Category Archives: Projects

Wind Scoop 2.0 – Blowing in the Wind

"The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind"*...so if we scoop up lots of air we'll have all the answers to life's questions? Or we'll just have happy husbands who like to nap under a big breeze at anchor?  I'll be glad when I have found the perfect wind scoop (WS) design. I've made two wind scoops with different designs.  Sure I could have bought a kit or copied a design from a book.  Or heaven forbid - bought one**.  (There are several styles on the market that you've probably seen deployed, but they can be pricey.)  But noooo I have an engineer for a husband.  He draws plans on napkins at dock bars and says "here make this".  (The more wine, the more complex the design.)  So why have I made two different designs if he Read more [...]

Bowline Bags – the details (Updated June 2016)

My friend asked me to make her a Bowline Bag and she'd pay me for it.  Whaaaat? After being flattered and stunned, I agreed with a few conditions.  I couldn't guarantee a delivery time since we were underway and I wanted to sew at a dock and that would be a few weeks.  I needed to acquire some better sail cloth.  She agreed. I've made about 15 bags.  Each one gets better, but I still am not very efficient making them aboard with somewhat limited space.  Nevertheless, I try to improve the instructions in hope that the next one will be even better. (If you are one of my friends with an early version, I'm sorry.) Bowline Bags Finished unlined bag 18" h x 20" w x 6" base depth with design on front Materials: --Large Read more [...]

Cover the Cables

The Captain is upgrading our electrical shore power cables. Considering the small investment in the cables (although the value of any fire safety improvement is unquestioned), we want to cover the cables to reduce the potential detrimental impact of sun, weather and dirt on the cables.  So another Sunbrella cover. First a bit about the cables…We bought the SmartPlug cables at Defender during their annual warehouse sale in April. These cables are supposed to be safer because they have 20 times more cross-section connector area than traditional marine power plugs which were designed in the 1930s.  The design should reduce the chance of overheating and fire. The plug connector allows an easier snap-in connection rather than the older threaded Read more [...]

Screen Out the Bugs – Port Lights and Hatches

We had a bad case of the flies in July in the Bay.  It took several days to get them all.  But, we got them!  Now how to avoid those buggers in the future?  My sailing friends know that I've complained about flies before and haven't had a good solution for our boat.  Our 1990 Morgan 44 didn't come with screens on the plastic-frame portlights.  I envy my friends with the lovely stainless portlights with screens built in.  But, you can't have it all. Boats are about compromise. I looked at marine consignment shops for screens and found some, but none were right.  I thought of a couple of ideas for working with old screens and those ideas didn't cut it. They had gaps or wouldn't stay in place. I decided to try the stiff plastic mesh canvas Read more [...]

Apron On Board?

Aprons bring up thoughts of grandmothers, home economists, and Thanksgiving for me.  My friends know that I am not a great cook though I am a home economist.  I "assemble" ok though.  The Captain is probably the better cook on board. He does great grill and grill bread.   So when I made a simple apron out of recycled sail cloth not too long ago, I got a funny look. "When was the last time you wore an apron?"  Well, it was probably back on land when I made chocolate truffles for a Chocolate Valentines Day Party.  I didn't have one on board anyway.  Maybe now that I have one, I'll wear one. Sail Cloth Apron This is a very easy project taking about 1-2 hours. Materials: --Sail cloth or other fabric with some weight --Binding - 5-8 yards Read more [...]

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 [...]