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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