting the numbers, feed and filler correct is easy … coordinating the hands is the challenge for MIG and even more challenging for TIG (using the torch in one hand, rod in the other and foot or finger to regular the amperage) You class will help you know what to look for and how to correct, but practice will improve the quality of your welds and confidence when it comes to more difficult metals.

  246. October 4, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    You might want to check the opening of those ball valves, I believe they may only be 1".

    In my opinion this would make filling the tanks slow.

    Bill Kelleher

  247. October 5, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Good point Bill. In fact I looked when I had the valves in the vise and was actuating the lever. They are pretty much "full flow". I really like these valves as not only the ball, but the handle is stainless. The few ball valves on our small boat have plain steel handles that all but corroded away.

  248. October 5, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Glad to hear that you checked. :))

    I am sure glad I boat on fresh water. ( Lake Erie )

    Bill Kelleher

  249. October 6, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Was that the SR500 or SR1000 version? How many coats did it take to get to 40Mils?

    Nice to meet your wife at the Rendezvous in San Leandro.
    15 boats and 53 folks for dinner.

  250. October 7, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Jay, it is the SR1000 version. I only have two coats on so far, and I don't think that is 40 mil yet. Especially on the bare glass bits. I'll report back what I find.

    Yeah, the admiral enjoyed the rendezvous> I think she had fun. Wish I coulda made it. Maybe next year.


  251. October 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Wow. This is some professional work! Great job. I love how it turned out.
    DIY Boats

  252. November 4, 2010 at 1:27 pm


    What hose did you use for the cockpit drains?

  253. November 4, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Welcome back Gerry,

    I used this stuff from Sierra Marine

    Spiral reinforced, yet smooth walled (inner and outer).

  254. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    The problem with installing the 'rarely' if ever used bigger pump is that even the most anal boat owner forgets or ignores servicing the bigger pump. There needs to be a convenient way to trigger the float and run water through the big pump regularly.

  255. November 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Good point. In this installation, the remote panel has an override switch to manually cycle the pump.

  256. November 16, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Good write up on the pump installation. I've got a similar 12 volt pump (4000 gph) that I'll use as a "crash pump" basically for emergencies only and two smaller 500 GPH for general "dewatering" duties. There's also the pump in the shower sump that can be pressed into action in the case of an emergency.

    The task once they're installed is to keep them all maintained properly as mentioned. I have found, on my old boat, putting the back flow valve down near the pump instead of up near the outlet. Seems to work better for me.

  257. November 16, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    S:K, thanks for that. Current thinking is a similar installation for the same reasons as you described.

  258. November 20, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Have you thought about separating the pos & neg cables and running them in smaller conduits straight back to the engine room? I had a run-in with shorted wires this year so am thinking I'll keep the two conductors as separate as possible. Your electrical plan looks well thought out. I may borrow some of that detail for my own project.

    Anywho, just a thought.

  259. November 20, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    S:K, you know, my wife suggested the same thing. I certainly have room to stack two conduit runs, one on top of the other, and it would not be hard to do so (especially now). I will have to give it some thought.

  260. Anonymous
    November 21, 2010 at 11:06 am

    There is a conflicting requirement though: the further you space the conductors apart, the large the electrical field around them. This could influence your magnetic compass and/or fluxgate. So you do want, at least, to keep the conduits together.

  261. November 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Seeing as you would get the same cancelling effect from a slight separation, I would propose that you could add some "chafe gear" in the form of a wrap or a cable conduit(I forget the real name, but the ribbed, split hose used to organize multiple 12 ga. wires from instruments, etc.).

    I'm not sure what would be inflammable and non-conductive, but the sort of glass wrap used in exhaust systems comes to mind.

    Great site, but it's going to take me months to catch up!

  262. November 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    The shower sump pump is a great idea. I have a Rule 3700 in my "well" aft of the engine; all limber holes lead to here, but I will put a Johnson sump pump in the shower.

    I also have a Henderson diaphragm pump as part of the Lavac head set-up. If you put in a Y-diverter, this becomes a manual bilge pump good for "local leaks" like overflows or (bad scenario) backup from the galley sink because someone forgot to shut off the thru-hulls in bad weather.

    Lastly, I have a large-capacity Patay manual pump which I intend to fit to the pilothouse floor. This will probably be my "first" pump before the Rule to sop up stray drips. The advice on where to put the check valve (aka backflow, flapper, one-way or "joker" valve) is sound. No one can tell me why this type of valve has so many names.

  263. November 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    There is a lubricant made for pulling wires. ( can not remember the name )

    Bill Kelleher

  264. November 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    I have one out there that is at least two years old and still no hits. :((
    ( High pressure Yamaha fuel pump for sons outboard )

    Bill Kelleher

    ps You did good :))

  265. November 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I've probably bought 75% of the stuff for our boat off of e-Bay. I also used the "saved searches" as well as

    Since I started with ezsniper I haven't lost an auction.

    The other thing I do is keep the marine parts listing in "recently listed items" and look at it daily. This way you see what's just been added and I've scooped up some deals before anyone else has even looked at them.


    Carry on. We're watching.

    PS. How much for a roll of that tape? *wink*


  266. December 5, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Bill, "Wire Pulling Lubricant" lol. At least that is what it says on the bottle. I used it to pull bilge pump wiring through the conduit today. A very tight fit. Had I not used it, I never would have fished the wire.

    Thanks for the tip.

  267. December 18, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Thank God, I thought I was the only one who worked in this level of chaos. Happy Christmas to all. Gerry

  268. December 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Scold? Naw. My ole' grandpa used to always say to me: "never trust a guy with a clean workshop, he's not good 'nuff to be busy!"

    Good work, carry on!

  269. December 19, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Ha, you don't know the meaning of messy! I can't find the tablesaw half the time…

  270. December 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Ya know what Einstein said eh? "Only the greatest minds have the messiest desks!"

  271. Tom
    December 21, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Well done, excellent design and workmanship.

  272. December 30, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Nice eulogy. My condolences. Every now and then Bosch has an old for new sale. 10 gone ones for 1 new one. I have a box of gone ones myself just waiting. Love your blog and good work.

  273. January 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    De walt makes nice stuff but the batteries are a rip off. I think Ryobi has a better deal on batteries.
    It is kind of like that 45 dollar printer that seems like a great deal until you need ink. I heard that knock off batteries are going to be available soon for my De walt 18v but I can't find them. The all black batteries they give you with new drills are poor quality and I have had two melt down on the recharger.

  274. January 2, 2011 at 3:17 am

    Thanks for the tip Colin. In fact I am salivating over the Festool products. But I have self-imposed a two or three month "cooling off" period before I pull the trigger. lol.

  275. January 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Robert, we take our victories were we can. Your before picture looks like my truck on any given day. I'm still waiting for my Monday. Bill

  276. January 14, 2011 at 4:43 am

    I use cheap Mastercraft (Canadian Tire knock off "house brand") grinders for light stuff, and the Makita for the serious metal reduction. Thing is, the Mastercraft grinders are often on sale for something ridiculous like $29.99 for the box with 30 discs. So I brutalize the essentially free cheapo grinder until it dies and slap on the wheels to the now 15 year old Makita, which cost $100 but is so far still chugging along.

  277. January 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Looks great. I have a particular hatred for that Jabsco Y valve when used on a heads system but it should be fine for grey water (valve kept blocking, handle sheared off).

  278. January 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    We haven't had a problem with that Y-valve on the small boat (so far, knock-on-finely-varnished-teak). I noticed my dealer sells replacement handles, so maybe that is not an uncommon experience? Truth is there are limited Y-valve choices. This installation would not be possible without the nice swiveled ports on this jabsco Y-valve.

  279. January 20, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    I think it is a good thing your wife checks up on you.

    It sounds like something I would do or not do. LOL

    Bill Kelleher

  280. January 24, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Beautiful job!

  281. January 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Outstanding. Ref. using the better quality hose. I never understand why people skimp on better quality stuff (within reason) when you are installing stuff that has to last 20 years.

  282. January 29, 2011 at 2:24 pm


    Where are you on the Bowsprit / Bow Pulpit. I am leaning in this direction.


  283. January 29, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Still on the drawing board. But I need to get my a** in gear on this one (thanks for reminding me).

    We need overhang pulpit for the jib. I am planning on a small pole mounted underneath, extending beyond, for things like a gennaker. Similar to stuff in your link.

  284. January 30, 2011 at 1:56 am

    Oh, I so know what you mean! I got a bunch of fasteners on board, but they're never the right ones. Thanks for words of wisdom on the ICOM706.

  285. January 31, 2011 at 12:53 am

    I saw the new vacuflush and it looked interesting. I am still tending towards a Raritan Marine Elegance (best choice Practical Sailor)for "her" heads and the already installed Lavac for the boy heads. I have both ends of the complexity scale covered.

    Ref the fake teak. Only caveat it how hot it gets in the tropical sun. I will test some next summer and report. From my past experience it gets bloody hot underfoot, even requiring footwear to walk on.

  286. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    I used to use an old Romex spool, It's fool proof and simple, nothing to break. Simply roll it up and throw it in the lazzerette.

  287. February 11, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Now, I know, that you have cabin fever. Saw this "thing" at the boat show and its definitely in the "WTF would I want that on a sailboat" department. At the very least all the other blow-boaters will tease you. Hopefully Spring will arrive soon.

  288. February 11, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    What can I say. I suffer from gadget geek syndrome.

  289. Anonymous
    February 20, 2011 at 1:21 am

    My experience with ply-epoxy is the ply always fails before the epoxy. The only advantage I see over Foam is rot, but with modern epoxies that's kinda a non-issue

  290. Tom Bartley
    February 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Did you have a look at Dek-king from ? They have an excellent product and it is cheaper.


  291. February 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    You cant beat Coosa for resin adhesion. No matter how much you rough up plywood, or use a penetrating epoxy, you cant get close to the porosity of Coosa (and hence the adhesion). But, the porosity is what makes Coosa a PITA to paint too.

  292. March 11, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I designed and built my own AC/DC dist panel. It wasn't so much to see if I could it cheaper, you can't, but to keep my hands busy last winter.

    I planned for 12 AC and 16 DC circuits. Two of the DC circuits power upper and lower panel buss's. I'm using an ATC style fuse box with 24 DC circuits.

    I thought long and hard to what needed to be carved into he panel for labels. It didn't work out all that great. I wouldn't recommend going this route. A panel with peel & stick labels is best.

    My two cents worth.

    Carry on with the good work.


  293. March 12, 2011 at 2:10 am

    As you know I have gone a different route for my DC system (Mastervolt) but it will have 30 circuits, with an easy upgrade to more.

    I like keeping the DC and AC separate and I will have a separate AC panel near the chart table. I am talking to Blue Seas at the moment and it looks promising.

