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Arch / Radar / Solar Panels  Main Cabin Windows Swim Platform
Dinghy and Davits Cap Rail Replacement Toe Rail Finish
Amidships Closed Chock Stern Anchor Line Reel Chain Locker
Lifelines & Stanchions Ground Tackle Rigging Mooring Lines
Wireless Windlass Remote Hatch Security Bars Anchor Locker and Windlass

Last Updated: 21 March 2014

Future Additions:
Stern and Bow Rails
Mast Safety Rails
Stern Storage Box
Anchor Roller Tray

Arch / Radar / Solar Panels
March 2013 Update: 
We have bought a new pre-fabricated arch from Atlantic Towers.  Until we have time to incorporated it on the website, see our arch blog for details and pics on the new arch, and our solar blog posts for updates on the solar panels.

Original:  Dave designed and had fabricated this aluminum goal post arch upon which to mount solar panels, radar, wind instruments, anchor and stern navigation lights and dinghy davits. 

Originally the 2" main support posts port and starboard extended above the solar panels and held a Windbugger wind generator and the Furuno radar dome.  These shaded the solar panels throughout most of the day so that the panel output was severely degraded.  This is the case with anything of any size mounted above solar panels so they were remove shortly after returning to the US.

A new aluminum pole was added across the top of the arch and the panels remounted so that they could be rotated fore and aft about 45 degrees each way.   Doing so allows the panels to generate  approximately 30 percent more amp hours per day. 

Another 25 percent was added by wiring the system for 48 volts and upgrading the regulator to the Outbacker solar regulator with the latest MPPT technology.  See additional info on the Furuno radar dome mount under the Electronics section.


Dinghy and Davits

The 10.5’ Alliance RIB dinghy is pushed out gently while being raised and rests above the wind-vane at stern rail level when fully stowed.  This places it well out of reach of anyone attempting to steal the motor from a small boat at night.  For open ocean passages it is stowed upside down on the cabin top forward of the mast for security and so that the Monitor wind vane can be used.  We use triple blocks top and bottom for the falls so that the dingy is easier to raise and lower.  It can easily be strapped in tightly to prevent chafe when underway.

We carry two outboard motors, a 5 HP and a 15 HP of the same brand (Nissan/Tohatsu) so that they can use the same fuel tank.  One backs up the other in case of a failure.  The 15 provides planing speed for those long range exploring or diving expeditions while the 5 uses far less gas for closer dinghy trips while at an anchorage for an extended time.

Swim Platform

This custom swim platform is approximately 19” above static waterline, and designed to handle big seas.  The platform decking was originally made of approximately 55” X 20” of 3/4” white Starboard.  We now use only the starboard half as we rarely go to the port side of the platform.  The decking lays on a permanently mounted 1-1/2” diameter bent and welded aluminum pipe frame that can be used by itself for boarding in an emergency.  The decking is easily removed and stowed below by removing 4 bolts.  Whenever it is rough enough to stow the dinghy on the forward deck we remove the platform decking.

The issues for us in designing a our stern swim platform this way were:

  1. Allowing room for a Monitor wind vane to be installed
    trailing just behind the platform (approx
    20" off the stern).

  2. Ensuring we could lift the dinghy out of the water to a high  enough stowed position so that it would be secure from theft and we could use the swim platform while at anchor.  When we are using the Monitor for long trips the dinghy is mounted strapped down tight forward of the mast on the cabin top.

  3. Allowing partial disassembly by quickly removing the Starboard decking and leaving the frame intact for long passages when we might encounter a gale or worse. This
    configuration still allows use of the framework
    for recovery
     of a man or other objects that fall overboard.

  4. Providing a platform for swimming, diving, showering, boarding the dinghy, a water level fish gaffing position, and a standing position for the fish cleaning station on the Monitor mounting struts.

Overall we think our $400 expenditure on our swim platform was one of the best projects we've done to Soggy Paws. 

