Category Archives: Exterior Projects

Solar Panels – Part III

Our latest and hopefully final approach to installing our flexible solar panels is a  semi-permanent mounting on the bimini.  We didn't want a permanent installation to the bimini and tried several alternative options (see Part I and  Part II). The Captain bought two additional flexible panels this summer, so there are six 100 watt  panels on three canvas backs.  I redid the canvas backings on the old two panels and made a new backing for the third. The canvas backs have grommets with plastic screws and washers holding the panels to the canvas.   Now the panels are on the bimini and tied down to the enclosure safety handles (which I think are one of the best improvements we made to our enclosure). With the boom pulled to the Read more [...]

Burgees – Do You Have a House Flag?

Update September 2015:   The original house flag described in this blog post lasted three years.  A bright new one represents Magnolia and its crew now.             Also known as an owners private signal, it's fun to have a burgee to represent you when you are aboard and in command.  The flag goes with you.  It can be representative of your name, your boat, a hobby.  And burgees are fairly easy to make.  You do need the right materials and a design.  What symbol or design would be fun, easy to make and see from atop the flag halyard?  What colors do you want (not too many)?  What size and shape? A pennant or swallowtail or rectangle would be traditional for a house flag and Read more [...]

Stack Pack Repairs

This past weekend I caught the zipper pulley line for our Mack Pack sail cover on the end of the batten while the Captain was raising the mainsail.  Why is it so hard to keep a 44' boat head to wind?  If I slowly ease the boat into the wind I hear "hurry up it's not fun standing here at the mast waiting.".  If I go fast to the wind I overcompensate and have to back off.  Probably half the time we catch a lazy jack or reefing line on the edge of the batten off the mainsail leech.  I really do try to watch the leech (and the depth and the crab pots and the other boaters) while keeping the bow directly into the wind.  But this time we caught the pulley line for Mack Pack zipper and pulled the zipper slider and one of the pulleys off the pack.  Read more [...]

Screen Out the Bugs II – Companionway Screen

In attempt to continue the war against flies, I made a companionway screen to use in conjunction with the plastic mesh inserts I'm using in the portlights and hatches which I wrote about in a recent blog about hatch screens. The mesh may not be small enough for no-seeums, but I am using a bug spray on the screens to address the smaller nuisances. I found black screening at the local marine consignment store and bought 2" black binding from Sailrite.  With a batch of measurements, I came up with the screen size.  This screen attaches to our existing navy blue companionway cover with Velcro.  When I remake the companionway cover, I'd incorporate the screen and better coordinate the color scheme with a more neutral color.         To Read more [...]

Fun with Fender Covers

We’ve done a man overboard drill with a fender that accidentally went overboard in the Charleston Harbor and lost one in a Gulf Stream crossing.  Fun with fenders.  For all the pounding they take protecting our boat hull from those pilings, piers,  and other  boats we should treat them well.  Sew fender covers for them! I’ve seen a variety of fender covers for sale from about $15 to $100 (engraved with your boat name!).  To save money, I’ve made fender covers from fleece purchased at the local fabric store for under $10 per yard (JoAnn Fabric had it on sale for $4/yard).  It takes about a yard to make a fender cover (less if it's 60" width fabric).  And it is really a beginner project that any Seamless Sailor can whip out Read more [...]

Sport-A-Seat Covers–Part II

You’ll recall a recent post on my Sport-A-Seat cover project.  About the same time our friend, Prue Preston on Exuberant, was planning to do the same project.  We each had different approaches so we thought we'd see what worked best from each attempt.  Prue did an excellent job and gets high marks for fit and finish.  She admits to some cursing and seam ripping but don’t we all! Prue selected this lively stripe from several very nice Sunbrella swatches to go with their recently redone cockpit cushions and the boat’s color scheme.  They have a very pleasant Hylas cockpit used, besides the obvious passage-making, for happy hours and late morning Christmas mimosas (in champagne flutes no less). She did a great lay out to maximize Read more [...]