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2009
Keeping Costs in Control
Finding Your Boat in the Dark
Instrument Assisted Grounding
Limited Power of Attorney
Structural Adhesives for Boat Building
Lyle Hess Plans: Change of Address
Source for Bu-Ord parachutes for Para-anchor Usage
Writing and Cruising
Children and Cruising

2008
No Marina Shower
Pro-Active Insurance
Better Folding Water Jugs
Reinforced Tradewinds
Bilge Pump Outlet
Floating Plastic Waste
Mast Failure
Signing Off Before You Set Sail

2007
Ship's Library
Maintaining Varnished Surfaces
Have epoxy adhesives improved recently?
Series Drogues: Can They Work Like a Para-anchor?
Efficient Tool Drawers For Cruising Boats
Make Your Boat Unstoppable
Open Roadsteads
Storm Trysails
Lyle Hess Designs
What Does Cruising Cost?

2006
Navigation Warning
Quick Fix in Island Studded Waters
Things I've learned at sea
Winterizing Varnished Timber
Para-Anchor Source
Sea Boots
Preventing Rigging Failures at Sea
What about holding tanks?

2005
Ventilation Assisting
Companionway Board

I hate systems!
Seacocks & Through Hull Fittings
Galley Sink Cutting Board
Fail-proof Turnbuckle Lock

Special provisions
Email Contact-Beware
Folding Lifeboat Note

2004
Plated Plugs
When Radar Doesn't Work

Perfect Cruisers Cookware
Removing Stains From Wood

Ships Medical Library
WARNING:Spectra Lines

New To Oysters
More on Cookware

Storage tips
A Space Conscious Knife Rack

Double Duty Locker Door
Washing Line

2003
Life Rafts
Medical Insurance
Cash & Carry
Preserving Butter
Chilean Canals
Beeswax!
Powdered Eggs
Save Your Fingers

2002
Beware of White!
Ice Buckets

Leftover Fillet
Extra Veggie Storage
Protect Your Lines

Clink prevention
Easier Shopping

Assist Masthead Maintenance
Health Insurance
Electricians & Alloy
Affordable Security
Proper Sea-Cocks
Tips from Larry's Workshop
Travel Insurance
Variable Destination Navigation

2001
Anti-prop stop reminders
Sail Covers
Shake down sail
The Port Stick

Poor Mans A/C
Stern Anchor Stowage
Spinnaker pole storage

Water in your fuel
Egg Carriers
European Duties

2000
Natural Sandpaper
Deoderize kerosene
Waterproof adhesive
Ready Crisp Bacon

Visas
Boat Tie Shoes

Easier Screwing
Miracle Product

Swageless end fittings
Quick Hot Soup

1999
Night Vision Glasses
Marine Metal Detector
Kitchen Helpers
The "watch" watch


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June 2004

Plated Plugs & When Radar Doesn't Work

Evans Starzinger and Beth Leonard lay at anchor in North Cove, Kawau Island for two days and we shared meals and ideas. Hawk, their 47-foot voyaging home, is far more complex than Taleisin, but definitely considered simply outfitted by the standards of many we see today. Evans suggested we share the following items- gleaned from their latest 30,000 miles of high latitude voyaging -

Electrical connections - Evans has tried every type of connection available and found the only ones that tend to last in the salty environment of a cruising boat are those that have plated connectors. His favorite choice is made by Aqua-signal which have silver-plated connectors. According to Evans, these are available through out Europe and the USA at major chandleries.

Radar - Evans and Beth invested in a high powered, top of the line radar unit for their voyaging to Iceland and northern latitudes. When they encountered heavy fog they learned they could not trust the returns - the radar did not penetrate the heavy blanket of moisture to provide a true reading of what lay beyond. Furthermore, Icebergs gave very poor returns.

This coincides with a lesson we learned when we were crossing the North Atlantic a few years back. It was just at dusk. We had a heavy rainsquall just south of us. Skies to the north were completely clear and we saw a ship that appeared to be on a parallel course about a mile north of us. I called them on our handheld VHF and asked for a check on our running lights (we use kerosene lamps and I wanted to confirm they could be seen from the Colreg required distance). The officer on watch responded almost immediately stating, "I do not have anything on my radar within 10 nautical miles. Are you sure you are contacting the correct vessel?" I gave him a bearing to our position. Almost immediately he replied, "Yes, I see your lights - you are 2.3 miles south south east of us. Guess that big rain squall behind you obscured your return on our radar." This worried us a lot as we do have a radar reflector inside our wooden mast. The officer said he would check our radar return when we were clear of the squall - twenty minutes later he informed us we showed up big and clear.

These incidents make us doubt the practicality of relying on a radar alarm rather than a human lookout at sea.

 

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