Saturday, April 7, 2018


Here it is April already.  We have a second call sign for the SSB to be legal in international waters ; VE0KLV  which is a version of VA7KLV which is my main call sign. 

No hauling out this year.  We are planning on heading out to Bowen Island for the May long weekend.  We used Easter to do some maintenance 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Webasto Heater Replacement

Our hydronic heating system on board Terratima has a Webasto diesel fueled unit.  It has not worked properly from the day it was installed.    After years of frustration with the system, the final straw came when we discovered that the heat transfer jacket was cracked and water (glycol) was entering the combustion chamber.  The cost to replace the jacket was $1,400 for the part.  I had it ripped out and replaced with a Russian-built unit that cost me the same amount and has worked flawlessly.  So much for American ingenuity.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

To all the sailors and those that have the been dreaming:


Sunday, December 17, 2017


We still get questions about living aboard.  The answer is we love it, we prefer it, and we are staying on our boat.  "What is different?", we are asked.  Nothing really, except we can slip the lines and sail around the world.  There is one difference we have observed however.  Don't live on a boat if you hate that "lived in" look.  Living on a 50' boat uses every square centimetre of space to the fullest.  You are faced with more maintenance and cleaning than you might otherwise have in a house.  Other than that and the electronics for navigation and communication, life is similar.

Now for Christmas and the one piece that is all bout the reason for the season:

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Pressure Gauge on the Control Panel

Finally got everything buttoned up and real the watermaker.  Here it is stabilized at 840 PSI and it was putting out an impressive stream of water from our water sample faucet!!

Saturday, July 22, 2017


OK, here is the sequence of events:

  • 2013 installed a new ICOM M802 SSB radio complete with SCS Pactor Modem. This included a GANS split lead antenna and a KISS ground plane.
  • Try as I might, the operation of the radio was very poor.  
  • Fast forward to 2017 and finally we decided to get some advice from ICOM.  They recommended a person (e-mail us for the contact info).  He recommends replacing the split lead antenna with a real isolated backstay, and then once that was done, give him a call.  

Paul from Ocean Rigging Up the Mast 
Removing the Backstay

Adding the Isolators After Cutting the Stays

  • After the stay was done, I called my ICOM contact again and we set a time to do the grounding.  

Installing 100' of Continuous 3" Copper Foil 
Adhered to
the Hull with 3M 4200

  • So now we have the radio and grounding done (it took 2 weeks to do the foil).  Reception improved dramatically.  Now to get the whole system running:
Installing Airmail and Configuring

  • We tried RMS Express, but it was so complicated and the documentation so difficult, we abandoned that and went with Airmail for HAM use through  
  • After 3 weeks of playing with this to no avail and the participation of tow very knowledgeable people, we find that the simple inclusion of one item of information was the piece that stymied everything!!!  
Airmail Settings

  • We set up the radio and Airmail configuration.  It is under the Setup Wizard under Tools in the menu.  If you leave it there you will NEVER CONNECT.  
  • Now the little piece of info:  go to TOOLS>OPTIONS...  There you will see a window for your call sign and below the PASSWORD.  Without this password, nothing works.  This password is the one you use for your Winlink account access when you enter that online.  When we entered that, it connected right away and we were no sending e-mail via pactor modem.  
Once we had this operational, we requested a GRIB file and downloaded it (keep the area you are requesting small and in the vicinity of your boat - no rests for the entire Pacific Basin - or you will regret it!!!).  Weather faxes work well, and of course we can send e-mail.  

Many Thanks to:
Ron Kolody
Martin Dunsmuir
Steve Waterman 

A Tale of Two Crisis

A boat can be a baffling piece of technology sometimes.  I will in a series of articles beginning this week take you through two impossibly frustrating experiences:

  • Getting our SSB to work reliably, and
  • Installing our AquaMaax Watermaker and running it.
These have been EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING!!!!!!!!!  Let's see if when we get these working, we might help make it easier for others trying to do the same

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Travel Lift and Back in the Water

Moving to the Slip

Lowering the Boat

Slipping into the Water

Bottom Paint, Epoxy, and Zincs

We were out of the water for 3 weeks completing the watermakers install.  We had a bad discovery that we did not have an epoxy barrier coat so we sanded the bottom and applied 3 coats of epoxy.  Then 2 coats of anti-fouling paint.  Big (and expensive) job.

Bottom After All the Work

New Zincs on the Thruster

Cleaned Up Prop

Zinc on Propellor Shaft

Zinc Block on the Rudder Connection to the Keel

Ready to Go Back in the Water


Our Aquamaax watermaker is now fully functional.  We will be testing it over the next couple of months especially when we are off cursing in a few weeks time.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017


The electrical portion needs to be completed.  We now have the ElectroMaax 160 Amp alternator and serpentine belt kit installed.  Remaining to be done:

  • Installation of charge regulator and its remote panel
  • Installation of additional faucet for water sample at the sink
  • Installing tubing for water sample faucet
  • Installing brine discharge to the sink drainage
  • Installing fresh water connection for fresh water backwash
  • Complete all electrical connections, breakers and switches. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017


This has been a very busy couple of months, so forgive us not making any posts during that time.  Most of the free time in January was spent in a course to get my Amateur Radio License.  That has been accomplished and I have passed the exam for Basic with Honours.  I will post the official call sign for our nation as soon s we receive it from Industry Canada.  

Friday, November 11, 2016

Watermaker Install 3

We have located and installed the control panel and the two pressure vessels as shown below

AquaMaax Control Panel Installed in the Shallow 
Locker Below the Galley Sink

This is the Wet Locker Where We Have 
Installed the 2 Pressure Vessels

Pressure Vessels Installed
The Blue Line is the Product Water Line

Lower View of Pressure Vessels

Top of the Pressure Vessels Showing Feed and 
Discharge Connections and Product Water Line
The Brass Fitting at the Upper Left is the Cockpit Locker Drain