Technical & Help Articles

Choosing the right equipment for your vessel is important. Being able to repair it or maintain your vessel is just as important. Good equipment can help make cruising comfortable and safe, while poor equipment or lack of maintenance can ruin much of the enjoyment of cruising. Lack of maintenance has the potential to be quite dangerous.  Money is always important, as most of us out here have limited income while cruising, so getting good value for money is crucial.

After more than 18 years of working offshore, plus the many years with sailing vessels of various sizes, and living on our present boat since 2010, I think I have a few thoughts on equipment. These pages are to help people decide not only what equipment they would like to have on their boat, but also, where our experience allows, to help maintain or decide on different equipment. While I doubt we will be doing a lot of gear comparisons when we do need to upgrade or do repairs we will post our thoughts here. 

Like most boat owners, we have considerable experience with the equipment that came with the vessel. What problems we inherited and especially that equipment we chose to add.  While we don't have the information on all the brands and models of equipment, we would like to share what we do know. 

We want to keep it real and will include as much factual information as we can add, and our opinion of how the gear performed good or bad. 

I have always been fairly hands on when it comes to repairing my boats.  My previous job was as an electronics technician on board an exploration vessel. But the reality of the job meant we needed to be able to turn our hand to just about anything needed to keep the vessel in operation.

Help with OpenCPN, if we have lent a hand to set up a feature I hope to document it so it can help out others.

Setting up command line mail client OpenPlotter 

Hose clamps - an important lesson 

Getting the OpenCPN tide function to work PC & OpenPlotter

OpenPlotter setting up layers in OpenCPN

Transferring files to OpenPlotter

A Raspberry Pi running OpenCPN

Setting up our Raspberry Pi with OpenPlotter

Making the cruising dollar go further

OpenCPN on a PC Layers setting up

OpenCPN using kap overlay charts

OpenCPN on a PC setting up interactive cruising guide

Navigation Software

Programs to Manipulate Edit and Display GPS Files

Tide & Current Information

Compass Variation & Deviation

Distance Speed & Time

Working with Coordinates

Measurement Conversions

Apparent Movement of the Sun

Distance of the Visible Sea Horizon

Helpful Sail Calculations

Volume, Weights, Pressure, Speed of Sound

Temperature Conversions

Broken Throttle Cable Jury Rig

Check your safety equipment regularly 

Abandon Ship Bag

Light Switches

Rust on Stanchions

Filling Tanks from Town Water

Wire Rope Grips

Prolific USB to Serial Adapter Driver Fix.

Removing and replacing wooden plugs

Spares and Repairs Underway 

Removing Uncured Epoxy

Tef-Gel Vs Duralac 

Fitting an Asian Gas Cylinder 

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