  294. March 12, 2011 at 3:48 am

    Yeah, I am still eye-ing the Mastervolt system. This panel will be for those DC items that would not be included with that system (I figure there will always be a few). I am a few months out on this so there is plenty of time to think about it.

  295. March 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm


    I presume you have checked out these guys;

  296. March 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks Gerry. FrontPanelExpress, yeah I have seen them, very cool stuff. I am definitely considering them (or equivalent) for some other "panel tasks".

  297. March 17, 2011 at 11:23 am

    My panel was made by FrontPanel Express. Very nice work. You have to pay special attention to the spacing of the switches etc. behind the panel more than in front! 😉

    I'd like to do an overhead console and will likely use FrontPanel Express again.

  298. March 20, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    How will you maintain a charge on the communications battery? Echo-charger?

  299. March 21, 2011 at 2:36 am

    M&J, Yeah, probably an echo-charge or something similar, same for the starter battery.

  300. March 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Isn't it amazing how they are always out of stock just when you need something ? :((

    Bill Kelleher

  301. April 4, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Nice work. While I accept that a number of drawers are necessary I am moving towards replacing some of mine with drop down fronts and just using the opening as a shelf.

  302. April 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Gerry, interesting idea. I can think of a couple places in the boat where a drop down face would be more desirable over a full extension drawer. The cabinetry in the "tunnel" for one. I will give that some thought.

    But as for the galley, and me being the cook, I need drawers 😉

  303. April 6, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Damn, it looks better that my galley work-surface.

  304. April 10, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Thanks for sharing the detail, it is amazing. I am good in plywood boat but also like sailboat.

  305. WOA
    April 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Playing Devils advocate – Since the lightening is one very long arc – how will an additional 1/4" gap help much….
    I know that something is better then nothing ….

  306. April 17, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Hard to say. Also, how often are sailboats struck by lightning? My guess is not often. But if you have room to put some protection, it may just be enough for that day when…

  307. Anonymous
    April 19, 2011 at 3:20 am

    the lucky owner of a Luger voyager 30 like your blog its giving me much help on my boat it to is a bare hull and i am the 3 owner i have done mor than the last 2 owners. nice work thanks for the tips and tricks

  308. April 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Come on down to Florida in summer and I'll teach you about lightning strikes on boats.

    Its good for about 5% of West Marines electronics sales.

    Robert, outstanding work as usual.

  309. April 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I've started cutting battery cable with the Fein multitool and a fiberglass blade, works well and can be done in tight spaces. I also cut the jacket with a gas "hot knife". My crimper is a Hobart 770122 Lug Crimper and a BFM.

  310. April 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Gerry. Thanks for the tip on using the Fein to cut the cables. I will have to try that. And, I had no idea lightning was that common down there. In the NW, it is rare to get even close to conditions that might produce lightning.

  311. April 25, 2011 at 6:47 am

    I don't think I would put High power mains and fuses next to your fuel lines. If melting metal from a fuse or wire melts through the fuel line, well someone is going to be doing an exciting dance. I must say it all looks very neat though. I hope you left slack so you can easily remove components when out cruising. It's going to happen.

  312. April 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Trisailing, the fuses have heavy duty plastic covers that completely contain the fuse, and terminals. They weren't installed when the picture was taken. And there is room for more "insulating dividers" around the fuel lines if desired.

    Yes, all components are held in by machine screws and can be individually replaced in the field without removing the panel.

  313. April 27, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Knowing how much room my electronics took up, it doesn't look big enough.

    Then again pictures are deceiving. LOL

    Bill Kelleher

  314. April 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Bill, my wife said the same thing. And I am somewhat concerned about that too. I am considering making the as-of-yet-designated cabinet space to the right the "electronics spillway".

  315. May 11, 2011 at 12:48 am

    You can never have too many hand holds. Make sure they are low enough for the "vertically challenged". I am redesigning a fixed center table on TIH to provide more handholds along the center-line.

  316. May 29, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    The free wheeling means that the transmission will not be hurt by letting the shaft spin ?

    The reason I ask is that some transmissions you have to lock the shaft from turning such as in a twin engine vessel if you are running on one engine.

    Bill Kelleher

  317. May 29, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Bill, I believe 'yes'. When freewheeling, the transmission is in neutral, with just the output shaft spinning. I presume this is not bad for the transmission as the engine maker says there is no problem freewheeling.

  318. May 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Any thoughts by you or Beta Marine on which propeller would be a good fit with this design. My Perkins 108 is getting into its Senior years and needs to be retired. Plus it is underpowered for the W42.


  319. May 31, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Hi Robert

    The "power generation" aspect is interesting but as you are aware there is no free lunch. From our choice of boats we both like solid long keel traditional sailboats. Most of our "sailing time" while cruising (which from my experience will be shockingly limited) will involve trying to get the beast to move above 6Kts. Anything that slows the vessel is not a good thing.

  320. May 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks Gerry,

    I am under no illusion that hybrid power strictly for propulsion ALONE, on a boat like this will net any advantages. My guess is that, under electric drive, about 3/4 hull speed would be max.

    But, if I can engage the hybrid "generator" while motoring/idling the diesel to charge batteries or run high loads, in place of what otherwise would be separate installed genset (and all the redundant cooling/fuel/exhaust systems that goes with a genset), that could make this setup attractive. Cost (both dollars and space) of engine+hybrid vs engine+genset still needs to be analyzed.

  321. June 10, 2011 at 5:05 am


    I had a talk with a Beta dealer after looking into this for our boat, a W32. I found that the cost of the hybrid system was over double the cost of just the motor. I was a bit shocked that it was so high, but there you have it.


  322. June 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks Tate, I got a price quote too and no they don't seem cheap. But compared to what? Just a thought here but, does cost $(BetaHybrid) >= $(Beta) + $(DC Genset) ? That is about the only comparison I can come up with.

  323. June 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm


    We never priced a genset. It just isn't in the cards for us as we are trying to go with the wind/solar option. (read: we're poor).

    I thought the hybrid was really cool. If it is in the ballpark of the genset + repower I'd definitely go for it. Or maybe even if it was only 20% more than the genset + motor. How much is a genset btw?



  324. June 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Ouch! I see why you were saying the beta hybrid didn't look so bad. I didn't realize the gensets were so expensive. I suppose I'm naive still when it comes to boat equipment. 😉

  325. June 12, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    I saw Nigel Calder at the Seattle Boat Show and he was doing some hybrid math and he was saying at that time that the hybrid engines don't cover their costs of wear and tear on the engiens (running at idle, etc). He was saying that until you ad passive systems (solar, wind, tow) then you start to see the whole system "working". He might have some slides on this he'd be willing to share or to chat with you about.

  326. June 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Thanks Patrick. Yes I have followed Nigel's writings on the subject for some time (he has a number of articles in past issues of Professional Boatbuilder). Suffice to say, hybrid power on boats is not as straight forward and easy if you really are pursuing more fuel efficient propulsion, compared to automobiles. There are much more variables to consider.

  327. July 10, 2011 at 4:12 am

    I will second cruisersforum. Its a good place to ask just about any question. I've tried to get into Panbo but the problem is that they are way too high tech and spendy for me. I can only look upon their glorious electronics and wish… Maybe if we won the lotto. Our idea of high tech is LED lights and a hand held GPS fix instead of a sextant. I'll check out the other sites. I was surprised you didn't mention sailnet. I don't like it as much as CF but it isn't bad.

  328. Anonymous
    July 14, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Actually, I find this equal to the cruisers forum in terms of quality of answers, a little more freedom as there isn't some admin watching over your shoulder, only you and they other members.

  329. July 17, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    A hard dodger of some form is high on my priority list, check out;

  330. July 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks for the link Gerry. Yes THAT is the sort of thing I am thinking of, if i could only draw something like that! LOL.

  331. July 18, 2011 at 9:24 pm
  332. July 21, 2011 at 2:04 am

    That's pretty awesome! The support for our mast is a bunch of pieces of wood all separate and needing replacement.

    Great Job!

  333. July 25, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Did you ask your wife's opinion ? :))

    Bill Kelleher

  334. July 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Bill, that is ALWAYS implied. She reads this blog. If there were no consultation, I would hear about it immediately. lol

  335. July 26, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the laugh. LOL

    It is good that she is working with you.

    Bill Kelleher

  336. August 1, 2011 at 4:56 am

    Might I make a suggestion.

    On our boat the bottom "drawer" is always really just a door that looks like it matches the other drawers but in reality it just opens to the hull. This way you still have storage but don't have to remove a drawer if you need to get to the hull beneath for running wires or whatever. It also provides a different type of storage area to set thing down in that wouldn't work well in drawers. I guess the downside is that you… well… Lose a drawer.

  337. August 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks for the tip Tate. In fact, there is more storage underneath, against the hull. Being able to remove the bottom drawer makes easy access. But yeah, I specifically made the bottom drawers larger to hold larger items, like pots.

  338. August 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Looks like you are using the same stuff that the Dashews' use. Excellent find.

  339. August 14, 2011 at 2:59 am

    Having the Westsail in there like that is very sweet!

  340. Anonymous
    August 17, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Wow that insulation looks great!

  341. August 30, 2011 at 2:02 am

    "Most fiberglass production boat builders do not insulate hulls."

    They do if they are good old fashioned Canadian boat builders from Whitby. The Whitby 42 has a cored hull above the waterline.

  342. August 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I imagine canadian builders would know more about thermal insulation. Cored hulls must provide some degree more of insulation over solid glass. But our cored 28 footer suffered quite the condensation during a winter livaboard. Perhaps insulation can only do so much.

  343. September 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Good move with the "aqualarm" bilge switch and panel. I am about to change out my rule float switch which I have absolutely no faith in.


  344. Anonymous
    September 19, 2011 at 2:09 am

    Looks sweet

  345. September 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    How are you bonding the insulation to the hull?….Allan

  346. September 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    The foam insulation has a peel-away backed adhesive on one side. It is quite sticky.

  347. October 12, 2011 at 3:51 am

    Looks great, just found your site and read through the whole thing. Amazing attention to detail, and the technology going into this build is awesome, too. I look forward to watching the progress. Where in the PNW are you?

  348. October 17, 2011 at 2:36 am

    why don't you just mount the deck cleats outboard of the bulwarks?

  349. October 17, 2011 at 3:14 am

    Hmmm. Interesting idea, though I don't think there is room for it.

  350. Anonymous
    October 17, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Those backing plates look like they kick ass. I think ours are fiberglass.

  351. October 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Always nice when you put something in with 5200 because "its done". I still hate the stuff and like you limited its use to below the waterline and possibly cleats. Everywhere else there are many other options.

  352. October 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Even so, some of the adhesive "de-bond" products do work nicely on 5200, with a bit of elbow grease. But yes, I anticipate the shaft log never coming out. Not in my lifetime at least.

