All posts by jeopardyracing

Reader Poll! What Is The Dumbest Thing You’ve Seen A Crew Do When Anchoring?

By Rich

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?

Hylas 54: Reflections On Ground Tackle

By Rich

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

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