December 14, 2014

Clever boat names and the clever boaters who love these names.

A clever boat name for the ethically dubious mariner

clever boat names for criminals

      There is something unequivocally awesome about a clever boat name. Who doesn't love a funny boat name?

      Okay, there are some of you out there that hate puns. Maybe your grandpa overdid it with the wordplay, maybe your sense of humor is more high brow. But seriously, a good boat name is a thing of beauty. The boating website All Things Boat has curated a page on boat names. They have organized funny boat names by the classic boating personalities that gravitate towards these names. It is pretty darn funny. These photos are taken with permission from All Things Boat's clever boat names page, check it out, you'll get a good laugh!

Clever boat names for the esoteric sailor

clever boat names
either a Seinfeld reference or a very whimsical boater

December 10, 2014

Fixing a faulty bilge pump switch

My old bilge pump switch finally crapped out. The wire contacts looked like they had far surpassed a tolerable level of corrosion, so it's now in the garbage can. I'm leaving soon for a Mexico road trip that will last through December. The last thing I want is to leave my boat unattended in the rainy season of San Diego with a faulty bilge pump switch. 

So, I went down to the boat store and got one of these new switches with the metal ball rolling around like a can of spray paint. Long story short, the install went fine, except the switch didn't pass the test. As water filled in and over the switch, the switch floated up but not enough to activate the pump. 

DIY troubleshooting a bilge pump switch
my bilge, always swampy

Well, that's not good. I am going to blame this on a slightly un-level surface that the pump was mounted on. However, I'd like to think the switch would have a larger margin of error for activation.

I tried to rectify the situation by moving the switch to a new spot in the bilge, but as you can see I don't have much room to move in there.

Anyway, the point of this post, is that I did find a remedy that I like. I grabbed an old neoprene beer cozy and cut it up into pieces that fit on the end of my bilge switch. I then dried off the top of the switch, and epoxied the cut up beer cozy on the end. I epoxied three layers of neoprene beer cozy on top of each other.

Now, it has a lot more float.

fixing a bilge pump switch
chopped up beer cozy give more float to the bilge switch

I've tested it out many times and each time the bilge pump switch rises to the occasion.

I'm heading to Baja with my mind at ease...

Hopefully this is helpful to someone with a similar problem.

Incidentally, if you're looking for more articles written about DIY electrical fixes for boats, the Stingy Sailor features very well written tutorials regarding boat electronics.

Fair winds!

December 2, 2014

Sailing with Chilean hitchhikers

When Ryan and I were travelling around Alaska last month, we picked up some Chilean hitchhikers. They were wandering slowly down the continent. Last week, they arrived in San Diego and we took them out sailing.

we met these girls on the side of the road in Alaska

The weather was perfect as it often is in the middle of the Winter in San Diego, and I think the ladies had a wonderful time. The girls remind me what it was like to travel when you're very young. 

When we found them, they were camping in a tent on the side of the road near Denali National Park. It needs to mentioned that there are a lot of Grizzly Bears near Denali. The Chilean girls were not concerned. They believe in the power of positive thinking. In fact, after they leave San Diego, they are heading to Ensenada, Mexico to earn money. They plan to earn money in Mexico by selling pastries. This seems unlikely to me, but that is because I am older and cynical. Life has beaten me down. The Chilean women will probably make tons of money selling pastries in Mexico's border towns. I am sure it will go fine. Either way I salute them, and I salute their chutzpah.

another gold winter sunset at Point Loma