  353. October 21, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Are those cleats weaker than regular cleats ?

    I have seen my cleats take some nasty jolts at times when the boat gets rolled at the dock.

    Bill Kelleher

  354. October 22, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Bill, good question. They do only have two attachment bolts compared to four on many herreshof style cleats.

    All pieces are cast 316 stainless and appear pretty beefy. We'll see how they stand up.

  355. October 22, 2011 at 3:40 am


    How big are big are the hing pins ?

    Bill Kelleher

  356. October 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Bill, the hinge pins are at least 5/8 inches in diameter. And they are part of the same casting as the horns. Aside from the spring and latch, there are only two pieces: the base and horns.

  357. October 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I didn't realize they were that big, should be as strong as the bolts. :))

    Bill Kelleher

  358. October 22, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    I can even go bigger on the bolts if I want to. I could re-drill and tap for 7/16 or 1/2 inch bolts. Which I might do later.

  359. AK
    October 24, 2011 at 12:13 am

    this is beatiful boat. I am a beginner, learning to sail, myself

  360. October 27, 2011 at 12:33 am

    Very nice. Where do you get those aluminum extrusions and fittings that you use to support the panels?


  361. October 27, 2011 at 2:41 am

    Gerry, it is called "80/20". Very cool stuff. You can build practically anything with it. See their site here

    They sell new,used,surplus bits on ebay here

    Which is where I get most of it.

  362. Anonymous
    November 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I FEEL your pain on finding hose clamps you swore were tight that are no longer tight. Gremlins. Gremlins…

    Maybe we should get ship's cats or something. Garlic. Some other ward against it.

  363. November 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Don't forget that the spring loaded check valve will cause a restriction.

    It may not be all your pumps fault.

    Bill Kelleher

  364. November 10, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Thanks Bill. Yeah, I am generally against check valves (one more thing to foul) unless absolutely necessary. If this were a critical system I would not use it (its just fuel transfer).

  365. November 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Now how cool is that, and no bleeding required. Lovely work Robert, but then again it is all great work

  366. November 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Hi, I'm Fr. Jorge Martinez LC. and what can I say: sailboats are a big part of my life. It's been a couple of weeks now and I got to the Idea of building my own sailboat or doing one as a project. I saw your web page (and I thank you a lot for all the time and excellent advise you've put into it), but I can't seem to find the start point, how and when did you began and what are the logical steps to take, could you help so that I can find them in your blog and get started on the preparation? I have a whole crue that wants to join the adventure of building a sailboat.
    Thank you very much and God Bless.

  367. November 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Jorge, thanks for the comment. I somehow lost my "blog archive" on the sidebar. It shows a list of older posts back to when the project started. It is back up now. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  368. November 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks Bill. I am relying on your installer expertise to point out potential gotchas and maybe an experience inspired idea. Feel free to point out any and all of them.

  369. November 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Robert: What is the proposed launch date?

  370. November 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Jay, there is *that* question again! lol.

    Answer #1: a couple weeks if I really work at it.

    Answer #2: in the water, two or three years… maybe? Then there is the rig…

  371. November 26, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, A well deserved break. Awesome

    We are doing the same thing (not on OPB) for Christmas and New Years on Molokai. Thanks again for your Blog.

  372. November 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Good to know! Which paint did you use, if you don't mind me asking?

    I was planning on Rustoleum for my interior. They make a Marine top-side paint, but I was planning on just using their oil based protective enamel.

  373. November 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Erick, its a hardware store chain brand. Like Ace Hardware. There may be better stuff out there. I would buy a quart and run a test before going with it. Just in case.

  374. Anonymous
    December 31, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Glad to see you are back at it! Happy Holidays!

  375. January 1, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Love your blog. I have been following this guy. Really fun watching him. He has restored more than the boat on the link I have here. Click around on his site and he has more projects.

  376. January 1, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Thanks Marcus. Thanks for the link. I love those little Fisher PHs. Bookmarked it.

  377. January 1, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Wow, just came across your site and would love to follow along. What a great job so far.

  378. January 3, 2012 at 2:34 am

    My wife and I recently purchased our Westsail 42 Ketch (1976), and have begun the restoration. This is our second restoration and your wonderful work have given us a lot to think about. I look forward to all that comes next! Great job!!!

  379. January 3, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks for the kinds words SVH. Would love to hear about your restoration sometime (have a blog?)

  380. Anonymous
    January 6, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Re matching the design…. Make the angles match the forward section of the cabin trunk
    Put mall windows in the sides that match the cabin trunk windows
    Taper the dodger sides inward at the top"…. To match the cabin top

  381. January 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I just converted 2mm to inches and had to just shake my head. LOL

    Yes that will be fine.

    I think if it was closer it might squeak when the hull works in the waves.

    Bill Kelleher

  382. January 9, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Thanks Bill, that is a good enough excuse for me! I must remember that one.

  383. January 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Have you picked up a distribution manifold for the pex tubing yet? I got mine on for dirt cheap.

    Go to and do a search on this item number 120842367400

  384. January 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    SK, thanks for the tip. I haven't yet worked out exactly which fittings I need. There is still some design to be "finalized". For now I am just dealing with the hose runs.

  385. Anonymous
    January 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Is it possible to insulate the hot water feed with a foam wrap. Pex is terrible for radiating away the heat.

  386. January 14, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Hmm. Dunno about insulating PEX. I suppose I could use water heater hose instead. Most likely the hot water will only be turned on when needed (cooking, showers, etc.) so the heat loss may not be much concern.

  387. c ares
    January 15, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Rob, I have westsail 42 #75 ex wanderbird now coyote. I bought her in 07 and have been going through her since. She was factory finished with most of the bells and whistles. I am wildly impressed with your level of thoughtful work! Tone it down a little buddy you are making us all look bad! I keep the boat at fort baker at the north end of the Golden Gate so If you are down this way we can put her through her paces on the bay. Great blog! C. Ares

  388. Anonymous
    January 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I suppose the condensation on the cold side could be eliminated at the same time. Colin

  389. January 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Another possibility. Heat loss from the PEX tubing would encourage air circulation due to convection. Air circulation is always good, especially in the areas where the PEX tubing is being run (lower ends of enclosed cabinetry). How is that for a rationalization! LOL.

  390. January 22, 2012 at 12:56 am

    So I just got back from the Toronto Boat Show. I saw the 44 Catalina which was Cruising worlds boat of the year. What a piece of crap. Sorry but I was so disappointed! we currently have an O'day 30 but want to cruise down to the islands in a 40+. My fav's are the Whitby 42, the Brewer 12.8 and I like Endeavors. Her argument is that I could turn a key and go but you can't. there is no storage. The floor is covered in these weird pieces of board that appears to be part of an IKEA furniture kit. They are not locked down. No thought has being given to conditions in excess of 15 knots of wind, This was a real eye opener for me. They kept saying that the boat is "offshore rated". What does that mean and who decides. No rub rail, twigs for stanchions…sorry I need to vent!

  391. January 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Colin, LOL! A couple years ago, to fish for ideas, the admiral and I toured a brand new Jenneau at the boat show. All the other customers were oohing and ahhing at the $400k boat. We were pointing at stuff (like exposed screw heads in the joinery) saying OMG! or WTF? We stepped off the creaking boat shaking our heads.

  392. January 22, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I looked at Jenneaus and Hause. They bragged about a dollar store piece of plastic in the bilge that held 6 bottles of wine. They are pulling the same stunt as the power boat people.It is a passion purchase. One of the 40 footers had all the 'messy' sheets hidden under thin plastic covers. You need messenger lines to pull them though.The hatches are custom made and recessed into the coach roof. Ten years down the road you will not be able to replace them. One had what can only be described as car windshields running along the sides. They had a 20 pound chunk of granite covering the sink with nothing locking it down. I think you see where I am going with that. They put great emphasis on a roomy kitchen / seating area at the expense of everything else.Tiny beds, no way to get to the motor without a moving company. I did get a great deal on a new autopilot for my 30'and a renewed respect for old school boats.

  393. January 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    WOW! Never seen anything like that frozen drain. I complain about the Florida summers, but I wouldn't know what to do about that kind of cold.

  394. January 24, 2012 at 3:55 am

    Erick, yes. I had a bunch of outside projects planned just before the freeze set in, scuttling those plans of course. Summer cannot come soon enough!

  395. January 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Don't forget to insulate that 4" AC duct so it doesn't sweat.

    Bill Kelleher

  396. February 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Robert, with out exception, every time I check in on your progress, I am always flabbergasted at both the design forethought, and the quality of the actual implementation. This will be an amazing vessel when done. Bill

  397. February 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Thanks for the kind words Bill. I still maintain that I have no clue as to what I am doing! lol

  398. February 10, 2012 at 2:39 am

    I can tell you are not building this boat to make a profit. LOL

    Darn good idea. :))

    Bill Kelleher

  399. February 10, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Bill, you can build boats for profit????? On what planet??? LOL.

  400. February 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    The boating business has to be the only one that is worse than the aviation business. The same quote applies; "How do you become a millionaire? Start as a billionaire, and then buy an airline"

  401. Tom
    February 11, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Nice work, are you using split grommets where the pipes pass through bulkheads etc.?

  402. February 11, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Tom, not specifically split grommets, but I have zip tied small lengths split loom around the plumbing, at the through points, in order to provide chafe protection. The polyethylene tubing is quite tough and is mounted quite snug. So I think I am ok.

  403. February 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Fantastic! You are really doing a great job.

  404. Anonymous
    February 16, 2012 at 12:43 am

    What latches do you use for these? and for the galley cabinets?

  405. February 16, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Thanks Dani, but you know I have no clue as to what I am doing…

  406. February 16, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Lovely work, if you need cheering up about the odd gap in carpentry visit a production boat (even an expensive one) and see the multitude of sins hidden by liners.

  407. February 16, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Thanks Gerry, please don't tempt me! I am very comfortable in my own little world! lol.

  408. February 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    What lead to your decision to go 24v instead of 12v?

  409. February 28, 2012 at 3:14 am

    Tate, you can push more current through the same wire at 24v over 12v. So you can use smaller wire. But the prime motivating factor was that high load devices (thruster, windlass, winches) stand less of a chance of burning up under high load cause the motor windings can handle it easier at 24v.

    Most items, like pumps, are available in 24v versions. Though a special order is often required.

  410. February 28, 2012 at 8:50 am

    You can get cheap DC/DC converters ideal for post-switch applications in the far east.

    I bought this 180W converter for $12:

    So far so good, but I'm only using a fraction of the power in my app.

  411. February 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Thanks Kees, yeah, I see all sorts of DC-DC converters on the web. I don't think there will be a problem of choice.

  412. March 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    looks good!

  413. March 4, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    sigh… How I envy you.

  414. Anonymous
    March 4, 2012 at 5:29 pm


    I'm a long time reader from Italy, so please excuse my (english) mistakes.

