Short reading list for lowcostvoyaging gang.

So I have much longer list of 215 books but for some reason am having issue getting it to display right. Hopefully this shorter list that I culled from the larger one does display. 🙂 these are the howto, and helpfull books that I thought follow some of the topics and character of our conversations on the list.

Ashley, Clifford
Editorial Reviews Review The Ashley Book of Knots takes us back to a time when knots saved lives and put dinner on the table. Whether out at sea or in a pioneer cabin, knots were a part of daily life, one that is nearly lost today. But in this attractive, well-organized archive of more than 3,900 different knots–presented through 7,000 illustrations–the art of knot tying lives on, both as a historical reference and a reservoir of handy knowledge. Product Description Describes every practical knot, what it looks like, where it comes from, and how to tie it. The book includes 4,000 knots, with all the varieties of shipboard knots as well as knots used by butchers, steeplejacks, electric linesmen, knitters, cobblers, surgeons, poachers and cowboys. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Marine Topics library with some recomedations for the lowcostvoyaging gang

International Marine Publishing
Book Description Fueled by 18 years of the best letters, articles, and firsthand accounts from Living Aboard magazine and the results of hundreds of surveys, Gently with the Tides is a compendium of the challenges of living aboard a boat and how to meet them. Includes information about the “perfect” boat, galley and provisioning hints, the law and liveaboard rights, and much more. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I’VE BEEN AROUND Aebi, Tania 9781574092134 Sheridan House The Ensign, September/October 2006 “This collection is great for folks who have time to read it cover to cover as well as those who have to grab a bit of reading here and there.” Charles J. Doane – SAIL Magazine, August 2006 “…at once amusing, insightful, informative, and –more than anything else –both articulate and decidedly mature.”

Aebi, Tania
Ballantine Books
From Publishers Weekly Challenged by her German-Swiss father, an 18-year-old New York City bicycle messenger in 1988 became the first American woman, and the youngest person, to sail alone around the world. In this jaunty account of her journey, she veers between the perils of solo sailing, her relationships with her separated parents and the death of her mysterious mother. Aebi, writing with freelancer Brennan, reveals her lack of sailing knowledge and experience, describes the heavy seas and weather she endured, her numerous problems with malfunctioning equipment, the countries, people and cats she encountered and a sympathetic French-Swiss whose boat sometimes accompanied her own. The story is so compelling that sailing enthusiasts will read avidly on to the triumphant finish. Literary Guild alternate; author tour. Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. From Library Journal This is the story of an 18-year-old New York City girl and her exciting solo circumnavigation of the globe on a 26-foot sloop with only a cat for company. Aebi had little previous experience, so most of what she learned was “on the job” and from people she met en route. One of the most appealing aspects of this particular single-handed sailing account is Aebi’s naivete and the caring response that she encountered all over the world. Her 27,000-mile, three-year trek is usually attempted only by practiced sailors, and her survival was achieved by pluck, inventiveness, helping hands, and a good deal of luck. Armchair sailors will cheer and dream a little and veterans may only shake their heads. Recommended. – Susan Ebershoff-Coles, Indianapolis-Marion Cty. Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Composting Head 1 Year Update

Well it’s now 14 months or so since we installed the Natures Head on Valkyr. I have had several people ask me for an update on our experiences with it,so here it goes. Overall we are extremely happy with the change from a standard marine head and holding tank to a composting head. Both me and my wife would do it over in the blink of an eye.

Positives for us include

  • Overall total lack of odor.
  • Ease of changing the composting mix.
  • Regaining the use of two compartments under the v-berth and space in the port side v-berth hanging closet.
  • Ease of Maintenance and totally removing or putting the unit back in place.
  • Ease of initial installation compared to a standard marine head
  • 90% less maintenance than a standard head and what maintenance you do end up doing is much less nasty.

BB&T (Branch Banking and Trust) institutes a 10 dollar a month fee on checking accounts

Recently I received a letter from BB&T where I have had the same accounts for well over a decade. They informed me that if my balances fall below 1500 dollars a month they will be charging me a 10 dollar service fee. It is a rare month in the last few years that I have a balance of more than a few hundred dollars in my personal account. So it leaves me feeling as if I am being penalised 120 dollars a year in the future for being poor. I will be expressing my opinion in person soon but for now I have sent the below letter to their customer service department through the online banking interface after receiving the same letter there that I did in the mail. Is it any wonder that we view the banks and credit card companys with such distrust anymore when at every chance they have they turn the screws on us a little more. I love how they can arbitrarily change the the type of account that I signed up for. Add fee’s, raise the fee’s, change the terms of the contract that I signed when I got the account…. grrrrr… I am not a happy camper right now.

A Different Kind of Burger

I have been wanting to try and make a vegetarian hamburger for a while and last night decided it was time to experiment. I was very pleased with the results. I have to say that both I and my wife enjoyed the resulting vegetarian hamburgers as much as real hamburgers.

Having never done this before I searched online for veggie burger recipes. I didn’t have all the ingredients that any of the recipes had in them so I just sort of winged it by taking a little here and a little there out of several recipes. Though this is vegetarian it can’t be considered vegan as there is one egg used in its making.

