Convert Your Lights to LED Bulbs for More Light with Less Power

When we first started spending long weekends aboard Summer Dance, the deep cycle battery wouldn’t have enough charge left in it by the end of the weekend to power much of anything. At that time, Summer Dance had all incandescent navigation lights and only two cabin dome lights converted to LEDs. Besides the lights, we…

Upgrade Your Outboard Motor to Charge Your Battery

The luxury of onboard electronics and electrical devices cuts both ways. What it gives in terms of convenience, it takes in terms of a load on your battery bank that needs recharging. There is tons of good info available on the net and in books on sailboat electrical systems. I especially like Sailboat Electrics Simplified…

How to Completely Rewire Your Sailboat

It’s an enduring truth that appearances can be deceiving, especially with electrical systems. When I inspected Summer Dance before buying her, the electrical system looked like one of the boat’s strong suits. It had an upgraded panel and a new battery. The wiring was all original except for spliced connections to the panel. There weren’t any…

How To Choose The Right Solar Panel

If your sailboat’s battery runs out of a charge before you run out of the need for it, installing a solar panel might be a good option for you. It might be the only option for you to recharge the battery if you normally moor without access to shore power so that you can use…

Installing a Marine Music System

If you’re a music lover, an onboard music system is mandatory. There’s a mysterious connection between the open waters and music. Whether it’s classical, jazz, rock, country, folk, or reggae, there’s a song for every mood when you’re sailing. A marine music system lets you take your favorite music with you on the waters. We…

Installing a Solar Panel by the Numbers

This is a guest post by Kevin Curran. Kevin sails his 1976 Newport 30 out of San Diego, California and shares his adventures and DIY tips at Captain Curran’s sailing blog.

How to Add an Anchor Light For Less

Early on in our sailing career, the first mate and I discovered that we really enjoy anchoring out overnight. The bays in the North Idaho lakes where we cruise are surrounded by snow-capped mountains, covered by crystal clear starry skies, and afford plenty of privacy. The problem was, Summer Dance didn’t have an anchor light, which…

Speed Up Trailer Hookups with a Backup Camera

This project isn’t on the boat at all but it can make getting the boat on and off the water faster and easier for the trailer sailor. I’ve used trailers for most of my adult life, so I’m pretty good at backing them up. But getting the hitch ball right under a coupler on the…

How to Install a Tiller Autopilot

I hadn’t seriously considered an autopilot for Summer Dance until I discovered the affordable Raymarine ST1000+ Tiller Pilot and that they could be had for half the cost of new on eBay. When I thought of how convenient it would be for cruising with my wife who has no desire to take the helm, I…

Brighten up Your Cabin with LED Strip Lighting

It seems that every C-22 owner upgrades their cabin lighting at some point. The original dome lights are not very bright or sturdy and their incandescent bulbs use a lot of battery power. In Summer Dance, the previous owner had replaced the two salon dome lights with the combination white/red LED lights from a certain Catalina parts…

How to Rebuild a Rotten Battery Tray

The battery tray on Summer Dance was heavily water damaged. The nails holding the side pieces to the base had rusted away and the pieces pulled away easily by hand, leaving only the base. It was badly stained and rotted and gave off a very funky smell. Fortunately, the previous owner had installed a plastic battery…