    I have a brief extract of the rules that govern the electrical system for small craft. The ABYC has perhaps other number order, but not different rules with some recommendations regarding digital switching wiring.

    If interested and before going too ahead I can send it by email (which I don't have)


  415. March 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I designed and built my own panel. Not the cheapest way to go.

    I used They give you the software and you can price out your project ont he fly.

    Rick & Lori
    M/V She:Kon (under construction)

  416. March 7, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    R&L, thanks, that panel looks pretty cool. I have heard good things about frontpanelexpress.

    We will be talking to the Blue Sea Systems people. They have a web "panel designer" application here

  417. March 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Have you checked out Great Lakes Skipper? You might find one there, OEM surplus, that'll meet your needs at about half the cost of new.

  418. March 8, 2012 at 12:48 am


    You won't go far wrong with Scott McEniry at Blue Sea. The problem with home made stuff is that it can look home made (and Rick yours is one of the better ones I've seen). The problem with adapting surplus stuff is just that, you have to adapt. Telling the better half that if she switches on circuit 2 with circuit 8 she will blow the boat up can cause stress. Design the idiot factor out.


  419. March 8, 2012 at 2:48 am

    One of the reasons for going Blue Sea panels is their ELCI main breakers. Now an ABYC safety requirement (and a good one IMHO).

  420. March 8, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Thanks Robert.

    "Design the idiot factor out."

    I think I've done that keeping everything very very simple. The only switch she can't use is the "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator" and I protected that with a cover! 🙂

  421. Anonymous
    March 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    You can run an A/c or Washer off the inverter…some inverter.

  422. March 9, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Anonymous: Is that a question or a statement? Sure, with a big enough battery bank and paralleled inverters you could run any of those things for a short time. Not sure we will. Its just a diagram.

  423. March 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Jasus, wheres the disco ball?, lol.

  424. March 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Be patient, I am working on that…

  425. Anonymous
    March 13, 2012 at 1:27 am

    If you are using say… Wind generator and solar cells. The wind is strong in the evening and light during the day, BUT for a few overlapping hours they are both generating max amps. how do you deal with that? Can this be managed? Additionally, what if the banks are all full prior to this event? You are away on a tour of a rum factory when this occurs. COLIN

  426. March 13, 2012 at 3:33 am

    Lets say 'automatic generator'. As in diesel DC generator.

  427. March 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Another possibility: automatic 'AC Generator'. In which case, the inverters turn into chargers.

  428. March 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Funny you should post about RGB LED lights, Tate and I were just talking about the waterproof strips last night. Where did you get yours? They look great, and I love the changing color.

  429. March 13, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Dani, the LED strips I am using come from here . There are cheaper ones available on the same site and eBay. And, if you are not into building your own controller, there are a number of pre-made LED control modules out there too.

  430. March 14, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Cherry is my persona favorite but it also darkens with age.

    Standing by…..

  431. March 14, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Thanks Robert! Its so funny that we are working on the electrical and lighting..Just like you.

    Small world.

  432. March 15, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Just found this blog – thanks for posting, it's really interesting.

    I've been on quite a few boats that have Cherry – that gets my vote too. It's light so it doesn't close in. And it's cheap but doesn't look cheap.

  433. Jesse
    March 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    We just redid our whole interior with teak and bamboo. We used the teak because it came with the boat, and bamboo because it was light and accented it well. There's a wood called plyboo that is good for doors/panels, and we used a dark bamboo veneer for the floor. And it's environmentally friendly!

  434. Jesse
    March 17, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Great idea on the lights, we did the same on all the toe-kicks throughout our 42, with a rocker for red/white. glows out the floor nicely. We used the 12V LED ropelight from Imtra, but there are cheaper options out there for sure

  435. Anonymous
    March 17, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    dig that crazy lighting! Colin

  436. March 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Colin, I am diggin' it, listening to the 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack, while working on the boat today. Disco WILL make a comeback! That is my prediction, lol.

  437. March 17, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Thanks Jesse, yes we are considering bamboo as well. Particularly for the flooring. Have any pictures of your remodel to share?

  438. March 18, 2012 at 4:12 am

    Rob, looks like you have been to Edensaw. That is a good start. Did you talk to anyone about what veneers are available "off the shelf" already laid up on 1/4" and 3/4" plywood. The Cherry is easy and so is the Sapele. Last time I checked they also had a limited supply of European Steamed Beach ply. The Western Maple and Alder are not generally available pre laid up. I'm not sure about Khaya.
    If you want to go with a more traditional look Cherry and Sapele are both really nice woods and would look great.

    If you want a lighter, more contemporary look and feel, the Steamed Beach would be nice . The Amber Flat Grain Plyboo looks really nice against the Beach.

    I have the Plyboo sample book, if you would like to see it , I can drop it by one day.


  439. March 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Dan. Yes, Ted and I talked a bit about ply-woods while I was at the warehouse. For me, cherry is looking the best. Janet, however, is indecisive thus far. We are trying a couple varnishes. Hopefully that will give more clarity. BTW, I will be in touch via email soon.

  440. March 21, 2012 at 10:18 am

    If you like the cherry I'm wondering why you aren't looking at oak.

  441. March 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I dont particularly care for the grain found in oak. The grain in cherry seems to have more contrast.

  442. March 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Also, besides being too light, I do not care for beech as it looks very much like oak. I like the grain of alder the best, but again it is too light (and difficult to 'work' I have been told).

  443. March 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I've worked a lot with sapele ply for glued lap boats and love its tough surface and tone. But the grain pattern can be really wild which might be sort of fatiguing to the eye on a large surface

    For every hour working with maple,count on an hour sharpening tools and be prepared to order sandpaper by the case

    I vote for cherry for tone, cost and workability.

  444. March 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I'm more of a fan of the darker top three choices. But only for accent colors. Our boat is mostly dark oiled teak inside, and I'm looking forward to the day we paint/overlay with white plastic/or cover with paintings some of the dark walls.

    Lighter is better in your case I imagine.

  445. Anonymous
    March 21, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Quartersawn Ash.Sounds weird but I saw it done and it looked great.

  446. Al
    March 22, 2012 at 12:16 am

    I'm a big fan of cherry, but it does darken considerably over time because of UV exposure. My cherry dining room tqabel with oild finish is a lot darker niow than when I bought it 20 years ago.

  447. March 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Robert, I like the cherry also, but it does very slowly darken over time (UV exposure)to a warm brown. It slows down at about ten years, and finally stops darkening at about 100 years, so don't worry. It's also a nice wood to work with. It might be a good idea to trim it out in something darker like mahogany for contrast.

  448. March 24, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Thanks everyone for your input!

  449. cal ares
    March 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Robert, We went with the idea of bringing in as much light as possible, for us this meant all the flat panels painted Navaho white in sharp contrast to the existing teak trim. I started with some trepidation but found myself pleased at the result. Keep in mind that this was a factory finished boat so we still have the ash overhead, The teak and holly floor plus the teak ceiling. I always had the feeling that they were trying to replicate a wood boat interior and over did the dark ply business. Keep up the good work. Cal Ares w42 Coyote!

  450. March 25, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Wow…You have a good system worked out! Makes ours looks like peanuts.

    Can't wait to see how it all turns out.

  451. March 31, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Nice, but I would leave out the VSM, as you suggested. This technology is moving way too fast. I plan to have most of this data transferred by wifi to an ipad or similar. Plus the VSM is expensive.

  452. March 31, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Yeah, it was more for a place holder. I need to monitor two batteries. I haven't checked what the market offers as of late.

  453. Tom
    April 7, 2012 at 8:33 am

    They sure do, good decision to refurbish, we hope ours (new 2004) will last that long!

  454. April 25, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I don't have much teak, BUT it is more than I want.

    Bill Kelleher

  455. Anonymous
    April 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    I want to run a question by you. I can't get the same answer from two electricians! If I have a fuse rated (125V 5 amps) and I run 12 volts @ 5 amps, will it blow. Are Amps…Amps no matter what the voltage. I ask because my sailboat has breakers that read 125v 5 amps. These are on a 12 volt circuit. Colin

  456. April 26, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Colin. Amps are Amps, no matter what. Amps is a measurement of charge flow. That is, electrons through a wire. In AC, the current changes direction in a sine wave fashion, in which case, amps are measured at the "peak" (or "valley", same thing). But at that instant, it is just as if DC were flowing.

    So yes, that fuse will blow at more than 5 amp draw, whether a 125AC, 12vDC or 24vDC circuit.

  457. Anonymous
    April 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I have been told since my question that you can scale down but not up. E.G. You can't use a 12v 5 amp fuse on a 600 volt 5 amp circuit. The other electrician I work with said the fuse made for a 120 V circuit won't 'burn' correctly on a 12V circuit of the same ampere rating.
    COLIN. P.S. I might be heading up to Toronto to look at a restored 1973 Whitby 42.It was listed in Cruising worlds classified. God help me.

  458. April 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks Colin, learn somethin' new. Yeah. I suppose there are fuses designed to "blow" differently for various applications and voltages. Good luck on the whitby!

  459. April 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    That 'scaling up not down' is because of isolation. A 'car style' 5 A blade fuse will probably blow at 240 V at 5 A as well, but isn't rated to be safe at that voltage.

  460. Anonymous
    May 17, 2012 at 1:12 am

    I just read a blog 'S/V Earendil' They traveled from Nassau to Fla with following seas. Last year they had their exhaust modified to factory recommendations (Yanmar)…Still the engine is full of salt water! I read about this a lot. Fact is no matter how high you make that column if the boat is low and a towering wave is raising the stern ..problem. Why do I never see flaps on the outlet to stop reversed flow into the system. Will that stall the engine?

  461. May 17, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Agreed Colin. On the small boat we put a flapper on the discharge port. Easy enough to fit. Cheap insurance.

  462. May 17, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  463. May 17, 2012 at 2:09 pm
  464. Anonymous
    May 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    A quick search came up with this web site:

    Sounds & looks to be the same company with a different tradename.

  465. May 23, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Thanks. Looks like it is. I had visited that site before but I guess I didnt dig deep enough. Turns out they made a three-burner stove called the "Mariner Regal." Seems a used one pops up on the internet every now and then.

  466. Anonymous
    June 7, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Interesting little tid bit I picked up regarding LED's. A few guys at my marina installed them but complained they burn out. An article in last months Cruising world mag pointed out that if your at the dock or the Genny is running and your smart charger is bulk charging, your electrical system is almost 15 volts as a result! Turn on a light…problem. With your 24 volt system, is this possible. If the highest charge rate is ??? 29 volts (guessing) will the device responsible for splitting it put out 12V or 14 1/2V. This was something I never thought of.

