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Old 23-10-2015, 14:09   #31
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

Good thread. Picking up tips already. I'm away from our boat for the winter season, so the simple things I do all the time are less front-of-mind. Off hand though, some simple improvements (which are all far from unique) are:
  • Coverting a black pesticide sprayer into a deck shower.
  • Use of cabin hammocks to store fresh veggies/fruit.
  • Growing sprouts, and many types of herbs.
  • Use of a portabote as dingy.
I too have a manual windlass. Actually, I have two. The current installed one is a single speed, double action bronze ABI/Plath. It works great to haul our Rocna 25 and all-chain (3/8") rode. I also picked up a Seatiger 555 which I eventually plan to install in place of the Plath. It's a double-speed and beefier, so I assume will make life even easier. I'm not rushing though, b/c the Plath keeps doing the job just fine.

a64pilot, you're a brute if you routinely haul up a Rocna 33 and 50' of 3/8" chain. I ain't gonna arm wrestle you!
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Old 23-10-2015, 14:12   #32
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

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Originally Posted by Goosebumps View Post
I could mention how my anchoring life has improved with changing from electrical to manual windlass combined with 20 kg Rocna anchor after years of Bruce, CQR, Danforth. it improves the singlehanded cruising, gunkholing so much. The eclectrical windlass. i had never had the power to complete the anchor retrieval when under thriving conditions.
I've also just changed from a Bruce to a Vulcan ( Rocna). Haven't tried it yet. The Bruce has performed well but a man needs a new anchor every 10 years.


My electric windlass is connected to the start battery as recommended by a marine electrician and using certified heavy cables that cost more than the windless. I normally run the motor at around 1900 rpm when using the windlass. This means the alternator is working well and the windless is receiving around 14 volts instead of the nominal 12 volts if your motor is not running. This makes my windless run really well and is better for its motor. The start battery won't flatten as the motor is running. Also the start battery is always fully charged whereas the house battery can be depleted overnight. A windless has an electric motor not unlike a starter motor so the start battery is the correct type.


You also need a suitably large splitting diode (and cutout) as the windless current is going from the alternator to the diode, to the battery, and to the windless. That's not a concern with the starter motor as the alternator is not working until after the engine is started. (My smart regulator kicks in 10 seconds later)


You probably know all that but I'm passing it on as some people wire the windlass / winch to the house bank and don't run their engine, or only at idle and wonder why the winch doesn't perform. We often anchor in +30 metres to fish for dinner.
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Old 23-10-2015, 14:15   #33
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

I've placed a 12VDC bulb inside a plastic drink bottle to make an emergency anchor light for those times when I lose my masthead light....


I use half a plastic yo-yo for some ends of line to make a fixed adjustment like this topping lift....



I've used tennis balls to get some blocks from making noise when the sheets tense and slacken.....
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Old 23-10-2015, 14:30   #34
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
This topic has a huge potential for interesting responses. I'll toss this one into the mix.

When I have an old cylindrical fender that no longer functions, I cut the ends off and slit it lengthwise to produce a tough rectangular pad that I can use for protection against chafe or form a cushioning mat. I also keep an old fender cut in half to slip over the propeller and foot of my outboard when I raise the foot at a shallow dinghy dock. This keeps my prop from damaging other inflatables or knocking against rocks.
I've had made a "surf rescue" type SS cage around my outboard prop. It's safer and saves the shear pins during heavy landings on surf beaches.
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Old 23-10-2015, 14:34   #35
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
This topic has a huge potential for interesting responses. I'll toss this one into the mix.

When I have an old cylindrical fender that no longer functions, I cut the ends off and slit it lengthwise to produce a tough rectangular pad that I can use for protection against chafe or form a cushioning mat. I also keep an old fender cut in half to slip over the propeller and foot of my outboard when I raise the foot at a shallow dinghy dock. This keeps my prop from damaging other inflatables or knocking against rocks.
Another use for an old fender is for a fish teaser (BFT=Boat Fender Teaser.) Paint the fender with black and green paint to look like a fish, rig it with 300 pound mono about 30 feet back with a one ounce egg sinker in the loop under the fender "chin." The BFT will erratically dive and squirm with a great bubble trail.
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Old 23-10-2015, 14:43   #36
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

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Originally Posted by mwells View Post
I noticed in a earlier posting in this thread, that Goosebumps mentioned having a manual windless. I have a 27 foot Hunter; most of my sailing is single handled. Pulling the anchor manually has been a struggle; might be related to age................

I'm interested in finding out who is using a manual windlass and what manufacturer etc. I prefer keeping it simple and not having to run wiring to the bow.........like to hear thoughts from others.

