DIY pot skirt for $.99

by Tim on May 12, 2014

Long-time readers will recall (from here and here) that while I’m happy with my little Coleman Fold-N-Go stove, in any kind of breeze its performance suffers. I’ve been meaning to build a “pot skirt” for…well..for YEARS. In the meantime, we usually lower our stove into the cockpit to obtain some shelter from the wind, like this:


The problem is that in any kind of breeze, a lot of the heat from the burner gets blown away before it can go to work on the bottom of the cooking vessel; see the big open gap:


But this weekend, I finally did it! I went down to Goodwill with the stove grates for size, and looked at cookware. For $0.99, I took this home:


Spent about an hour with the dremel cutoff wheel, a file, and some sandpaper, and ended up with this:


Which fits onto the stove like this:


Notice that there is a pathway for air to enter, as well as a pathway for hot gas to exit. In the meantime, though, that hot gas is forced to spend time against the bottom of the pan, where it can do some good.

I’ll be staying on the boat this coming weekend, at Friday Harbor with the C-Brats. So I’ll get a chance to boil some water with and without the pot skirt. I’ll report my findings here.


Synthetic AIS coming to Puget Sound

by Tim on April 2, 2014

I’ve been following this technology for a long time (since 2007, apparently), so I’m especially excited to see some implementation right here in my own home cruising ground.

Scott Wilson has the story over at Three Sheets Northwest:

The most recent Coast Guard District Thirteen Local Notice to Mariners (LNM) has advance notices for three different new AIS AtoN (Aids to Navigation) beacons, two of them in Puget Sound — both related to the Puget Sound VTS (Vessel Traffic System) separation scheme, marking the existing TA buoy off Three Tree Point and a new “virtual” SB buoy in Admiralty Inlet.

Read more


Lessons learned from a small boat fire

by Tim on February 28, 2014

We had a big multi-boat fire here in the Pacific Northwest recently. It has served as a reminder to many of us about the risks of fire aboard, particularly on unattended vessels.

But what about occupied vessels? How does that play out?

Heidi Hackler has this interesting and educational post over at Three Sheets NW. I’ll post a teaser photo to entice you to click over for the entire article.


Read all about it


My newest YouTube addiction: Untie The Lines

February 26, 2014

I’m addicted to YouTube. I love the Russian dash-cam footage of accidents and near misses. I love the London bicyclists who share their confrontations with other road users. I love following Seattle’s own masked superhero in his fight against crime. I love “fail” compilations. But beyond all the banality and schadenfreude, I also subscribe to […]

Read the full article →

Marine communications gear roundup

February 18, 2014

Over at Three Sheets Northwest, Scott Wilson has a good roundup of the current state of affairs in marine communication gear. A quick excerpt to whet your appetite… Despite the push-button gee whiz factor of DSC, however, it hasn’t sparked a revolution in VHF communications, at least on the Salish Sea. And some of the […]

Read the full article →

Offshore communication: satellite phone or SSB?

February 3, 2014

Here’s a great write-up by Behan over at the Sailing With Totem blog: What’s better on board: a satellite phone or an SSB? If you have to choose only one, what should you do? I talked through this a few times during morning jogs with a new cruiser recently. She and her family bought a […]

Read the full article →

More on the state of sailing: New boats, but where are the new boaters?

January 31, 2014

Here’s an interesting follow-up to yesterday’s item on the decline of sailing. Turns out there’s an entire discussion occurring here in the Puget Sound region about this topic… The Oceanis 38 can be seen, in some regards, as a response of the industry to some of the issues that Three Sheets Guest Dock contributor Robert […]

Read the full article →

State of sailing in the US: Declining

January 30, 2014

A worthwhile read over at Robert Salnick’s blog: State of sailing on the Salish Sea: close of the 2013 season We attended the Seattle Boat Show this last Sunday, which bills itself as the largest boat show on the west coast.  Sadly, each year the fraction of the dock space devoted to sail in the […]

Read the full article →

Seattle Boat Show coming soon…AND CLOSING EARLY!?

January 21, 2014

Hot off the presses… Seattle Boat Show Calls an Audible—Closes on Super Bowl Sunday to Honor Seahawks Bonus for showgoers – access to the field for photo opportunities Seattle – Seattle Boat Show organizers have decided to pay homage to the home team by closing the BIG Seattle Boat Show at CenturyLink Field and South […]

Read the full article →

Thermal imaging coming down in price

November 12, 2013

I’m still lusting after a little R2D2-style thermal-imaging camera for my boat, of course. But for casual/recreational users with “we are the 99%”-level budgets, $15k is a BIT much for a toy. Prices have come down, however, and as more competitors enter the market, this trend should continue. The time may be coming when we […]

Read the full article →