  467. June 7, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Good points. Most LED light systems, in and of themselves, are not powered by 12volts directly (usually), native voltages are something like 5V. So I suspect most LED lights, especially ones designed to replace incandescent or halogens, have integral voltage regulators (as a chip). In which case, the quality of the regulator makes for overall quality of the LED. If the regulator cant handle voltage variance, its gonna toast the LED. So for a 12V or 24V LED, the quality of the regulator will be key.

    But I am by no means an expert on LEDs.

    Related: the 24V Mastervolt switching system can "fake" 12V for lights using PWM (pulse width modulation). But it only works for halogens and incandescents.

  468. Anonymous
    June 7, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    I picked up a cheap plug in LED yesterday to test it out. I ran my inverter to the little microwave using the house battery for 8 minutes. Then turned the charger on. The voltage checked at 14.7 @ the socket I put the LED light in the socket and it glowed brightly and burnt out two minutes later.Colin

  469. June 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    I spoke with the Dr. LED rep a couple months a go and got a good look at their products (including the circuit boards). Though not cheap, they seem very well engineered. Critical components concerning voltage and RFI are US made.

  470. June 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Sounds like you went back to the old fashioned way of doing it. LOL

    "I ultimately ended up staring at the bulkhead for about an hour"

    Bill Kelleher

  471. June 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I am about to wire my 32 ft sailboat (new build) and have been looking for sources of basic info about distributed systems. Any suggestions?
    Cecil Borel

  472. June 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Cecil, I know of no "one stop" source for such info. But Nigel Calder has written a series of articles over the years on the subject, for Professional Boatbuilder magazine ( You can access back issues on their site electronically (for a fee).

  473. June 13, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Rob, great work as usual.

    Cecil, I can also recommend Don Casey.

  474. June 14, 2012 at 11:11 am

    My thought on this is that if something goes wrong and there are sparks flying you might not have any electricity to operate the remote switch.

    Just a different way to look at it.

    Bill Kelleher

  475. June 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Bill. Yeah, I had though of that. The power for the switch can come from *any* battery. Not necessarily the ones that it switches. Starter battery? Comms battery? Thruster/windlass battery? As it requires little power, a few dry cells may even work. As the solenoid is not wired, and won't need to be for a while, I have some time to think on that one. Maybe install a battery switch for the battery switch? LOL

  476. Anonymous
    June 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    I put ALL the main switches / fuse in the engine room ( AC too ) and you already have the main fuses there ( I don't use fuse but modular breaker )
    On the other side ALL fuse /switch in a distributed power system are remote controlled, and all this is in a 'grey area' where all electronic/digital controls are meant only for instruments and not for electric system.
    Ignition protected equipments are required only for gasoline and propane/butane, not for diesel.
    Some danger comes from 'vented' batteries with big charger / load: you need to take into account this and take some precautions. (not direcly over the batteries)
    I don't know exacly how in US would be checked the electric system, but here in EU is the presumption that those who are able to do 'such complicated systems' knows the rules better than the inspectors.
    Other problems are insurance, but this only AFTER the fire accidend !
    And the switch for the battery switch as for the bilge pump and for alarm system and for … all excluded from the battery switch are a must, not simply a joke (one for all ?) Check the instant power for the Blue Sea !


  477. June 14, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Thanks for the tips Claudio. Yes, I have some circuit distribution BEFORE the main switch (fuse block) for bilge pumps and other devices. As for batteries, they are in a separate compartment from the engine room, but a bit confined, and I will need to do something about ventilation there.

  478. June 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks. Yeah, a lot on the internet. This was more a whine about my regular vendors not carrying the stuff.

  479. June 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    You're not being too compulsive at all. Many times I need to get a project done {now} and not after a few days of Internet shipping. I have black heat shrink on my yellow wires and it bugs me. It still bugs me that my local Boating Superstore primarily carries double-crimp connectors rather than heat shrink connectors too, so I'm just as compulsive!

  480. June 22, 2012 at 12:39 am

    I ran yellow wire and then just used the clear shrink.

  481. Anonymous
    June 22, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Use the red and you could be looking at some hard time. Colin

  482. June 22, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Compulsive is good…

  483. June 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    LOL. Due to yellow heatshrink shortage, I have been using black on the terminal ends of the yellow wire. I figure its "mostly" yellow, and if you still confuse it, well..

    So sue me.

    Tate, great idea on the clear shrink, but my vendors don't carry clear either!

  484. June 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Looks great. I had the same issue with the 4 switch mounting bezel. Never even thought about the short wire jumpers (duh). I bit the bullet and bought the overpriced. mastervolt bezel.

  485. June 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm


    I know you live in the frozen North but I presume the Carib might be on your cruising list. In this event opening ports are very nice, especially over the galley area. Unlike deck hatches they can be left open during rain. Just an idea.

  486. June 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Yeah, I have a number of forward and side opening lights planned (NFM). There will likely be dorades for ventilation. I cant see spending huge $$$ on large opening lights that wont provide much air flow when on the hook/buoy (while boat streams INTO the wind). But I am still thinking on ideas.

  487. July 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    The more photos you post, the more I'm sure that Hull #60 is becoming the Death Star

  488. July 3, 2012 at 12:52 am

    I'm thinking about writing an article about seacock and thru-hull materials. I happened to see your blog and saw that you were using Forespars Marelon seacocks.

    I wondered if you'd answer a few questions for me?

    1. The ABYC non-metal thru-hull/seacock materials standard is Tensile Strength (TS) minimum 10,900 psi and flexural modulus (FM) minimum 500,000 pst. PVC has a TS of 7,500 psi and FM of 375,000 psi. Would you consider using PVC?

    2. If no, would you consider using a material that would degrade on a boat to values less than 7,000 psi (TS) and 250,000 (FM)?

    3. If no to 3, why?

  489. July 3, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Jed, am no materials expert, but here is my $.02.

    I would not consider PVC, just cause it seems more brittle (non scientific).

    In marelon, ALL of the seacock bits are the same material. Handle, hose barb, etc. So, if a PVC seacock had a PVC handle and hose barb, I would most certainly be worried about those breaking under stress. I would want those reinforced. Hence marelon (a glass reinforced material).

    So if you make a seacock out of PVC, what will the handle, and hose barbs be made out of? Does that make it more or less to produce over marelon?

    An interesting idea.

  490. July 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    HA! Lol. I am more hoping for something like the Starship Enterprise.

  491. Anonymous
    July 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Hi Robert,

    I don't think that 'under the floor' is a good location for the box! Even if it is certified for harsh environment.
    'My locations' are chosen in order of importance from:
    1) not too difficult to reach and to wire and rewire
    2) good, at least enough, ventilation (high current = heat)
    3) shortest wire to appliance
    4) not over heat generator (engine, oven, stove …), especially if used for high currents
    Consider that I use this system (not Mastervolt) for all !
    A good location, as example, is under the mast on the BK, replacing the terminal block for mast appliance (removable), fw cabin light, saloon light etc.


  492. July 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Thanks Claudio,

    Yeah, I am not thrilled about the location. I have some other options nearby. The goal is to find the balance between accessibility and wire run lengths, especially for the mast loads. I have some time to think about it. But this location is temporary to enable some testing for a couple devices.

  493. July 7, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Robert

    I'm with Claudio on this one, "High and Dry" where possible. Ref the mast, the wires on mine (except for the vhf) exit about 6ft above the base through a small drilled hole. The wires go directly to the bulkhead behind the mast, about a 10in jump.

  494. July 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I definitely vote for opening port lights as well. Imagine if you burn that cooking while inside on a rainy day. How will you ventilate? Also seaksickness is made like 100 times worse in a stuffy area. It'll feel nice to have a real breeze coming through.

    I agree with you on the rectangle windows. I don't like them on the Westsail either. However i'm not sure what else you could put there.

    I wish our boat had more windows with light, but the I like the safety that comes along with small portlights.

    I bet you could get a really nice type of rectangular window than the dated ones you often see on the W42's now.

    If I find nice portlights on a port that size, i'll send it your way.

    The boat is looking good.

  495. July 8, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Thanks Gerry,

    Yeah, this decision will hinge on whether we go deck or keel stepped mast (undecided). If we go deck stepped, placing the box on the underside of the deck, near the compression post, is the logical place.

  496. July 9, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Is your fan motor explosion proof ?

    Bill Kelleher

  497. July 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    As in "ignition protected"? Yes.

  498. Anonymous
    July 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    from ISO/DIS 10133
    About battery installation:
    5.1 Batteries shall be permanently installed in a dry, ventilated location above anticipated bilge water level.
    5.6 Batteries shall not be installed directly above or below a fuel tank or fuel filter.
    About ignition protection:
    12.1 Electrical components installed in compartments which may contain explosive vapour and gases shall
    be ignition-protected in accordance with ISO 8846.

    The only components explicitly subject to ignition protection (for ISO) are spark-ignition engines, LPG systems and (for ABYC) NOT diesel fuel systems.

    Batteries generate explosive vapour only 'under specified abnormal conditions'
    and therefore are not considered as explosive or generating explosive gas.

    Add to this that fan is on long before hydrogen will be generated.

    It the fan really marked as ignition protected ?


  499. July 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks Claudio,

    Do you know something I dont? The fan is Vetus. My supplier catalog, at least, says it is protected. I will have to dig out the box.

  500. July 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    There is never enough room in a boat our size.

    When people say oh your boat is so big, I want to tell them to go in my engine room and show me all that extra space. LOL

    Bill Kelleher

  501. July 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    We put bamboo in our living room. Love it. Hard as nails and wears well. The type we have is the end grain up, you don't see the joins where the sections of bamboo join up.

    I would seriously consider putting it in our project except it's heavy. If weight isn't an option it's well worth considering.


  502. Anonymous
    July 24, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Bamboo…I have used it several times. BEWARE. buy a little and lay it. If it is a finished product and the nail swells it just a little..bye bye finish above nail. Looks great but a little odd to work with.Just sayin' Colin

  503. July 28, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Not sure where you're located but there's a few other window mfgr's that you might want to look at. Although I imagine you've already seen these.


  504. H Graves
    July 28, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    And who doesn't like a machine that destroys itself? lol

  505. July 31, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    They look wonderful! Wow you are going to have so much light in the salon:D.

    You are making me want to change our portlights. LOL.

    I'll suppose i'll have to be content with looking at yours.

  506. August 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I never have the water jet cut holes for tapping because they tend to taper or be under or over. I have them cut the holes a 1/16 under and finish it with a drill. in your case a 17/32. If tapping is difficult, sacrifice a tap by carefully grinding the teeth back half way. Run it through and then finish (follow) with a new tap. Sometimes it is the only way to tap SS.

  507. August 22, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Thanks for the tip. No problem drilling and tapping the hole. It is just slow, careful, and lots of cutting oil.

  508. September 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I thought rainy season was 364 days a year in your neck of the woods

  509. September 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    A common misconception. We were approaching the record of 51 consecutive days of no rain (no chance after today's light rain). But please don't tell anyone.

