We Are Giving Our Second Webinar This Sunday!

By Rich

Join us this Sunday for Part II of our three part webinar series. This week’s topics will be on our process for choosing the Hylas 54 as our passage making cruiser! We look forward to seeing you there.

Sunday, May 3 at  5PM

Meeting ID: 822 7315 2784
Password: 251750

We Are Giving A Live Seminar This Sunday!

By Rich

Join us this Sunday at 5PM! We are giving the first of a three part seminar for the Annapolis Yacht Club on our transition from inshore Bay racers to offshore passage making and cruising. Here are are the details, we look forward to seeing you there!

3-Part Cruising Webinar: Starts this Sunday – 4/26, 5PM
Part 1 (April 26) will be an introduction to the crew and will cover our preparation for the cruise. Part 2 (May 3) will focus on yacht selection and Part 3 (May 10) will be about what we’ve learned so far.
Meeting ID: 822 7315 2784
Password: 251750

An Object Lesson In Keeping Diesel Clean

By Rich

It’s a terrible joke but I’ll make it again: marine diesel engines always fail at the worst time. From an engineering standpoint, this is a bad joke because there is a perfectly good reason why engines choose rough weather to fail: big seas stir up the asphaltenes or blobs of microbial growth, which then get sucked up into lines and filters. Many boat owners like to blame old, dirty fuel tanks or having “gotten bad fuel” at their last fill up, but the reality is that keeping fuel clean requires constant vigilance even on new boats. The ship’s log our our Hylas 54, Rover, show that she was experiencing engine failures due to clogged fuel filters when she was only a year old. Below is a great a video from Distant Shores TV showing they had the exact same experience on their one year old boat – and, as always, the engine failure occurred in an choppy inlet, which is when they always do. If you watch the video all the way through you will see that a terrible design flaw in Southerly’s fuel plumbing directly contributed their failure too.

How To Prevent Incidents Like This Continue reading An Object Lesson In Keeping Diesel Clean

Ever Struggle To Get a Dockline On A Far Away Piling? Rig A Heaving Line

By Rich

Don’t you hate it when you want to add a dockline to one corner of your boat, but the nearest piling is 15 feet away and much too tall to throw a line over it? On our Hylas 54 we found the prior owners had rigged heaving lines to solve the problem. Heaving lines are relatively light and small, but long lines with a weight on one end. Here’s what ours look like:

Continue reading Ever Struggle To Get a Dockline On A Far Away Piling? Rig A Heaving Line

Keeping Water Tanks Clean: Part III

By Rich

For more backgound on this post, see this post and this post. In summary, the fresh water tanks on a boat can get pretty disgusting inside if they aren’t managed carefully. We cleaned the water tanks on our Hylas soon after we bought her and it was a big job that I’d prefer not to have to do regularly. As such, I needed a means of draining the very last bits of water out of each tank once they were “empty” (but not really empty, because the pump pickups are high enough from the bottom of the tank that small amounts of water remain in each tank, then go rancid and start growing small swamp monsters). Continue reading Keeping Water Tanks Clean: Part III

One Day Miami Cruise!

By Rich

This weekend we had 3/4 of Team Rover aboard for a quick one-day trip to Miami to see the University of Pittsburgh play Miami in men’s basketball. Just like the last time Lisa and I did a Lauderdale to Miami cruise aboard our Sabre 42, the forecast was for 15 knot easterlies, and just like the last time the forecast was way off (we had 25 knots with higher gusts again this weekend)! These were some of the liveliest conditions we’ve had the Hylas in, and the boat was fantastic. She really comes alive in these conditions, yet she somehow also exudes a confidence that makes everyone aboard feel completely at ease. Plus she makes seriously good time! Here’s a short video clip of the trip down with a reefed main and jib:


Continue reading One Day Miami Cruise!

What We’re Working On Now

By Rich

We are planning a couple of short cruises this winter, but we plan to keep fairly close to Lauderdale to focus on getting the boat ready for the “big cruise.” First up: our main engine is burning a ton of oil (one quart per 50 hours of run time). Since it was compression tested in Charleston before we bought the boat, we don’t think it’s generally a tired engine. Rather, I suspect the turbo seals may have been leaking since I noticed a film of oil on the rubber portions of the induction pipes just upstream of the turbo compressor. So we decided to have the turbocharger and oil cooler removed to be serviced and checked for leaks. As things came apart we did see quite a bit of oil in the induction pipes where it shouldn’t be:

Continue reading What We’re Working On Now

Annapolis to Fort Lauderdale 2019!

By Rich

And….we’re off! Annapolis to Fort Lauderdale was the first significant passage for Team Rover since bringing her home from Charleston. We left Saturday, November 23rd dressed in full ski gear hiding inside the enclosure while listening to college football on satellite radio.  Light head winds meant motoring all day and night.  Around dusk the rain started and it poured through much of the night. We could not have been happier to have the full enclosure; in fact, we never ran the heat for the entire passage, which meant we only needed to run the generator once to charge batteries. Continue reading Annapolis to Fort Lauderdale 2019!

Fuel Tanks: Three Down One To Go

By Rich

Today we skipped what would have been great sailing weather to focus on getting the starboard forward tank cleaned out and its fuel lines replaced. Not ideal to give up a day of sailing but we need to get through our P1 projects before time runs out to get south! This tank had some of the worst debris and as it happens was the tank we were running off of when we killed the generator lift pump coming up from Charleston. Before and after photos:

More Sea Trialing

By Rich

One of our mandates for the fall before we head south to Lauderdale is to test the boat in any challenging conditions we can to find any leaks or other weaknesses. Last Saturday we had around 20 knots from the south, so Brian and I went out for some double handing. We found a leak or two and confirmed we need to tune the rig. Plus we had a blast!

Photo Credits: Wilbur Keyworth