Construction and Mounting Details

  • Frame dimensions: 60" wide outside to outside, 21" deep outside pipe to inside pipe, with legs that extend from the inside pipe about 6" to mount to the back of the boat.
    Pipe is 1.5" ID anodized aluminum pipe

  • Circular pads to attach the frame to the back of the boat are standard 3-bolt anodized aluminum pads, about 4" in diameter. (see closeup below)

  • The removable platforms (port and starboard halves) are made out of 3/4 inch white "Starboard"

  • The platforms are fastened with 2 each 1/4 inch SS bolts through a piece of 1 inch wide x 1/4 inch thick aluminium flatbar.  The flatbar is welded even with the top edge of the left and right stringers (the 3 bars adding structural stability in the middle of the frame).  Only 2 bolts fasten each half of the platform to the frame, in the middle (making it easy to remove when we go to sea), but the platforms each rest on the center bar on one end and the outer frame on the other end.  So they are very stable with just 2 bolts to hold them on.

  • The two diagonal supports are made of 1 inch ID anodized aluminum pipe with tabs welded on the end.  They bolt to a tab on the top side of the frame and to a tab welded to a circular pad bolted to the back of the boat.

  • Mounting height:  19" from the surface of the water to the top of the Frame.

  • Mounting on a CSY: Years ago we removed the doorskin covering the stern interior of the aft cabin as it was badly wood rotted. So the nuts and fender washers for the lower pads just go through the fiberglass and are exposed on the inside. Someday we will get around to covering that with something. The wood trim is still intact where the upper pad bolts come through the stern of the boat. So the washers and nuts are mounted on this wood trim piece.

  • I recommend installing the lower part of the swim platform first. Then have the welder make the upper support braces such that you can attach them at the lower ends and then fit/rotate the upper pads so that they fit flat to the back of the boat before he welds them to the pipe. My upper pads are attached to a solid insert piece that slides into the end of the pipe. Once the supports are welded, drill the holes and attach the upper pads. They should angle out slightly and fit on the inward angled top of the stern.

  • Future:  One add-on I would consider doing is adding a Ύ” ID pipe across and under the back of the platform to keep the dinghy from sliding under. This wasn't necessary until we raised the platform 8-9 inches to get rid of slapping in rolly/choppy anchorages.  Most modern RIBs have 17” tubes, so with the platform height at 19", they will just go under the platform if you don’t have something to prevent it. Mounting a small pipe 3-4” under the aft frame tube should work fine. Any platform height less than about 18” will drag in the water when underway, and slap and bank when in a choppy anchorage (several sleepless nights in 2 years prompted us to raise the platform). So 19” is a good height to prevent this and allow easy access to the platform from the water and dinghy.

Top View

2010 Version
of Platform


Anchor Locker and Windlass

This is the forward chain/rode locker showing the new athwart ships divider for chain stowage aft and line/chain stowage forward. This was a Tom Service (s/v Jean Marie, 44WO) idea slightly modified for our purposes. The new glassed in 3/4” plywood divider is 14” forward of the aft locker bulkhead and the top edge is 13” below the overhead. Also shown is the new 1/2” aft half bulkhead which holds the chain off the locker door as it piles up.  At the top of the locker can be seen the aft end of the curved aluminum chain pipe used to direct the fall of the chain 6” aft of the windlass hawsehole.  A new line/chain hawsehole was cut just forward of the Lofrans Tigress windlass base. 

(Topica Post 12/28/07) I once had a Simpson Lawrence Sea Tiger 555 manual windlass but changed it out when the shaft broke for a Lofrans Tigres. We have been very happy with it for 8 years now. It is a big step in convenience and safety to move from an all manual windlass to one with both electric and manual. I have used the manual feature on my Tigres and although slow it works well. Others have installed the larger, stronger, heavier and more expensive Lofrans Falcon with equal success. And there are several other brands that come highly recommended. Get a spare brush set for which ever windlass you chose.