  510. Anonymous
    September 11, 2012 at 3:45 am

    Robert…. posts have been few and far between. Any chanc of some new up dates… photos… and progress?

  511. September 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Mr. Anonymous. I don't blog *everything* about the project. Anything specific you would like to see an update on? Also, for you, what is not "few and far between"?

  512. Anonymous
    September 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Good Morning….. I guess that having read every entry you have posted since day one…. That I am anxious to see how your build is going. Remembering your attention to exact detail….. especially when you installed your bow thruster… well… it is fun for me to see and read about how your boat is coming along. You are a master craftman and I am respect the quality craftmanship you strive for. I am just being "greedy" in wanting to read your posts. I would like to see more posts but respect you have a… life… and wife! Just excited to see how things are going. Regards Paul
    p.s. I have never set foot on a sailboat.. but you have my interest!

  513. September 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Paul. LOL! Thanks for the kind words, but I ain't no master craftsman! Truth is, I have not had much time to manage the blog as I would like. Besides the boat project, things like jobs and family eat up my time.

    I have been planning to post about "overall state of things", complete with video and pictures, but I just haven't had time. Maybe this winter.

  514. September 11, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Mr. Anonymous reminds me that I owe you a card of thanks. I drove up to Toronto to look at a Westsail 42. I knew about the tank down in the keel and a host of other things from reading about your build. I didn't walk away, I RAN. What a mess. Heading to Annapolis in a few weeks to see what is up for grabs.

  515. September 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    What you need is a mast and a boom.LOL

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    Bill Kelleher

  516. September 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Ha. How I wish I had a mast and boom. It would mean I an farther along in the project!!

  517. September 16, 2012 at 2:47 am

    I worked as a CNC operator in a fab shop some years back. After they finished welding up a SS job, they used a sort of buffing wheel with diamond 'dust' impregnated in it. They used no creams/polish. It quickly removed the discoloration but also removed any flash and smoothed down the weld quickly. I recall that you had to keep the wheel moving along or it would start to dig a visible groove.

  518. September 16, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Colin, while I can appreciate CNC (I would love to build a plasma cutting CNC machine real bad) my SS fab guy is old skool. He does everything by hand (NO electro-plating), and it certainly shows. I liken his work to making jewelry. And, he is a master welder on the TIG machine. One day, I WILL be just like him. That is my goal.

  519. September 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    This is a just a FYI comment.

    On my boat I have had the all chain rode pile up and not been able to get anymore chain down the tube till I went below and moved the pile.
    My suggestion is to have a big enough opening that you can get in there to move it.

    Bill Kelleher

  520. September 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks Bill. Yeah, the idea is that if you need to unfoul the chain in the lower locker, just pull up one of the v-berth boards and get at it. It is expected the upper locker will get more use than the lower. To unfoul the upper locker, reach in from the access hatch on deck, or from the access hatch in the v-berth.

  521. Don Eckert
    September 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Consider this: To further reduce wear, go to your local "Tractor Supply Co" outlet and pick up one or two of the Horse Stall rubber mats to add to the bottom of the chain locker as protection. It shouldn't be too difficult to cut those rubber mats to fit into the bottom of the locker?

  522. Anonymous
    September 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Robert… Thank you for the updates and pics. If you get a moment…can/would you just take pics from all around the boat… We would enjoy just seeing random shots. Thank you… Paul

  523. September 22, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Paul, Is that a troll? Are you trying to get me to clean up the inside of the boat? LOL

  524. Anonymous
    September 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Robert… You know you need to clean it up….. I'm just helping. I bet things are looking fantastic…. come on…do it…then take shots and be proud of your hard work as you show it off! Thanks Paul

  525. September 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I'll see what I can do. My little point-and-shoot camera does not take interior pics well. I need a wide-angle camera.

  526. John Martin
    September 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Very nice! Where do you get the acrylic from?

  527. September 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm


    Sheet acrylic is from TAP plastics, a west coast plastics supplier.

  528. October 7, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Nice looking work.



  529. Anonymous
    October 10, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    The guy was the Owner/Inventor and Founder of Solomon Technologies. He created the whole concept but was taken down the road by the Vulture Capitalists…so he waited and restarted EMP.

  530. Anonymous
    October 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    As far as I know, the Nada (Calder's Malo 46) digital power system is Capi2 as described in the 2009 June/July PB magazine.
    In the 2007/2008 ePlex had big financial-technical issues then, after a stop, reborn-saved from Energy Solution UK.
    Today almost every DS is capable with little effort of integrating with every electrical/electronic system.
    The questions are whether it's worth while and whether it isn't a risk to put everything under a single system.

  531. October 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Looks Great! What kinds of prep and paint did you use? What color and finish is the paint also?

  532. October 23, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Thanks. The paint is Interlux Bilgekote Enamel White. I had my local hardware store tint it with some off-white color for free. Bilgekote, while not exactly cheap, is tough, dries fast, smooth and glossy.

  533. October 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Wow I can really appreciate your work. Bilgekote is all those things you say and it will not mold! Nice job!

  534. November 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Can I ask what you did to prepare the surface? Thanks to your beautiful work I'm thiking of painting the interior of the cabinets with Bilgekote.

    Some of the cabinets have old paint (I have no idea what kind but it has to be 20 years old at least), and some walls with wood.
    I'm thinking to give everything a nice sand with 220 grit sand paper. Vacuum then wash with TSP and let dry. Then paint.

    Do you recommend 2 or 3 coats more and did you sand inbetween each coat?


  535. November 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm


    I did not pre-sand the settee surfaces. It is Aquatek plywood which is pretty smooth as it is. But I figure since they will be covered by cushions, sanding was not necessary.

    I did apply one coat of primer (Interlux Brightside Primer) before the first (and only) coat of color.

    I used a 3 inch thin foam roller after cutting in the corners with a brush. The roller lays down a pretty even coat. Had I used a brush, two coats of color would have been needed.

    If these were outward facing panels I would have sanded with 220 using a 5 inch palm sander and vacuumed between coats, like you mentioned.

  536. November 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Tis the season for pulpits and sprits eh?

    Looking good. I've always admired those big tubular platforms on the 42s!

  537. November 4, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Very nice. I just installed our platform today on our W32….but it is teak.

  538. November 8, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Nice work.


  539. November 27, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Failure of the diesels raw water pump is all too common in sailboats. I heard an idea I thought I would pass along. If the vessel has an electric wash down pump, run a leg to the diesels raw water pump. Tee it in with a valve on the raw water pumps discharge side. If the motor sounds an overheat alarm, just start the electric pump and open the valve until you can get a chance to service it…Opinion Mr Spock.

  540. November 27, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Nice looking tool and a good looking project you're doing.


  541. November 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Colin, having had raw water impellers fail on the small boat, in rough conditions, on TWO separate occasions, I think that is an idea I will consider.

    Should be easy enough with this installation.

  542. November 29, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Robert, I hereby pass on this comment from a shaft coupling acquaintance of mine; (French Accent) "ello Monsieur Sutton, I hereby laugh in de face of your pitiful shaft coupling remover, I have been frozen in place for 6 long years and have rusted myself in situ. I am not for moving. I piss on your little contraption and it will snap just when you tink it will work. I have made grown men cry even when they come at me with sledge hammers and flame throwers and I snigger as they slide around in their own blood. à bientôt suckker!!!!"

    Just passing it on for what its worth, Gerry.

  543. November 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Gerry, HA! Yeah, I am under no pretension of this being a miracle tool. These are boats afterall.

    But for $10 in hardware and a scrap piece of metal, I don't have much to lose.

  544. December 12, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Very cool. What a big manly-man chunk of bronze!

    Is it mounted below the waterline so the bowl fills naturally or do the pumps on the various devices pull the water up and through?

  545. December 12, 2012 at 9:59 pm


    The thing is just about AT the waterline. If anything maybe a bit higher. I expect to do some adjustments once in the water (sometime, in the future… I hope… 😉

  546. December 13, 2012 at 3:06 am


    I put the top of mine at the waterline so that I could clean the filter without having to close the sea-cock.


  547. January 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I read to many Blogs to know if you are aware of this zip tie holder or not.

    My thought was to hold the exhaust hose away from the shaft.

    The other thing is that I see you found the hose clamp end covers.
    I think they are one of the best thing I have bought for the boat. :))

    Bill Kelleher

  548. January 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks for the tip Bill. Yeah, I have a WeldMount kit and some bits. Not sure if I would use it for the exhaust hose. But I am still thinking on it.

  549. January 27, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    How about, get rid of the hose and form a fiberglass tube up past the shaft that is wider and flatter at the point nearest the shaft. You could make the inner mold from foam scraps and then burn it out with a blow torch after the fiberglass has hardened up. If you made it to follow the shape of the hull,you could tab or bolt it to the side.

  550. January 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks Colin. Yeah, thats an idea. I would need high temp fire resistant resin, but it could be done. I got some time to think on this one.

  551. January 28, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    You could also form it around a thin layer of SS sheet metal if you know the way of the tin knocker!

  552. February 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Boy this is a tough one. Obviously the varnished wood looks better, but only because it has alot of detail and contrast when you shine a bright light on it.

    However in a boat where often there isn't a ton of light, this may appear super dark. I would have to see the lighter wood varnished or in whatever finish state it would be in on the boat.

    I'm leaning towards lighter BUT with the right amount of space and light accents the darker may give a richer and more homey feel.

    Someone who had been cruising alot gave this great piece of advice:

    "It's easy now to want to lighten and brighten the interior when you are landlocked, with trees, dirt, and possibly cold weather but once you start cruising in sunny areas with lots of clear blue water, sandy beaches devoid of trees you will really appreciate having something homely and cozy to retreat to".

    That made alot of sense. Good luck with your choice!

  553. February 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks for the tips Dani. I think we will wait till we get portlights in to make final color judgements. I think natural light might make a big difference over florescent. lol.

  554. Anonymous
    February 12, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Love the pulpit platform! I know you said it's heavy gauge, but could you let me know the specifications of the metal tube/pipe?

  555. February 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Wall thickness is 0.12 in. Slightly less the SCH40, which is about 0.15 in.

  556. February 14, 2013 at 5:05 am

    I wouldhave done the same, however, I have a standpipe and the Perko strainer is at the waterline teed off this standpipe.

    The only improvement on the standpipe I can see is putting in a hinged Delrin flap to keep the fishes and debris (down to an 1/8th of an inch) out.

  557. February 14, 2013 at 5:05 am

    Wow. I'll be doing this job quite shortly. I'll post my somewhat different approach then.

    Great stuff.

  558. February 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Just spoke to the Mastervolt gang at the Miami Boat show, lots going on in conjunction with BEP. They mentioned that they are developing an iPad app to control the Mastervolt system, sounds promising.


  559. February 17, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks for the info Gerry. I myself prefer android. Maybe by the time this project is done(?) they will have the app.

