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…

Product Review: Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 73sv Chartplotter

I’ve been asked many times if I have a chartplotter on Summer Dance. Up to now, I’ve answered that I didn’t have a need for one and that my handheld GPS worked fine for my needs. But recently, I’ve challenged myself to do more fishing and I haven’t been very successful yet at filling up…

Install 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…

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 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.