I installed my Tigres on a custom made fiberglass mounting block that sits the windlass about 2 inches off the deck. With that height you can still use reasonable length bolts, get almost 90 degrees turn of the chain around the chain gypsy and still not have a huge lever arm as you would with a mount high off the deck. Going up 8 or 9 inches just to get exactly 90% turn on the gypsy is not what you want to do. I used no caulk but EPDM rubber gaskets between the deck and mount and mount and windlass. So far no leaks.

While you are mounting the new windlass consider rearranging your anchor chain locker so that the chain weight is as far aft as possible and the spare rode is forward. A description of our setup is on the website. Ron Sheridan, of Memory Rose, has a unique arrangement with the chain and windlass coming down the starboard side of the boat.

Also while you are at it, pay some attention to your anchor roller tray and any improvements you might want to make to it, like beefing up the roller pins, providing rollers where necessary to keep the chain from chafing against it, and changing to an aluminum grooved roller for your chain. An easy solution to getting at the nuts under the roller tray (and those for the forward chain plate) is to cut a rectangular hole in the vertical deck section just behind the tray large enough so you can get a wrench on them. Then seal a plate over the hole with screws and an appropriate gasket when you are finished. Obviously, whatever you do make sure all is absolutely water tight and as strong as possible with no significant weak links.

Lofrans Tigres 1200 Watt windlass
on custom fiberglass mount

Chain locker aft, spare rode forward,
the first 100' of chain is led aft through
 a PVC pipe and stored in the bilge
just in front on the mast

Anchor roller tray removed, access
hole open in vertical deck

INOX Kong SS swivel, 6000 lb working
load exceeds HT chain SWL, shackles
match chain 5200 lb SWL

Anchor roller tray with 5/8" roller
pins and shortened by about 10"

Bow ground tackle rigged for
Hurricane Wilma

We now carry 300’ of 3/8 HT chain (200' in the aft bin and 100' stretched aft under the V berth to a floor locker just forward of the mast), and 300’ of 3/4” 3 strand nylon line with 45’ of 3/8” HT chain in the forward bin.   We also carry considerable additional chain and line rodes in other lockers mainly under the floor.

The windlass solenoids and remote up/down hand control are mounted high up on the port side aft bulkhead with the remote coming out the forward hatch for use on the fore deck. Mounted outside on the stem 9” above the waterline and stoutly backed inside is a new 1/2” Winchard high strength bow eye used as a no chafe snubber attachment point. 

Note, we continue to have problems with wired remote--the wires fail from flexing and we've had to re-wire it ourselves.  We finally bought a very inexpensive wireless remote in late 2012.  This works great, with the wired remote as a backup if necessary (top)

Ground Tackle

I have owned my CSY 44 for 10 years now.  The boat came out of charter with a 45 lb CQR, a Fortress 37, two 12' lengths of SS chain and about 200' on 3/4" nylon in two sections.  I soon dumped the undersized CQR and replaced it with a Bruce 66.  Two years later I replaced the Bruce 66 because of its ability to pick up boulders in its flukes and difficulty setting in grass and soft mud.  I started out with a Delta 55 anchor for our trip around the Carribbean and later added a Delta 88.  We now have 5 anchors onboard for our circumnavigation: Delta 88, Delta 55, Fortress 55, Fortress 37 and a Danforth 35 HT.  I started with 3/8" SL (short link high tensile) chain.  Since the chain has a working strength of about 5200 lbs, I use two shackles of the same strength between the chain and anchor: a High Tensile 7/16" (the largest that will fit through the chain standard end link) and a regular 5/8" into the anchor.

If you use BBB 3/8" chain, it's working strength is only 2900 lbs, so lesser shackles could do. If you do have a weak link, it should be at the anchor/chain connection so that if you do break your ground tackle you will only lose the anchor and not the rest. Obviously it should not be much weaker.

We use a Lofrans Tigres windlass strongly bolted through a 2" fiberglas mounting pad to the deck.  For snubbers I have an assortment of all 5/8" lengths of 3 strand nylon in lengths of 10-35'.  They can be fastened to the boat through closed chocks or over the bow rollers to any of six heavy bow cleats.  Another option I like is to attach a snubber to a heavily reinforced stem padeye near the water line.