Interesting political video from 1948

Composting head ramblings

somebody on a forum was commenting about how they didn’t feel comfortable with a composting head due to if the boat every turned upside down that stuff could come out of it and make a mess.. I’m dubious as to the logic of this argument against a composting head but here is my answer to that as well as addressing someones concerns about the cost of the commercial units.

On mine it is bolted to the floor and the top part latches to the bottom that is bolted to the floor. There is a flap that secures the solid waste tank at the top. It is spring loaded and holds itself shut when your not using it. I don’t see the unit letting the compost fall out. Upside down there would be the possibility of the urine leaking back out. However if it was totally full that would be just at or over 2 gallons of urine no more. If it was that huge of a deal I could see how to modify our system to use a small tank for urine with a line running to it with a valve on it. However it would also call for all the plumbing of a normal holding tank to either pump the urine off the boat or discharge it overboard. Though more complex it would also allow with say a 10 gallon tank a pump out schedule or overboard outside the 3 mile limit of of say 20 to 25 day intervals for two people.

Rant on Technology, Government, Ethics and Mores, and Modern Life

I am finding in my life that some of the newer generation materials and products are starting to simplify. They are reducing the amount of resources, complexity and production steps it takes to do a job. The technology behind them is maturing technology with decades of development that are gradually looking to save costs by making simpler products that do more than the older more complex version for less.

The new synthetic line that is being used in the standing rigging in sailboats is one example. One hundred years ago you still saw rope rigging with deadeys and lashings holding up the masts. With technology came lines made of steel and then stainless steel, that were smaller and lighter. It was much stronger and lasted for decades between replacing it as opposed to a life span of a few years to just months. It’s downside is that there were a lot of special fittings that needed special tools to maintain it and usually you needed a rigger to work on it. It wasn’t simple. Today we are back to fiber lines being used with deadeyes and lashings again. Only this time they are stronger by a factor of three or more than the stainless steel lines, eight times lighter. We have gone through the technological life cycle from better but more complex to much better and back to much more simple to use.

Nature’s Head install on Valkyr

We installed the “Natures Head” composting toilet this past weekend. It fits perfectly side to side (read “it is a tight fit”) to get it in the head compartment you take the top section off the bottom section. This is just a matter of unclipping two clips, one on either side of the unit and then sliding the top section left 3 inches or so as you lift it up to disengage the rear hinge. At that point both pieces will easily fit through either of the head doors.

Here is a few picture of the two stainless angle pieces that hold the unit to the floor. The first shows how we marked where to set the mounts. We put the head in place and them made sure that we had room on either side for the crank to turn on the right without hitting the wall and the latch on the left side of the unit to open as well as being able to slide the top to the left when pulling it off the hinge when removing it. Once it was spaced right we took a pencil and just drew a line around the backside of the angle pieces to mark where they went.

Painting the laminate countertops in Valkyr

We are heading to Valkyr this evening to spend the night.. We are going to try some special laminate paint on one of the laminated counter tops to see what we think of a color change from the original brown laminate to an ivory color. We were looking at replacing the laminate with a lighter laminate but this paint looks pretty good on the demo we saw at home depot and only cost $20 for enough that we should be able to do all the laminate surfaces in the boat with it. We figure that since we planned on replacing the laminate anyway that there is no downside to spending $20 dollars to test out just painting it with this new product. We will let everyone know how it turns out. Scott Ok we got the salon table painted the other day when we stayed on the boat. I’m not sure I would want to do this again while staying on the boat. This is some nasty stuff and you should probably/definitely use a respirator when painting it. However it looks really good. I haven’t been back to the boat yet to see it after it is fully dry but Zsanic says it is doing awesome. She spent the night on the boat last night and got to use it. Sailor the cat ignoring us :) Standard wood pattern factory laminate.. ho hum…

How to clean and get rid of odors on a boat

Here is a post about boat  and head odor that I put up on the website forums in a conversation of how to get rid of lingering odors on boats.

We got into this on valkyr this past week… it was so much worse than just old plumbing. We found a leak in the system that raw sewage had been leaking out of for many many moons.. It was a hazmat style operation to scoop the shit out of the little compartment under the aft end of the vberth where that built in seat is. We found that a decent painting respirator from lowes works wonders for getting up close and personal with shit. After scooping it out and then cleaning the respirator does wonders when you paint the bilge areas 🙂 After cleaning out the leakage we came back the next day and cut out and removed the head, all hoses, fittings and the holding tank. We then did a single rough clean and rinse of the compartment the leakage was in and the big v-berth compartment that the holding tank had been in.

Stories of s/v Valkier, DE38: All the shit that accumulates #2 by Scott Carle

Last week we got a lot done on the boat but also ran into some issues with the plumbing which led to engine issues that led to anchoring issues.  See <a for all the details.

Today I worked up my courage and headed back to the boat to deal once and for all with the malodorous mess that Valkyr’s head system had become. The first thing on was the respirator (this respirator worked great. No odor got through it and when I got to the clorox phase it totally filtered the chlorine out also). After the respirator came the industrial rubber chemical gloves and a dozen 3 mil contractor garbage bags. The next three tools that  I used removing everything were one largish flat bladed screwdriver, one set of vise grips and a pair of straight edged shears. The screw driver for hose clamps and prying, the vise grips for holding the nuts on the screws that the pump was mounted with while I unscrewed them, and the shears for cutting through hoses if needed.