Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Corroded Bilge Pump

Well, there is a pump under there. This is a 25 year old Whale Gusher 10 from Scamper's cockpit. These pumps are made of aluminum and Whale recommends flushing them after use. I really don't like that thought for a bilge pump but the alternative is a plastic Titan.

I talked to a guy at Whale and he strongly recommended staying with the metal pump. Since the plastic pump would also require different mounting holes I guess I'll pony up the extra cash and get a new Gusher vs. the plastic Titan.

Friday, November 17, 2006


We've had a lot of rain lately and it has washed a tremendous amount of junk down the rivers and into the sound. We're not far from where the Hylebos river dumps into Commencement Bay and this is what most of the marina looked like earlier in the week.
They've got a lot of it cleaned up now. It would have been pretty hard to get a boat through this if anyone had wanted to get out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

AIS and Internet Connectivity

My new nav computer (see below) give me USB. This lets me get AIS and internet connectivity pretty easy.

The MilltechMarine AIS receiver was very easy to install and has been a lot of fun. It works seamlessly with the latest version of SeaClear. From my slip in Tacoma I can see ships coming around Pt. Robinson about 4 nm away. That's over some pretty high terrain so I'm expecting much better range once I actually take the boat out (it's been a very wet fall).

For internet connectivity I'm using my Treo 650 running PDANet software. This is also amazingly easy. Install a bit of software on both the Treo and the host, connect via the USB sync cable, run the software on the Treo, and start browsing. It's literaly that easy.

So now, not counting the Treo, I have just under $600 invested in a nav computer that gives me GPS, free, easy-to-update, US charts, AIS, tide info, weather radar (via the net), buoy data (via the net), email, webcam, word processing, the ability to store manuals (in PDF), the list goes on. A big Garmin would be a little less fiddly to get going but this is way cheaper.

New Nav Computer

The old Win95 "pen" computer was working fine but had no support for USB. I found a Win 2000 Fujitsu "pen" computer on eBay for $200 and put my cheap PCMCIA GPS card in it.

SeaClear and wxTide run just fine, as expected and are still free. Now I'm able to do AIS and internet through my Treo 650. Whoohoo.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hammock Chair Swing

The kids just love this hammock chair. It's been the big foredeck attraction all summer.


Did the San Juans, Victoria, and most of the Sound this summer. Shot a video using a regular Sony HandyCam and the Horizon True rail mount.