I don't think that having a swivel will help those that are having a problem with their anchors dislodging in changing winds. I think that would be more a problem with the anchor type vs. the bottom and/or the setting technique.

From the start, I was in the habit of end-for-ending and remarking the chain about every year and a half when I was at a dock. I had the chain re-galvanized once in 2002 to help extend it's service life. Between late 1998 and 2002 we often anchored for two weeks or more in one place while cruising in the Caribbean. Since then while doing charters in the Fla Keys I never anchor more than a night or two in one place.  I finally replaced this anchor chain in 2006, in preparation for our circumnavigation.

I used to have no swivel in the ground tackle and this worked fine, except that occasionally I would have to back out most of my 200' of chain to unravel the twists. This was reduced somewhat when I had a chain groove cut into the aluminum anchor roller on the bow. Even so it took some considerable attention and time to minimize the twists in the chain as it came up after anchoring. Then about a year and a half ago I noticed the chain starting to twist up again while on charter and before I had time to undo the twists I had a problem.

As the wind picked up one night at anchor I went forward to let out a little more chain and the twists jammed in the chain pipe below the windlass. I realized then that if this had been a really serious situation and I had had to let out more chain or dump it to save the boat I would have been in trouble. Since the chain was near the end of it's service life I replaced it a few months later with 300' of new 3/8" HT ACCO chain at $2.50 a foot. It took us over a half hour to get all the twists out of the old chain as it came out of the chain locker and up through the chain pipe. Part of the new chain is now led aft through a large PVC pipe in order to reduce the weight in the bow.

Many quality swivels and shackles you could buy are only rated for the BBB chain, and if used with HT chain become a very weak link. That problem, severe corrosion, improper rigging and lack of mousing were problems with many of the boats that have reportedly lost their anchors due to problems with swivels or shackles.

Asian chain, swivels and shackles have a reputation for flawed construction and are always suspect in my mind. Typical are those that are not marked with a working load (SWL). Many swivels used in moorings are always underwater and never inspected until they corrode through. Take a close look sometime walking down the docks in a marina at the number of severely corroded, improperly rigged or unmoused shackles used in ground tackle on seldom cruised boats. The large professionally engineered and annually inspected mooring field in Boot Key Harbor does use a large swivel in their design. The design is rated for 50' boats in a Cat 2 hurricane. It is obviously most important to properly size and maintain any swivels or shackles used in ground tackle.

I had resigned myself to put up with the chain twist until a very experienced friend with a similar boat and ground tackle came across what looked to be a proper swivel. The engineered swivels we bought about a year ago through West Marine (special order) are made in Italy by a very old company making nautical fittings. It is very high quality, 316 SS, tested and patented. It comes in 3 sizes and mine has a working strength of 6600 lbs and a breaking strength of 21000 lbs. On the instruction sheet is printed "KONG, Bonoiti, since 1830, INOX AISI 316 Swivel Anchor Connector". Cost was about $130. I still use the same two shackles to make the connection between chain, swivel and anchor.

Hopefully it will help reduce the twisting of my chain in the future.

2014 Update:  In 2013 we sold our Deltas and bought 2 "new generation" anchors... a 99-lb Spade and a 65-lb Mantus.  See Dave's 2013 SSCA Presentation on Modern Anchors and Ground Tackle for all Dave's research on anchors.

Cap Rail Replacement

(31 Oct 09 CSYO Post) Hull Rig, Hull to Deck Joint Leaks
Re the hull to deck joint forward:  The vertical side of the hull (topside) comes up and then turns inboard at the caprail. The deck runs outboard, up to form the bulwark then outboard over the hull layer and just under the wood caprail. So from top to bottom on top of the bulwark you have the 1" thick teak caprail, the 1/2" thick deck fiberglass layer and finally the 1/2" thick topside fiberglass layer.

3M 5200 makes the seal and forms the bond between the 3 layers. The joint is mechanically fastened with alternating 1/4" screws and bolts on 4" centers.

