The Chain Scrubber


I made this for my husband, he gets so muddy when he brings up the anchor :-).
Found the design on another blog. Basically, it is three scrub brushes fixed in a triangular shape to capture and scrub the chain as it comes to the surface. We will also have a saltwater wash down. 





I got the scrub brushes on amazon for about 4 bucks a piece. I drilled 8 holes in the center brush and 4 holes on the outer brush to accommodate the line for the soft hinges. 

The hinges are 1/8th Dacron tied with a square not and three half hitches on each side of the knot. I then finished it off by whipping the knots for extra security. I’m trying Dacron instead of metal hinges to avoid corrosion.




The soft hinges allow us to reverse the bend to create an anchor scrubber.





The chain scrubber works by capturing the chain. With a weight on one end and a messenger line to a bow cleat, the scrubber should sit below the water, scrubbing the chain as we weigh anchor. I attached a line to encircle the whole scrubber to secure it closed, but I may add a Velcro strip or a positive latch. We will see how this hold together and how quick it is to deploy and remove.




Weather Cloths For The Cockpit, Hurray!

I have wanted Spray cloths for quite a while. I distinctly remember designing the spray cloths in my head after being soaked for the umpteen time during the Harvest Moon Regatta  :). It was such a wet ride, our friends auto inflate lifejacket went off when he was manning the helm.

So finally I am getting to the weather cloth project! I’m using sunbrella from an old awning. I first made a template, using thick plastic drop cloth material.

My mom directed much of it, but I was determined to do the actual work myself :). I used basting tape to make a 1″ seam.

I then folded over again, making three layers, and ran a seam twice. My machine was having a hard time with tension, one side pretty, other side kinda uneven. I tried for over an hour to adjust it but could not get a perfect stitch. That is why I ran two stitches.

I then placed 3/8 grommets on all corners and roughly every 12″ along the border. I used 1/8 bungee to install. I rigged it to draw back like a curtain to the aft stanchion before the stern rail. I need to tweak the fit. Here is a shot of the port weather cloth up. The forward and aft attachments are quick release bungee. The whole spray cloth runs on the top life line and a Dacron lifeline I installed to support the bottom.


The spray cloth has a high clearance to dump water in case we are swamped, it also stays clear of the spinnaker and jib sheets.

I will take it all down and add a few pockets to the inside, I need to figure out how to make pockets :). Plus I need to tighten the lifelines to remove the sag.


Help Us Obi-Wan, You Are Our Last Hope! Yes, We Are Going To Talk Poo!

Well, where to begin…hmm, I guess it’s best just to lay out the facts.

Fact number 1, our current, though fairly new sanitation system stinks( literally).
Fact number 2, it is unlikely to get better unless we rearrange our holding tank set up, replacing all hoses and gadgets associated with, still leaving us with a fairly unsupportable long term system.

Current head


So, we are now desperate enough to try marine composting toilet systems. The marine composting head ( MDS Type III ) doesn’t really compost, but it does reduce and kill pathogens in a simple and stink free manner called Desiccating. Thereby, allowing us to dispose #2 in a safe manner( via flower garden compost pile or in a compostable trash bag in a dumpster). The number#1 gets pumped out at a pump out facility, poured in a land toilet, or poured over the side when we are not in a no discharge zone ( within 3 miles of land).

Here is an article about the virtues of a Marine composting toilet…

I’ve decided to experiment with a camping toilet before spending a lot of money on something that may not work for us. I’ve uh er made a deposit, and noticed zero smell. I used peat moss and cedar shavings. For our permanent head, we will use coconut peat ( cocotek), a renewable resource.

We will be off boat for a week. Will let you know what greets us when we come back to the boat. I’m calling the head Obi Wan ( Kanobi) because it is our last hope….


Two Weeks Later:

Back on the boat. Head doesn’t stink! If there is a smell, it is an earthy smell with a whiff of cedar :-). So we are sold on the dry composting marine head. Brian is ripping out the wet head tomorrow and will begin the design and construction on a custom head. We are building our own because we cannot fit any of the manufactured composting heads in the tight little space. We ordered the urine separator ( keeps #1 and #2 separate) from Sanford Graves at C-Head. He has been really great with input too. I also ordered a nice strong solid wood toilet seat from amazon, the oval shape as I think it will work better with the urine separator.

Two More Weeks Later

Brian and our friend Joe constructed the custom head. After showing me the basic template Brian will revamp it to be much smaller, hopefully that is the right thing to do. Will update when I can.


**Added a page to this blog dedicated to the head—

Tool Time

I recently stumbled across two new tools that I cannot recommend highly enough.

First is a alternator belt tensioner. I have planned on getting one of these for a while, but never seemed to get around to it. A post on another blog finally prompted me to order it. Despite the purchase of a giant screwdriver to use as a lever, I could never get the proper tension on my alternator belt before purchasing this tensioner. Huge mistake to not do it earlier. One of the best tool purchases ever.

The second is a set of flare nut wrenches. I have had a major problem trying to loosen nuts on my 25 year-old boat. I have often stripped them trying to loosen them. These wrenches make putting serious torque on a nut much safer since they grip all 6 sides at once (instead of the two sides a normal wrench grips). If you have a diesel engine on your boat, these are a must have item. They will be my first choice wrench from now on for almost all applications where a socket is not an option.

Switching Blog To WordPress

I’ve moved our blog to wordpress. Hopefully this will be a better app for my tablet (iPad). I want to switch to a kindle, get away from the trappings of apple, apparently wordpress is good for kindle too. Some of my biggest issues with blogging on a tablet are: posting vids and pics, and replying to comments.
Anyways, blog will be under construction and discombobulated now and then as I find my way around. Some posts I’m working on are:
Custom composting head
The perfect doggy pee mat for life at anchor and underway.
Slip covers and a little help for the old tired cushions
Snubber, following in Estarzinger’s wake :)
Radio cabinet for the nav station
Lifeline netting and weather cloths to help keep pooch aboard.
Cheap cockpit mosquito netting, it ain’t pretty, but neither is a mosquito bite!
Replacing the Pacific Seacraft dorades with low profile solar vents

Winter projects
Replacing the Hatches, Bomar series 100
Bottom job, hull repair, seacock rebuilds.
Monitor wind vane refit ( really just cleaning, lubricating, and replacing lines :) )

As you can see, we are grooving right along with the boat projects. Now that I have a better blogging app, I will try to catch up.


Dolphins playing at the bow, on the ICW, near Port Aransas TX

Waterproof Ham HH


Brian bought a Handheld HAM radio with external antennae.  We will use it aboard RD, Buttercup, and in the car :-).

Isn’t it adorable! All the marine frequencies are already programmed in, there is like 280 channels on the marine band!
Switching to poo.
We are so happy with my makeshift composting head, we decided to rip out the existing head and go with the dry composting set up. The permanent set up will be enclosed in a teak bench. Brian will rip out the head and hoses on Monday. I’m doing one big write up, so will post when project complete.

Here is the temporary dry head. You add a little peat moss to start the composting process. No smell, except for an occasional whiff of earthy dirt. :-) I also have a handful of cedar shaving to keep the bugs at bay.