Read all about Steve & Linda Dashew’s adventures on Beowulf, their 78-foot bare-aluminum ketch. The logs run from 1999 through 2002.
We’ve been giving BEOWULF a good cleaning and polish. This includes all of the engine room (even the bundled plumbing and wiring) the dinghy, inside of lockers, and interior hull surfaces. Except for the dinghy, which has stains on the inside from spilled gas/oil mix, and the engine room, which has not had a thorough cleaning in three years, most of the cleaning is a simple wipe down.
But for the dink and engine room, stronger measures are required. As a result we’ve done some scientific testing of various cleaners. Simple Green, Zep Purple, and Nature’s Orange, in concentrated and diluted ratios have been used. The result…(roll of drums)…Zep Purple is by far the best cleaner. Simple Green is second and Nature’s Orange is last.
The Zep Purple is a wonderful material in the engine room. Diluted at 3-3 we spray it on, do a quick brushing to loosen things, and hose off the dirt. We’re not sure about availability, but we picked ours up at Home Depot.
Zep Purple wins Beowulf’s seal of approval.
We’ve had all sorts of experiences on boats – mostly good, a few bad. In the latter category are two bouts with vector-born (i.e., mosquito) diseases – malaria and dengue fever. In the former case, this was of the Falciparum type, often deadly. In our case it hit during the last round of the rock and roll dance contest at the Port Moresby (New Guinea) Yacht Club. It was down to us, the Liggetts, and one other couple for the championship, when I (Steve) collapsed. At the time I thought Al had slipped me a “Mickey” so he could win…
In all our years of cruising, we’re happy to report we’ve never used any of the serious medical stuff we carry aboard. By now, the total of supplies we’ve either thrown or given away amounts to thousands of dollars. Even the rubber and metal products have had to be replaced several times. Yet we still carry this stuff, hoping we’ll never need it.
We’ve been looking for the edge of the short-handed cruising envelope for a lot of years. Improvements in sail handling gear, materials, and our own experience have allowed us to push the horizon further and further. And even though BEOWULF looks pretty aggressive for a couple of grandparents, she is not yet at the edge of what the two of us can handle.
In the Bernhardts’ April 01, 2001 discussion of their cruising budget, they state that they pay $2280 for medical insurance for the year for the whole family. I’d like to know which insurance company they use. Their boat insurance is fairly inexpensive also, since their cruising area includes Europe…Love this site. Thanks. Claire D
We’re headed back to the boat (in Norfolk, VA) in the next few days and are in our usual pre-going-away period of trying to get our respective desks cleared off. It will be really nice to get away from the daily overdose of news to which we subject ourselves when there are televisions close at hand. (Such equipment is banned from the boat for exactly this reason.) And, of course, the usual list of pre-departure projects, check lists and stocking up will keep us occupied and away from the news.
The two of us have been having some dialog about our philosophy of self-defense, in light of the “new reality” in which we all find ourselves. When we cruised years ago, and the kids were little, we looked at this in the same way we dealt with our medical kit. We were well prepared for almost any eventuality, and hoped like hell we’d never have to use that preparedness.
But with the kids on their own, the defense mechanism tends to moderate. On the other hand, the hassle of carrying an arsenal continues-there can be a lot of paperwork and running around when clearing in and out-if you have guns aboard. So, in recent times we’ve changed our approach to this very controversial subject.
One of the maintenance issues that is bound to occur is a bad salt water pump impeller.
The photo above is from Wind Horse‘s starboard engine. Notice the missing vane in the lower right portion of the impeller? It would have been better to change this impeller on a proactive basis, before it got old and tired. The missing vane reduces cooling water flow, and we now have to find the piece so it does not block one of the heat exchangers.
It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been fighting this mother of all wars for five long, hard years. But yesterday we tasted the sweetest of all fruits-Victory!
Yes, friends, after running our Yanmar diesel hard (2800 rpm continuously) for an hour, not a trace of oil was to be found. Danny, our miracle-working mechanic from Billings had indeed found the elusive oil leak which has plagued us since launching BEOWULF in New Zealand. And now our engine sump will stay CLEAN!
Linda & Steve, In your recent article on the new passage planning software (I hope to see more on this later) you made a comment regarding downloading weather forecast data during your passage. What method do you use to access internet at sea?? Regards, Mark