The cause of most leaks is because the sealant is applied in a thin line and does not make a complete seal between the layers. You probably saw the pics of this on our website under Deck. Water can get into the joints through an unpreserved raw teak caprail, screws/bolts with loose bungs, the chainplates which go through the joint, the outside edge of the joint, loose/poorly caulked stanchion bases and anything else that may be fastened to the caprail.

After 8 years of living with the original CSY 44 teak cap rails and their various problems I finally decided to do something about it. I looked carefully at all the replacement options including teak, oak, Douglas fir, various plastic/wood mixes, fiberglass and aluminum edge extrusions. Both Jim Dill of Chilly Pepper and I reached the same conclusion and ordered the only aluminum extrusion in existence that will fit--a heavy duty extrusion built by Taco Metals in Miami. Three 34' sections were enough to do both boats. We both had previously replaced our chain plates, mine external, Jim's internal. We also had each redesigned and replaced our lifeline stanchions. Here for any of you interested in a month's worth of work on your 44 CSY are the steps involved in the process of removing and replacing the cap rails with an aluminum extrusion.

  1. Remove all lifeline stanchions and other fittings on the cap rail.

  1. Sand the somewhat evenly spaced screw bungs so you can locate them all


  2. Remove the bungs with your favorite technique. I turned Stacy loose on them with an hammer and narrow chisel.


  3. Clean out the screw heads with a sharp pick and remove the screws with a screw gun


  4. Remove the teak caps. Again I turned Stacy loose on them with two flat pry bars and a sledge hammer. They were off in a day.  It was easy to see why they had leaked given the sorry caulking job.


  5. Scrape and rough sand the fiberglass caps to remove the remaining 5200. We had 5200 only on the inboard edges of the caps and around most of the screw holes.

  6. Clean out all the holes with an oversized drill bit. Use a countersink bit to bevel the tops of all the holes and remove any high spots around them

  7. Epoxy patch all the holes and damaged areas caused by the demolition team, including the trim piece screw holes in the hull just under the cap

  8. Tighten as many remaining screws/bolts as you can to get the heads below the level of the cap


  9. Sand the cap and trim piece screw holes as smooth as possible with 100 grit and a random orbit sander.

  10. Clean the cap with denatured alcohol and apply blue tape along the inboard corner of the cap and around the curved portion of the steps just below any sanded portion


  11. Apply two coats of epoxy and at least 1 layer of 4" wide fiberglass cloth well wetted out over the top of the cap taking care to keep it very even along the inside edge just at the corner

  12. When dry sand as smooth as possible with 100 grit so there is no cloth print through

  13. Remove the blue tape

  14. Lightly drill dimple the cap where the stanchion bases will fit

  15. Clean the cap with denatured alcohol

  16. Apply blue tape just below/outside any sanded areas along the inside corner of the cap and around the curved section at the steps

  17. Apply 5 coats of Awlgrip primer with a roller to the cap, apply several coats to the trim piece screw holes with a small brush.  The top coat will be applied after all the extrusion installation work is done.

  18. After several days drying remove the blue tape

  19. Sand all primer as smooth as possible with 100 grit including the raised tape edge of primer at the inside corner of the cap and around the steps

  20. Measure twice and cut the extrusion to fit your caprail. With external chainplates I had to cut my extrusions into two pieces with the joint at the cap shroud chainplate and then notch them on the outside for the chainplates. Jim did his in one piece on each side and notched them on the inside for the chainplates. All the cutting and notching was done with a grinder and cutoff wheel.

  21. Grind the extrusion cutouts and ends with a grinder and then file smooth

  22. Rough sand or grind any protruding edge of the deck flange so it won't interfere with the extrusion fit

  23. Dry fit the extrusion to the cap starting at the aft end. Fit 1/4"X2" oval phillips screws after carefully clamping the extrusion tight against the outside of the cap and drilling holes with a 3/16" drill bit. Use vaseline or other lubricant on the screw threads to reduce the chance of breaking one off.

