The Latest


St Mary’s Maryland

Work and weather finally lined up somewhat for an extended trip on Kestrel. It was June and I got a brief lull in the project I was managing which just happened to match a fairly good forecast. The weather was predicted to be blowy the first day, light wind the...


A Case for a Composting Toilet

The waste tank for my forward head lived under the bunk in the Pullman cabin. The tank was original and I suspect the hoses were too, making the whole system over 20 years old.  I knew for sure that the hoses were permeated and gave off that lovely boat waste...



Four hours!  We’d been light air “sailing” four hours on the Potomac and still were within sight of Colonial Beach, our home port.  Sometimes we made forward progress and sometimes we just spun in lazy circles with the current.  There was no hope of actually sailing to our original destination,...


Building an Anchor Bridle

Last summer, we spent some time at anchor.  Kestrel has an anchor windlass, but no central cleat or post on which to lock the anchor rode down.  There is an opening on the port side of the anchor locker hatch cover leading to the bow cleat, but it is awkward...


Solar Charging System Post #4 – Installation

Welcome back boat nerds for my fourth and final installment of building Kestrel’s solar charging system.  This post will address the installation of all components and commissioning of the system.  Solar Arch Installation Installing the arch took me two days, only about twice as long as I planned.  While the...


Solar Charging System Post #3 – Charging System Design

There is a lot more to building a solar charging system beyond the panels and mounting hardware.  You can think of the overall system as a three legged stool.  The first leg is the energy source side, the panels and how they get mounted to the boat.  The second leg...


Solar Charging System Post #1 – Panel Mounting

This is the first post of a series about my solar charging system design and installation. I go into some pretty serious weeds about the decision process that led me to my particular solution. My particular solution likely won’t be a fit for your boat unless you have a Catalina...


LED Light Upgrade

When I did a power survey on Kestrel last year I was surprised at how much of a draw the cabin lighting turned out to be. I expected the refrigerator to be a hog as well as the various pumps, but I hadn’t thought about the sheer number of lights...


The First Post

Welcome to my brand new blog site dedicated to all things sailing and what ever I happen to have a mind to write about. First, a quick introduction to me and my boat. My name is Terry and I’ve been a boater for thirty years. Good lord, that sounds like a terrible confession when I say it like that.