  560. February 17, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    When you machine Aluminum, do you go full depth and one pass or multiple passes and a light finish pass at the correct size? I find the biggest problem I always have is the cutters. I use an older (tired) end mill for roughing followed by a specialized aluminum cutter to finish. As soon as the cutter heats the aluminum to 600/800 degrees F, the show is over, the aluminum becomes plastic and sticks to the cutter. Even with fluid pouring all over it. I have had one quickly clog. The Mazak faults and you have a mess.

  561. February 17, 2013 at 6:44 pm


    No way I could do it in one pass.

    This piece was cut with multiple passes at 0.05 in depth with a feed rate of 10 inches per minute. This with a special single flute aluminum cutting bit. It took a while to cut. I am still trying to find optimal spindle speed. I already wasted one bit due to overheating.

    A CNC plasma cutting table is what I really want, but cant really jusfy it (yet).

  562. February 24, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    I was looking at a 42 for sale in Virginia last night. The owner bought it new in 1980. He added a long blurb about his rig and how the ketch rig doesn't work. Worth reading……..

  563. February 25, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Do you not have an overhead hatch in the V-berth? If so, I wouldn't worry much about any darkness, as I think that's a desirable quality for watchkeeping.

    Our aft cabin is the V-berth equivalent, as our forepeak is the workshop with a single 7 x 14 hatch in the middle of a 24 inch square steel lid. Sure, it's a hatch…but it's a lot more like a lid. Anyway, the aft cabin just has two recessed 7 x 14" for ventilation, and is thickly insulated. I put 10" circular ports (NFM) in the pilothouse, which is loaded with hatches, as a) it's the least likely place to get spray, and b) I can't count on engine bay fans to get rid of all the engine heat. But to vent the saloon, we crack deck hatches and those aft cabin hatches, or start a couple of fans. To us, air exchange trumps light, and dry trumps wet. We are, after all, surrounded by outside.

    I've had V-berth portlights leak on me on passage, and I would trade "somewhat dark" for "wet" any day. Just my .02. I'm not doctrinaire about it.

  564. February 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    There will be two small opening portlights on the front of the cabin trunk. More for ventilation rather than light. Natural light in the v-berth is not a priority, but we still want to see when we switch on the lights. So some sort of light color, rather than dark hardwood, is desirable.

  565. February 25, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Robert
    I have been following your progress with great interest and must say you are doing some really cool stuff!
    I have recently stumbled into a possible project myself …..a 40 foot aluminum hull in the raw, no mast or rigging and totally unfinished.
    In all of your blog I can't find any budget info…..can you tell me what the budget and the real cost will be for just the finishing portion after clean out?

  566. February 25, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Budget? We don need no steenkin' budget! Ha.

    Seriously, we have specific wants and requirements for features, brands and quality that occasionally change. So, trying to quantify costs and budgetize is kind of a waste.

    Suffice to say that: we always pay cash, shop for the best price, consider costs when choosing features and design approaches.

    The idea/hope is that we will have something we like/want with no debt.

    That probably does not help, but that is how we are doing things.


  567. February 25, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Thanks Rob………I do like your approach but you are right, it doesn't really help with what I'm trying to figure out. Do you have any idea on how many hours work you have put in just to do the interior? tah littl bit will help a ton if you have a rough number…..

  568. February 26, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Thanks for the reply, Mr. Sutton.

    To Bernie: I estimate I will end up spending about $75-$85K on my refit, or about half what I paid for my steel 41-footer. This includes a full repower (new diesel with custom features), new shaft, new Shaft Shark, new Aquadrive, new (likely Vetus) exhaust system, windvane, hydraulic AP, new feathering prop, new windlass, new water tanks, upgraded portlight, a helm seat capable of serving co-skippers a foot apart in height, a fair bit of custom welding and fabrication of metal pieces beyond my capacity, solar and wind generation, a small watermaker, an used Portabote and a new nesting, sailing tender, various bilge pumps, galley pumps and loads of hose, clamps and specialty tools (like a prop puller), about half a ton of Trojans I have yet to buy, and that's just the main stuff.

    We aren't even on deck yet. I need a new main, a cruising genoa, a reefable staysail, new standing and running rigging, a radar, an AIS, and a new sounder. And probably a new, beefier ground tackle set-up, and loads of little cosmetic and wiring changes, which I will do.

    The bad news is that yes, this is as expensive as renovating an old house and probably takes a lot longer. The good news is that it would take twice or three times as much as we are spending (and have spent to date) to create a boat capable of world cruising, including high latitudes. The other good news is that you inevitably learn a lot about a number of trades, even if you don't remotely master them. This serves you down the road, and preserves you in part from being the patsy of shady contractors.

    We are keeping the existing steering, winches (adding a used pair of biggish Lewmars rehabbed by me, however) and the Lavac head that convinced my wife it was a sound vessel in the first place. The biggest structural change will likely be the hatch I am cutting into the upper half of the forward collision bulkhead to gain egress into the forepeak workshop without having to go on deck.

    The other good news is that most of the enhancements we are making to a boat that, after all, was quite capable of sailing when we bought

    Our point, which I suspect we have in common with Mr. Sutton, is that doing all this work oneself gives one an intimate knowledge of every aspect of the boat's construction, which, one hopes, inspires confidence and defers worry for more important things, like catching fish for dinner and devising new sundowner recipes.

    Hope this has been of help…sorry for the length.

  569. February 26, 2013 at 2:57 pm


    What Rhys said (thanks Rhys).

    Unfortunately, I do not have any estimates on totals.

    Suffice it to say there many options for building out a boat. Many options on choice/grade of materials. For example, you could go real cheap and use plain non-marine plywood (and pay for it later), or got with expensive composite materials design to last. Or somewhere in between.

    Heck in the recent issue of Good Old Boat, was a picture of a restoration that appeared to have chip/particle board as a bulkhead! Real cheap, but I'd run away.


  570. February 26, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Thanks guys! This really does help.
    I have about 4 years before I finally shut down the 9 to 5 and it looks like it will take all of that to complete this boat. The price is good I think and while nothing is finished it does come with a truck load of parts and stuff, motor included. I'll have to ponder this one real hard and of course get the admirals input.

  571. February 26, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    About the only advice I would give at this point is to never, ever nail your boat work to a calendar or tell people when you are finally "cutting the dock lines". Life, circumstances and your own foibles will sink the best-laid plans.

  572. March 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Robert, don't know if you ever saw this site but It is very well done. He is restoring a Fisher 30 that sank! Complete tear down and rebuild. The guy is really good and explains things well.There is a section in which he applies 1/4 cherry ply on the inside, I picked up a lot of good tips. Check it out.

  573. March 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Colin, thanks.

    I saw his site some time ago. Yes he has a lot of good stuff up there as of late. A must read.

  574. March 2, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I am guessing that he is in the industry.

  575. March 4, 2013 at 2:18 am

    Very nice, but is it such a great idea to put a motor close to the bilges?

    I've thought along similar lines, to have the table lower to make a big bed by trimming it right to the sides of the surrounding benches, but I thought I would either spring (no pun intended) for a robust gas cylinder pedestal, or rig a sort of bottle jack mechanism. Maybe even a scissors lift clad in wood…

    Can't argue with its sturdiness, however…that looks good.

  576. March 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Some sort of protection of the motors is a concern. But they are above the tanks and dinette riser by nearly two feet. Even in extreme heel not an issue. But locating them in a well ventilated area is ideal. Maybe I can invert the motors somehow. Have to think on that one.

    Your mention of "gas cylinder" gives me an idea for providing some lift assist, should it be necessary. Thanks!

  577. March 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    No problem. We have to solve similar access and movement issues on our otherwise quite different boats, and would tend to arrive at similar conclusions from different start points.

    Recently,I've had to research every type of "gas spring", which is the name of the category, by the way, for every sort of hatch that is heavier than something a simple bronze strut would hold open with confidence, which is why it's top of mind.

    While the pedestal ones for helm seats are quite spendy, you could get everything from a bus driver's seat mount to a salvaged barbershop chair base to accomplish the same action in a compact manner.

    I need to investigate gas springs for my engine bay hatch and my steel forepeak deck hatch, both of which will be "unlight". Another dinette-weight project will be the new saloon companionway steps I am planning to frame up, which will cover eight Trojan L16s in a welded, stepped box, which will contain battery boxes for each pair. One of the very few things I like about current showroom queens is the gas springs that allow a companionway hinged at the top to rise with a kid's grade of arm strength and stay put under pulled down like a well-fitted sash window. The point is to take all the half-ton of batteries I intend to carry right to the CE of the entire boat, meaning I can dispose of the lead pigs acting as trim ballast forward…and replace it with tools.

    The gas springs used for truck engine hoods should be about the right size. You could use gas springs in combination with a locking strut in a number of applications around the boat in a similar fashion.

    Lastly, today's hot tip is that Lee Valley seems to be selling moddable warm white and coloured LED strips for a price I find reasonable, and will do so in bulk. I recall you've already installed a few in selected spots, but I saw the RGB ones and thought "hey, go from white to pure red in the pilothouse with the turn of a pot dial? I can get behind that!"

    You might want to check it out. I think LEDs are the absolute bomb in any boat place that requires small amounts of light (like inside lockers soldered to a 9V battery and a contact switch)or for "mood lighting" under the lips of cabinets aimed up or down.

    We are pretty much at the break point between me wiring up strips off a spool and the price of retail. I thought I'd have to make and measure my lighting, but it's going "prêt-à-porter": just buy what you need and screw it down.

  578. March 7, 2013 at 2:01 am

    Damn, that looks brand new. Nice score. We've got one in the club workshop, so I don't need one.

    I did, however, buy a small, 120V welder today. On its lower settings, my Honda 2000 will run it well enough, which will be enough to make boxes and brackets and other useful items to order. I like wood, but short of a plunge router and a dovetail jig, I'm not really oriented in that direction.

  579. March 10, 2013 at 5:01 am

    Very good. Normally, I would prefer to keep tins, etc. low in the bilges, but that presents its own problems with rotation, chafe, damp and ease of access. I would suggest (even though it's more expense and work, that you make individual hinged and locking doors for each shelf and then number/label them and log the contents, so that you can open a single shelf compartment, retrieve Can or Spare X, and latch it shut again.

    I would also suggest you devise some way to separate rows of cans so that they can't slide around in half-empty compartments. This might involve something as simple as balsa or thin plastic dividers in grooves.

    I have opted for "Tupperware under hatches" (see, but your choice is clearly more convenient.

  580. March 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks. Yeah finish work will include surface mounted fiddles on the shelves to keep things from sliding too much. Vent holes will be cut too.

  581. March 12, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    I think, for what it's worth, you've gone with the right decision. Not because it's Jefa (which I understand is an excellent firm) but because you are going "direct drive" to get a tiller-like response.