  24. Carefully unscrew and remove the extrusion

  25. Clean the extrusion, cap and screw heads of vaseline and fiberglass dust

  26. Bevel the tops of the screw holes so the caulk will form an O ring seal

  27. Remove any old caulk along the outside edge of the cap with a knife so new caulk will grab

  28. Vacuum the cap, all screw holes and the outside edge of the cap

  29. Alcohol clean the upper hull side, cap and rail where caulk has to grab

  30. Dry fit the rail again with screws only every 5 holes and apply blue tape to the top of the cap and hull where they meet the extrusion

  31. Remove the extrusion and ensure the tape is on tightly

  32. Apply your favorite caulk to the cap and all screw holes.  I used 5200.

  33. Apply Tefgel to the bevel on all screw heads

  34. Clamp and screw the rail to the cap using a helper to hold the forward end up off the caulk until you are ready to screw that section down. Work on 5' sections at a time.

  35. Remove excess caulk with a narrow scraper

  36. Wipe any remaining caulk off the extrusion with Lacquer Thinner

  37. Apply caulk at ends and chainplates and fair smooth

  38. Remove the tape within about 6 hours and clean up any remaining caulk

  39. Remove all dust and clean the inside 3 inches of cap with alcohol


  40. Apply blue tape just below the sanded inboard corner of the cap, around the curved cap at the steps and along the inboard and hull edges of the extrusion

  41. Apply three coats of Awlgrip topcoat to the cap between the tape strips and at the trim piece screw holes

  42. Remove the tape when the paint is dry and lightly sand the edges if necessary

  43. Reinstall the lifeline stanchions using good caulking technique and 1/4" spacers (I used Starboard) under the bases if they overlap the extrusion.  Sand the spacers as necessary to ensure the bases stand straight upright.

  44. Install all other hardware ensuring a tight and waterproof fit




And that's all there is to it! Total cost about one boat unit, $1K. Major benefits include a watertight cap rail, a bullet proof outboard edge, a strong attachment point for such things as roller reefing blocks, fenders, and running rigging and best of all no more varnishing. As painting and fiberglass work are not among my strong suits, many thanks to Ron of Memory Rose for advising/supervising and helping me with this project. Without his help it wouldn't have gotten done. I also had the advantage of watching Jim Dill of Chilly Pepper do his first. (top)

Lifelines & Stanchions

I have few pics of my aft toe rails and lifeline stanchions. You can see the Schaefer model of two piece lifeline stanchions in the West Marine catalog under lifeline stanchions. Mine are Hayn, British I believe, 30" tall and purchased in Trinidad in 2000 for about $40 per set. They have four holes in the base plate for 1/4" bolts.  When bolted down they are rock solid and have not leaked a drop.  There are many others available. Try looking them up on the internet.

Here's something else to think about. I read an interesting article not long ago explaining how a 200 lb person thrown against reasonably tight lifelines will produce about 4000 lbs tension at the ends where they connect to the bow and stern rails. If that is true, it is no place for rusty plastic coated 3/16" lifelines, 25 year old 304 SS turnbuckles and jury-rigged railing connections.

I just installed new lifelines consisting of 316 SS 1/4" 7X19 bare wire with Nicropress fittings and
thimbles on the ends. I'm going to use multiple turns of small spectra line to tension them, high tensile shackles and beefed up tangs on the rails in order to try to keep the strength up. Hopefully this will be enough to keep us lightweights aboard.