Mike

James Baldwin video demonstrating a Lofrans manual windlass:
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Old 23-10-2015, 15:38   #37
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

Just a word of caution on the use of ac switches on dc circuits. There is a fundamental difference in these switches due to the electrical characteristics.
When we have the contacts close, either opening or closing, we get an arc, where the current jumps the gap. Bigger voltage, bigger arc, but the key thing is the speed of the gap changing.
With ac, the cycling of the current means that any arc will break, 50 or 60 times per second. With DC, it does not.
The theory goes that the dc switches are thus designed for a quicker change and a bigger gap. Not always true and probably of little relevance most times, but then we find a switch stuck and it could get interesting!
The lesson is to be aware of the issue and if getting switching problems, check/renew the switch.
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Old 23-10-2015, 16:05   #38
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
I've placed a 12VDC bulb inside a plastic drink bottle to make an emergency anchor light for those times when I lose my masthead light....


I use half a plastic yo-yo for some ends of line to make a fixed adjustment like this topping lift....



I've used tennis balls to get some blocks from making noise when the sheets tense and slacken.....
I've seen a 2 ltr. bottle filled with crumpled aluminum foil used as a radar reflector. How effective? I guess in a pinch it was better than nothing.
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Old 23-10-2015, 16:17   #39
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

I would actually like to offer an opposite view to all this “simple life” stuff.
Half a lifetime ago I lived aboard with my family in the Mediterranean for seven years, so I know what live-aboard is about. My wife and I are now planning to do it again aged 72.
I understand the theory of the simple boating life and there is nothing wrong with keeping things simple if it actually suits your lifestyle. But we are certainly not prepared to forgo anything we want to make our lives on board easier, just because they might prove complicated.
Okay, on a 45 footer you can have many things which would be a cram on a 30-35 footer. But nowadays, with all the electrical sources available there is no reason why people should not have devices which make life at sea that much better.
I have installed a freezer and just fitted a marine washer/dryer, which works perfectly both in harbour and at sea. We sleep on commercial air beds, which are a million times more comfortable than any quality of foam. They have an electric air pump, but can also be inflated by hand.
I built myself an electric dinghy winch, considerably reducing the effort of hauling the dinghy and outboard up on the davits. This is obviously more prone to failure than a simple block and tackle, but infinitely better and it hasn’t broken yet.
All my sails are roller furled, operated from the cockpit on winches using a winchrite electric winder. We have an electric windlass which has so far never failed, because I maintain the batteries in good order. This is much more satisfactory for us than the old hand cranked windlass it replaced.
Certainly, we’ve had problems with breakdowns, but since I installed most systems I can usually repair them myself, and I haven’t used any outside contractor for years.
This brings me to another observation over many years of sailing. A lot of simple life type boaters can’t afford to maintain their boats, and if something breaks down it is blamed on too complicated systems. Some are to lazy to maintain their boats, even when a good clean, or can of paint would make a big difference.
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Old 23-10-2015, 16:27   #40
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

I guess I'm enamored with my Genoa sheet winches, as they along with my Milwaukee drill are my electric davit winches.
Just run the davit lines under the lower lifeline rail and from there to the winch, pull the trigger on the Miluwakee, take a swing of beer and the dinghy is up.


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Old 23-10-2015, 16:56   #41
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

Fender covers were $45 at Westmarine. I bought a pair of 3XXL sweatpants from Walmart for $12 and made two covers for my 38" circumference fenders . Chop off the legs, hem the cut end and put a cord through it to pull it tight. The bottom (ankle) end will be ok as is. It took me 20 minutes with a sewing machine to make the 2. They look as good as my store-bought ones.
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Old 23-10-2015, 17:04   #42
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

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I've seen a 2 ltr. bottle filled with crumpled aluminum foil used as a radar reflector. How effective? I guess in a pinch it was better than nothing.
Wasn't it just before the the end of WW2 in Europe that some planes were sent up over the English Channel to drop large quantities of tinfoil to fool the enemy radar that there was large fleet of bombers coming from that direction when the bombers were actually coming from another direction. Two litres? I'm not sure.
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Old 23-10-2015, 17:17   #43
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

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Wasn't it just before the the end of WW2 in Europe that some planes were sent up over the English Channel to drop large quantities of tinfoil to fool the enemy radar that there was large fleet of bombers coming from that direction when the bombers were actually coming from another direction. Two litres? I'm not sure.
I think it was called chaf? I bought the boat with the bottle radar reflector. Replaced it ASAP.
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Old 23-10-2015, 17:55   #44
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

i have bad knees i bought 1 inch thick interlocking workout mats put them all through my interior ,, scrap pieces i use under my generator setting on my deck .. also used scrap pieces inside shelving pots , pans, canned good . i storage ares under spray paint chemicals etc. i since bought the heavy restaurant mats with the holes in them on my cockpit great for standing on long times at the helm . i use air mattresses in my extra berth i have found putting work out mats in the berths give a little extra cushioning ,,
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Old 23-10-2015, 18:20   #45
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Re: Those Simple Ideas Liveaboards Have to Improve Life

Chaff's code name when first used was "window"



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