The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Winch Maintenance

  The winches on your sailboat are the workhorses of your rig. They do the heavy lifting and make your job as skipper easier so you can enjoy the ride. They’re also the most expensive hardware aboard so it only makes sense to take good care of them. In this post, I describe how they…

What to Expect From a Professional Bottom Paint Job

When Summer Dance got beat up in a freak storm back in 2014, the damage was mainly in two areas. The worst damage was the deck rim and the rubrail, for which I described the repairs in Storm damage repairs. The collateral damage was the bottom paint, which also got hammered as you can see…

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 Clean Sails at Home

Just like a white shirt is a magnet for spaghetti stains, your sails are magnets for stains, dirt, and mildew. Unlike a white shirt, you shouldn’t bleach or machine wash your sails, it will ruin them. That means don’t clean them in a chlorinated pool, either. For hundreds of dollars, you can send your sails…

Restore Your Exterior Teak to Better Than New

Is your topside brightwork weathered, worn, and sorely in need of refinishing? If so, this is one project that you’ve probably been putting off but you know it needs to be done. The job isn’t particularly difficult or expensive, it just takes plenty of time to do it right and to get good results. But…

How to Restore Rusted Parts

I buy a lot of used sailboat hardware on eBay and craigslist.org. The reason is simple, I usually can’t afford new! If you’re reading this and you aren’t independently wealthy then you know how expensive parts and supplies for our boats are. I only buy new when I can get a great discount and buying…

Enter the 2018 Stingy Sailor DIY Project Contest

Did you do a project on your sailboat last year that you’re particularly proud of? Or did you make an ingenious improvement that you’d like to share with other skippers? I’ve received comments and emails from many of you who rolled up your sleeves and took on DIY projects large and small, simple and complex. Now’s your turn…

Fix That Screeching Main Hatch!

A very common problem with older C-22s is a companionway hatch that screeches when opened or closed. Over the years, the flanges on the sides of the hatch and the teak rails that they slide in wear thin from use. This eventually lowers the middle of the front edge of the hatch until it scrapes…

Refinish Your Interior Teak to Better Than New

One of the things about older sailboats that I appreciate most is their abundance of teak woodwork. As a woodworker, I admire good craftsmanship, creative design, and a fine finish. It’s harder to find on today’s modern sailboats. Teak is in short supply so it’s more expensive than it once was and most modern sailors…

How to Replace Old Drain Tubing

I’m not a neatnik that needs everything to be squeaky clean and new. Well, maybe just a little. But if maintaining a part gets neglected to the point that it affects functionality, then the part needs to be repaired or replaced in my book. A good example of this is your sailboat’s cockpit scupper, galley, anchor locker, and other drain tubing.

We’re Celebrating Our 1st Anniversary!

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I started this blog. The projects alone have been a lot of work, but building this blog has also been worth the effort. It’s gone from an undiscovered notebook on the fringe of the blogosphere to the fastest growing DIY sailboat improvement blog in the world!…

Make a Door for More Storage Under the Galley

Is there ever enough storage space on these little boats? Maybe if you only day sail. But if you anchor out much, particularly over long holiday weekends or longer, no. Your first mate will probably let you know about it like mine. Often. Yet there is a lot of useful, if difficult to get to…