Literally. It was s**tty.
It all started when the seals on our windlass decided to pack it in over the weekend, leaking gear oil over the decks and into the anchor locker. Wanting to avoid getting water in the gear oil and fearing we could damage the windlass further if the oil level got too low, we motored to Southwest Harbor to see if we could get a marine shop to take the windlass in for a rebuild. Monday morning I took on the huge job getting it taken apart and removed from the boat. Continue reading My August Week Off From Work Was S**tty. Plain S**tty.
Our WordPress website data shows that over the last six years of blogging my yacht reviews are the most popular posts with our readers by a considerable margin. The data surprised me somewhat, since I am neither an industry nor sailing professional. No matter – I love writing them and people seem to love reading them so I’m going to keep them coming! Having covered thousands of miles aboard our own 2006 Hylas 54, Rover, and as crew aboard the 2015 Hylas 56 Odette, I thought it was high time I put my reflections on these yachts down on paper for the benefit of anyone who might be interested. Moving forward, I plan to segment my yacht reviews into the following sections:
- Designer’s Intended Use (to put the review in context)
- Design Characteristics
- Performance Under Sail
- Sailing Dynamics & Handling
- Performance Under Power
- Handling When Docking
- Ground Tackle Fittings
- Quality / Fit & Finish
Continue reading Hylas 54 Yacht Review!
We bet a lot of you wonder how it’s going with three of the four of us working day jobs from the boat. It’s an interesting question because while I have been working from boats for long periods full time for several seasons between Rover and our prior boat, Le Saberage, those experiences were very different in that the boats tended to stay in one marina for weeks at a time, most often at a slip. That meant marina-supplied WiFi, electrical power supplied from the marina, and a known cell phone signal strength.
Continue reading “You Work From The Boat Full Time? How’s That Going?”
Alright readers! If you’ve ever anchored out in Annapolis for Blue Angels, the 4th of July, or Bands in the Sands, or if you’ve ever anchored … ummm …. anytime in the BVI, then you’ve no doubt seen some pretty heroically hair-brained stupidity by fellow captains trying to set or retrieve an anchor. Use the comments selection below (or PM me and I can post) and let’s see if we can select the winning story!
Just to kick things off, I’ll start with two stories: one I witnessed and one (because if you can’t laugh at yourself, you shouldn’t laugh at others) that I starred in! Continue reading Reader Poll! What Is The Dumbest Thing You’ve Seen A Crew Do When Anchoring?
Fortunately for each member of Team Rover, we are all aligned on preferring to be at anchor by far over moorings or slips. That’s a really good thing because the experience is considerably different for each of the three options. Slips and (in particular) moorings are more or less tie-up-and-forget-it affairs, whereas anchoring requires more diligence and skill in choosing the right spot and monitoring to be sure swing radiuses are appropriate and the boat is not dragging in stiff breezes. So far we’ve been anchored more than half or 3+ week trip and I have the following reflections to share about the experience so far: Continue reading Hylas 54: Reflections On Ground Tackle
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
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
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
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