Remember your friend the engine raw water sea strainer

Remember your friend the engine raw water sea strainer

By Rob MacFarlane A raw-water cooled engine draws in sea water from the ocean, pumps it through the motor or heat exchanger to extract heat, then returns the water  overboard. On my boat, the cooling water is combined with engine exhaust gases through the exhaust elbow and wet-exhaust line. An issue with using sea water is there’s no control of what's in the sea water being pumped in — all sorts of detritus can be included, including small fish, sea weed, debris, bits and pieces. The engine cooling system's first line of defense is the lowly sea water strainer —…
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Using radar offshore to detect squalls

Using radar offshore to detect squalls

In 2003 I installed a radar on my 1983 Morgan N/M 456, Tiger Beetle, to help with singlehanded races between San Francisco and Hawaii. The Furuno 4 kilowatt 24-inch radome I went with was one of the better small boat radars. The 24-inch-wide antenna provided better angular resolution than an 18-inch antenna, the 4 kilowatt power punched well through rain, and it had a guard zone/sleep feature to conserve power. I would set up the guard zone on the black and white display and targets that entered the guard zone would sound an alarm so I could check the target. I…
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Fire extinguishers on the boat

Fire extinguishers on the boat

My boat Tiger Beetle is a 45-foot sailboat, basically a long fiberglass tube with three exits onto deck from the interior: a large foredeck hatch anybody can get through, the companionway with a ladder and steps, and a smaller hatch aft set into the cockpit floor. You need relatively narrow shoulders to fit through the cockpit hatch. These are the ways out if there's a fire inside the boat. I keep two types of fire extinguishers onboard: three small dry chemical ABC units for attacking a generic fire, and one Halotron 1 unit specifically for an engine box fire. The…
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Voyaging Tips, December 2021

Catching dinner from a sailboat on passage is completely unlike sport fishing from a stationary boat. The goal is to get a fish on board for the grill and dinner. On passage the sails are up and you're making the best possible speed, so stopping the boat to fight a fish is not much of an option. A rod and reel is one solution, though you're working with lightweight line, a rod that can break, and if the fish is large enough you'll have difficulty boating it without a net or gaff. Alternatively, a simple, strong, inexpensive handline pays big…
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