Older design of the Hayn
stanchions with a vertical
tab welded on

Hayn stanchions without vertical
tabs bolted through new cap

Hayn stanchions on new cap

Hayn stanchion base on Starboard
filler to level base mounting with
aluminum cap rail

Toe Rail Finish

While in Trinidad I used a cheap locally mixed two part polyurethane by Sikkens on my cap and toe rails that has been on 5 years, although it is now somewhat sun bleached on the top. It is still intact but has not been touched in 5 years. Based on a friend's recommendation, and he knows paint, I will repaint my exterior wood soon using the Napa product. We don't do varnishes on Soggy Paws,
except on the cockpit teak where we use Cetol touched up every couple of years. We hate to varnish!  (top)

Jan 2008 Update.  Just finished having a local painter, Arnulfo Juares, here on the Rio Dulce paint our eyebrows and aft toe rails using a Napa two part MSD urethane enamel we bought in the U.S.  We had it custom-mixed at the Napa (auto parts) store to match a color swatch we had.  It is a deep brown, just a little more brown than the light teak cockpit combing.  While we were at it, we removed the jib sheet lead block tracks to rebed them as they were leaking badly.  After a good sanding, Arnulfo cleaned the areas to be painted and touched up any bare wood with two coats of epoxy.  Then he applied two coats of the paint one right after the other.  Now that it is dry, it is hard as a rock and hopefully will last a long time.  It sure looks good!

Aft toe rail with Trinidad brown
paint, 6 years old

Fwd port cap rail with Trinidad

Arnulfo Juares applying first coat
of Napa brown MSD paint

Fwd port cap rail with two coats of
Napa paint just applied

Bow cap rails with Napa paint

Port eyebrow with Napa paint

Port aft toe rail with Napa paint

Comparison of port toe rail with Napa
brown paint and teak cockpit combing
with Cetol

2014 Update:  This paint has held up really well in the harsh tropical Pacific climate we have been traveling through (hot, salty, humid, harsh sun).


Amidships Closed Chock

It is easy to rebed the mid ships closed chock. Just remove the two bronze end pieces by removing the 4 self-tapping screws that hold each piece to the bulwark and gently pry them off. Inside is a fiberglass tube that can be removed and then rebedded.

When I did mine several years ago the tubes were actually too long and did not allow the end pieces to seal against the bulwark properly. You may have the same problem. If so just grind the ends to shorten it up so it fits properly. Use plenty of caulk carefully placed when you rebed them. Mine are now chromed and in good and tight. (top)


Stern Line Reel

This line reel is made of two plastic ends from a West Marine spool of line, a PVC inner tube about 20" long, some 1/4" allthread and nuts to hold it all together.  It holds 500' of 5/8" polyester double braided line. 

The line can be used for many things including running out a kedge anchor, towing a drogue, tying a long line to shore and as a messenger for a heavier towing line.  The reel mounts ready for action but out of the way on the stern rail.  It has a Sunbrella cover to protect it from the sun.

Main Cabin Windows

The new main cabin windows were constructed and installed in 2004.  The goal was to solve the storm window storage and last minute installation problems by having permanently installed bullet proof windows of sufficient strength to withstand storm wave conditions from the beam.  The windows are constructed of 1/2" Polycarbonate/Lexan on the outside and 3/8" on the inside, sandwiching the cabin sides all around with a 2" overlap.  They are through bolted using 1/4" SS pan head bolts through the anodized 1/4"X2"  aluminum frame, the outer Lexan, the cabin side, the inner Lexan and finally the original inner fiberglass frame.  I used straws to isolate the SS bolts from the aluminum frame, surgical tubing to allow for expansion around the bolts as they passed through the Lexan and nylon washers to isolate the bolt heads and nuts from the frames.  The outer seal is provided by the use of 2"X1/4" EPDM rubber flat gasket material between the outer Lexan and the cabin side.  Finally a piece of Textlene covers each window to provide some degree of shade and privacy.  See Dashew's Cruising Encyclopedia for more details on this method of installation.  An alternate method used by Tackless Two uses a strong adhesive product called C 10.  See their website in the future for more details.

Finished windows in place with Textlene

Exterior view showing the frame, bolts
and dark tint to the Lexan

One of the frames from the inside showing
the bolt sticking through


Inside during installation before the
inner frames are installed

Two of the MR10 pieces cut to size with
a saber saw and over sized holes drilled

Cups with installation hardware ready
to be installed

Interior view showing the inside original
frame which was reinstalled with nylon

Proper Hook-ups for Mooring Lines

There are lots of ways to do connect your boat to a mooring. Some ways work better than others. But if you are using one line run from one side of your boat through the mooring buoy eye and then back to the other side of your boat you will certainly chafe through. The problem is the yaw causing the sawing action on the lines. It is a common mistake and we have seen several boats lost in the Pacific because of this!.