    There's a guy named "Knuterikt" on He's Norwegian and has posted on Jefa steering gear (see You might search "Jefa" there and see what others have said. Also, there's plenty of great photos of the steering innards you may like, although you are going for a different set-up.

    Regarding your installation: are you going to have a vane and if so, what would be the best way to rig it?

    Also, if you go with a hydraulic ram for AP, you could do worse than a Teleflex 25 cu. in. ram and a ComNav control head. ComNav is work boat stuff, not West Marine. Simple, tough and dependable. About the only other pilots I like as much are W-H and B&G ($$$).

    Looks great, by the way.

  582. March 12, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    EEE GADZ that looks complicated

  583. March 13, 2013 at 2:37 am

    Congratulations, excellent choice. As you know I looked at Jefa and did some mockups but could not make it work on a Whitby 42. Once you are out in your first blow I doubt if you will harbor any regret about the extra money spent.


  584. March 13, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    The things you find with ultra-specific Google search terms…

    Robert, that's an excellent installation. I am currently grappling with the issue of tank vents, specifically where to run them.

    I'm installing (finally) my Filter Boss after launch, and to lessen the odds of water getting in to the tanks, I am choosing to reroute ALL tank vent line runs from the typical gunwhales or cabin sides to the pilothouse, either to a gooseneck or two on the roof or under the roof overhang. I got this idea from the same old book on North Sea trawlers where I first saw a transverse exhaust that dispenses with a siphon break (a particular bugbear of mine).

    For the exhaust, see Dave Gerr’s drawing of what I mean here:

    It strikes me that if one can run the vents higher, and T in a petcock for drainage at the bottom of the vertical run, you stand a far better shot at keeping water out of the tanks completely without the use of problematic (to me) check valves. Your thoughts would be appreciated, although really, I can't fault your decision to run one "master vent" at the bottom of a undercoaming loop to your cockpit.

  585. March 13, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Certainly the higher the loop/vent the better.

    I don't care for check valves either. In my case, the goal was to keep tanks from being overfilled. Vent-stops just above the tank was the easiest solution, while still keeping the devices accessible.

    Vent discharge in the cockpit footwell is right above the cockpit drain, so any fuel discharge discreetly goes overboard. As we are a center-cockpit, getting water up in the vent seems unlikely enough for me.

    I was a board a local pilothouse sloop where the fellow ran the vent loop up inside the stainless steel framing supports for the roof, then down onto the deck. Completely contained in the wall and hidden from view. You could not get the loop any higher unless you went up the mast.

  586. March 13, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Colin, in fact it is much less complicated than a cable system. Since this post, it has been simplified even further.

    Rhys, no decisions on vane or autopilot. The Jefa system offers many options for auto pilot inputs.

  587. March 13, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Fair enough, Robert. I wondered about the amount of drag in such a setup when compared to a quadrant or a regular tiller.

    Alchemy's hydraulic ram (and yes, I concur on the absence of "feel") can be fully bypassed in favour of a truly Viking-sized seven-foot tiller, to which a wind vane can be attached.

    Thus I have two autonomous methods of steering. Three, if you count the head door lashed to the spinnaker pole, but let's hope it doesn't come to that.

  588. March 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Because I intend to install a Tank Tender setup, and will therefore have closely monitored capacity (along with fuel cross-transfer pumps if I need to pump out or "pump forward"), I'm going to skip the check valves and do something like what you describe in my pilothouse.

    My concept is to get brass poles from pilothouse deck to the pilothouse roof as (on one side) engine fresh air intake, and on the other, a single open vent line going to a vent line manifold much like your own.

    So it's not dissimilar, which is the case the deeper I get into your blog: a lot of similar preferences and concepts executed in different orders and timeframes. You've got the far bigger to-do list.

  589. March 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    It does, indeed. Do you have a tabernacle designed so as to enable your main mast or mizzen mast to be lowered without a mast crane?

  590. March 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    No, and probably won't.

  591. March 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    1. Nice work.

    2. I hope your wife is prepared for all the lewd comments.

    3. Who knows why its called a tabernacle?

  592. March 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Gerry, HA!

    I intentionally avoided the pole comment. Seems every owner makes the same oldest joke about their boat's "pole". The wife and I both roll our eyes when we hear/read them. We try to be different ya know.

    (this is the closest reference I will ever make on this blog LOL!)

  593. March 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Huh…you don't look sound like a beginning woodworker. I've salvaged teak from the boat club bins on the sound economic and ecological basis that I never want to pay for the stuff new. Knowing as we do (my wife is a biologist) that the last stands of teak forests are coming down and flattening or frightening off orangutans in the process, I prefer to "repurpose" the tons of teak cut in the '60s and '70s.

    A more sustainable source of boat wood (and I don't particularly like wood aboard boats) are North American species such as oak and black cherry. I happen to have a 120 year old black cherry tree in my backyard, and it requires fairly severe limb reduction to correct a bad list to the south. It's a simple matter to ask the arborists to cut specific lengths of branches for further reduction into, say, 24 inch planks. You could even spin a foot-thick section of branch for veneer. Jigs and routers yield gear boxes, small shelves and attractive panel covers…and no primates are harmed.

    Old gumwood, oak and mahogany doors and office furniture are also great candidates for planking as few have the patience to take off nine layers of lead or "milk" paint. Frequently, you can score these things for free by offering to clean out basements or garages. "New", they are quite expensive.

  594. March 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Without trolling through hundreds of posts to figure out the layout of your aft cabin, is it crazy to suggest that these articulations and shafts could run along the aft cabin ceiling?

    I mention it because I'm planning on installing what in essence is a vertical "stripper pole" in our aft cabin to route electrical and data cables to the aft deck "sailing helm", which will avoid two right-angle turns that the hydraulic lines take all the way to the stern and back. Similar brass or SS "bus posts" will route tank vents from the keel to the pilothouse roof, and of course will serve as handholds.

    Just a thought…

  595. March 22, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    No way could it go under the ceiling without a lot of exposed mechanics and relocation of the helm.

  596. March 22, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    OK, fair enough. I clearly have to read more to get a better impression of the interior of your Westsail.

    I think the last mod is an improvement, however, and the Jefa setup is the bomb.

  597. March 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    You have one very nice admiral, I think you better keep her happy. :))

    Bill Kelleher

  598. March 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Admiral happiness quotient is directly proportional to captain's contentment in my experience. Also, a spouse that takes an interest in the quality and upkeep of a man's tools…wait, this isn't coming out right…anyway, it's a Very Good Thing for someone moving into a "life aboard" lifestyle.

    Mr. Sutton, have you a drill bit sharpener and have you found it of much use? I am dulling even cobalt bits at an alarming rate punching through half-inch steel and would appreciate your thoughts.

  599. March 26, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Have you considered gluing a veneer over the pieces that require the kerfed corners? It's nice work, even in "test mode".

  600. March 26, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    You need to left 1/16 of material to bend it without splits.

  601. March 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Rhys, we have not decided if the surfaces will be veneered or painted.

    Veneering is another thing I must experiment with.

    comsa, thanks, I will try 1/16 next time.

  602. Dan
    March 30, 2013 at 12:40 am

    I agree that it's "Not Bad" Could steaming have helped?

    I'm thinking steaming would require building a steam box and mean more work.

  603. March 31, 2013 at 2:19 am

    Dan, I have read about the technique, but never tried it.

    I may give it a try depending on how things go.

  604. March 31, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    I feel about the level of your skills and equipment the same way I feel about guys with vintage wooden boats: I can only admire it from afar.

    People are sometimes surprised to learn that we chose a steel boat in part because we as unskilled owners can get up to speed faster with fewer skills acquisition time. Steel boats are usually seen in terms of being a nightmare of corrosion and electrolysis issues, but those issues are primarily addressed through vigilance and planning and a lot of little tasks.

    Filling an irregular boat interior with custom EVERYTHING is in fact significantly more difficult to do right and takes a far wider range of skills in my view. A CNC setup is only "one step beyond" if one doesn't consider how much time and labour it saves you in the end.

  605. April 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Can't help but wonder what would happen if you used a ball nose cutter and if you cut the kurf in a wave form instead of a straight line. My 2 cents.

  606. April 6, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Thats just cheating. I can find no mention of a CNC machine in my copy of Practical Yacht Joinery by Fred P. Bingham (Apr 1983).

  607. April 6, 2013 at 4:45 am

    The amazing thing about your site is the amount of effort you are putting int just thinking about things before you do them. On my build, I am striving to think things through and I have had some success in this area, but you site is an absolute inspiration in this area and I thank you for that. I love the look of the mockup.

  608. April 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Gerry, they say that "tools doth not a craftsman make". To which I add: "But it can really help"

    Clipper, thanks for the kind words.

  609. April 9, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I like the "drop-through" cubbyholes.

    Would you bother to give those lids latches to lock them down, or is there too little room for anything to go flying if you get knocked down?

    I go back and forth on this issue, personally, because I read too many books where little yachts in the '50s and '60s did a 360 degree roll and the worst part was stuff in lockers busting out and creating havoc.

  610. April 11, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Nah, once walled in and stuff is in there, things will be pretty confined.

    It will be very hard for this boat to do a 360 roll. And if it does, then I am in deeper !@#$%^ of my own making.

  611. April 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Fair enough! As I said, I go back and forth on this topic, but I know that unlockable cabin sole hatches on new boats get up my nose severely. I just visualize 24 cans of cheaply acquired soup mingling with my largest wrench turning the saloon into a UFC cage match.

    I do share your preference to make good use of every cubic inch. I have a plan to use bungie-secured netting to hold fenders in the engine bay instead of keeping them in racks off the UV-drenched stern.

  612. April 15, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Hi Rhys and Robert

    I'm with Robert on the small lockers. I do believe in having a way to lock down cabin soles, batteries (obviously), tool kits, canned goods and anything you would not want to collide with your head at speed. Some of this securing can be ad hoc and carried out before an open sea trip, using lashings etc.. A good read on the subject is "Fastnet, Force 10: The Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing". Many of the injuries were caused by items flying around during the storm. My claim to fame (if the attached photo shows up) is that I was a recovery diver after the Fastnet race 1979, while serving in the Irish Navy. 33 years ago, how the hell did that happen :-(.

  613. April 19, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Glad to hear you sail a bit as well as ferocious amounts of rehab.

    I wonder why bronze seacocks don't come with bronze handles?

  614. Kobin
    July 22, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Cool glad I found this blog! I love the Westsail 42 and finishing one from a bare hull is my dream… just don’t have the time. Since you have the CAD drawings, have you considered making the interior panels on a wood CNC machine?

    • builder
      July 25, 2018 at 9:49 pm

      Hello! Thanks for the comment!
      Yes, we do in fact have a CNC router table. It usually gets used one way or another on most projects. Even if it is just cutting jigs. There are posts in the archives about the building of the CNC machine.