Marine Systems

Winter Storage: Shrinkwrap Engineering

Posted by Phillip Gutowski on

While many boat owners are consumed with the annual task of hauling and storing their vessels for the winter, others are prepping for the cold months by turning theirs into a stationary den.  Here in the snowbound Northeast, most liveaboards cover their decks by erecting a temporary structure to be wrapped in heat shrinkable plastic sheeting.  This cover adds a layer of protection and comfort for the ship and her crew by helping to shed rain and snow, reduce condensation and provide passive solar heat during the day.  Albeit temporary, I’ve decided to build a seasonally reuseable structure that offers...

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Suck It Up: Marine Central Vac System

Posted by Phillip Gutowski on

I consider a vacuum an essential tool aboard any cruising or liveaboard yacht.  Our big Ridgid Canister Vac has performed well for cleaning up nasty project dust, but also for the typical indoor debris from floors, counters and upholstery in the cabin.  While living on a previous boat, I actually placed this same utility vac deep in the lazarette and routed a lengthened hose and power cord into the cabin.  I left the power switch to the vacuum in the ON position.  To begin cleaning, I would take out the hose and plug the power cord into a 110v outlet...

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Winterization: Sail Flaking

Posted by Phillip Gutowski on

We’re really lucky to be having such an unseasonably warm fall and winter here in Boston.  It’s made it much easier to get ready for the inevitability of the harsh weather.  Here we are putting sails away and building our shrink wrap shelter.

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Reducing Condensation: Insulating the Hull

Posted by Phillip Gutowski on

When sailboats are built, they are usually uninsulated.  For most weekend sailors, this is no big deal, but an uninsulated boat can be huge hassle for liveaboards in all climates.  The ability to keep your boat warm or cool is incredibly valuable.  What’s even more important is keeping it dry.  We live year round on our boat in Boston, Massachusetts.  When the really cold days come, we usually keep the cabin warm with our diesel heater and some electric space heaters, but the fiberglass hull is cooled by the outside air.  This warm air, cold surface combination is the perfect...

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Securing the Batteries

Posted by Phillip Gutowski on

We have nine heavy lead acid batteries aboard our Tayana 42. One is a starting battery and the other eight make up our house bank. These house batteries are all 6 volt batteries wired as four series pairs. I decided to build the battery trays out of aluminum and essentially hang them from the cabin sole, or secure them to bulkheads where available. The more common way to do this would have been to use fiberglass to tab in horizontal supports to the inside of the hull. However, we had already painted the bilge and I like that the aluminum...

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