For reasonable wind/wave conditions you are much better off using a hard eye on the buoy end of the line and then a large full strength shackle to make the connection to the buoy line eye. Another way is to use a bridle with two separate lines and good chafe protection to the boat.

You also have to watch for chafe on the anchor(s) hanging off your bow, as explained in great detail on this website:  http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/mooring_prep

Storm conditions are a real problem because of chafe and heat as the lines work. So in crowded harbors we use a 7' length of 3/8" G4 chain over our bow roller to ensure no chafe from the boat. The buoy end is connected using a 7/16" G4 shackle to the chain and then a 5/8" shackle to the buoy. These sizes give no weak links. On the boat I have the chain connected using the same size shackles to multiple strong points on the boat's foredeck (we have six available) using 5/8" polyester/dacron double braid line to minimize stretch.

Soggy Paws' Storm Mooring Arrangement
- Multiple Attachment Points on the Boat
- Chain over the Bow Roller to Minimize Chafe
- Single Point Release

You have to minimize chafe in multiple locations so chafe protection is very important.
But tight heavy chafe gear will increase heat/melting of stretchy nylon lines during heavy surging. So I like G4 chain, full strength shackles and equal strength low stretch polyester line rigged to multiple strong points on the bow.

On the foredeck we have the following strong points:
-the original athwartships mounted cleat just aft of the anchor roller tray
-two cleats on each side of the boat (same size as above), one forward and one aft of each closed chock, mounted in the inboard sides of bulwarks
-one T shaped heavy bollard mounted on the deck forward of the windlass and chain/rope pipe

The attachment to the boat from the boat end of the chain is as follows:
-7/16" G4 shackle to the bitter end of the chain
-5/8" SS shackle to the 7/16" shackle
-5 strands of 5/8" polyester/Dacron double braid through the 5/8" shackle and attached to 4 cleats
-the Dacron is formed into a bight with the closed end of the bight forward just aft of the anchor roller tray and the open end aft secured on the ends at the cleats port and starboard. You could use 5 separate lengths of Dacron with the bitter ends attached to the cleats on both sides of the boat or one long length. I used one long length of Dacron (a spare jib sheet) wrapping it around all 4 cleats as I ran it side to side. I repeated this until I had 5 strands of the Dacron through the 5/8" shackle.
-I added a 24" length of fire hose around the Dacron bight running through the 5/8" shackle to prevent any chance of chafe. It was a tight fit.

The shackles provide full strength of the chain, 5400# working strength or better, and the Dacron does the same with minimum stretch and no chafe. If you have to quickly release the boat from the mooring just unscrew the pin of the 5/8" shackle. just aft of the anchor roller tray. The Dacron stays aboard and the hardware goes overboard. Our big Delta 88 anchor is tied down on the foredeck with its chain attached and over its roller so we can still use it in case we need it.

Inexpensive Wireless Windlass Remote

In November 2012, Dave helped our friend Jack on s/v Kitty Hawk move his boat from a mooring to a dock.  Jack had this nifty little windlass remote.  We ended up buying not one but two (you always need a spare, and the price was right).  We bought ours on eBay for only $40 for two, including shipping!!  They are cheaply made, but do the job, and we have a second for backup.  (Note, you need a special A23 battery not commonly found, so make sure you get a battery too).

We have since installed it on our windlass--the installation took about 10 minutes to wire the remote's "sender" across the electrical terminals below decks.  It works really well, except for a slight lag, which you get used to.

We keep our remote in a ziplock, as it is definitely not waterproof. 

Here's a link to purchase on Amazon.com

 These are made in China, and do not have any safety interlocks on them.  Use carefully!!