Making a Yacht Safety Diagram

Here in New Zealand, there are strict rules on the safety equipment that boats need to carry on board if they are competing in any yacht races, and also if they are intending on sailing offshore (both racing and cruising). Internationally registered vessels are exempt from these requirements, however I would imagine any prudent seafarer…

Diesel Engine Maintenance

I am on to my next Coastguard course now… Inboard Engine Maintenance. So once again I am going to be using the blog as a convenient place for me to store my study notes for my future reference. How engines work is a complete mystery to me, however I am super keen to learn! So…

Startbox Shenanigans!

As Wildy is currently up in the Sounds patiently waiting for us to head up for the Christmas holidays, our friend Willie asked if we would like to take his wife Vonda’s boat out for a sail in the Wednesday night twilight race. Andrew and I jumped at the chance to get out on the…

Superstitious Sailors

Sailors are a superstitious bunch. In fact I think if you followed all the various different sailing superstitions, then it would be quite hard to actually sail anywhere any time! Perhaps it is easier for sailors to blame bad weather, breakages or losing a race on bad luck borne out of some superstitious behavior, than…

Our delivery voyage – Lyttelton to Waikawa

This time last week we were somewhere off the Kaikoura Peninsula sailing from Lyttelton to Waikawa. I wrote about our Passage Plan last week. The weather was good, so us and some other boats – Natural Magic, Flying Machine and Jive Talkin were ready for our 180 nautical mile voyage north for the holidays. The…

Wildwood – Young 88

My current yacht – Wildwood is a Young 88. She was built in 1985 and is one of about 140 boats made in this design. Wildwood is one of about five wooden boats that were built and the rest are made in fibreglass. Here is a bit of history about the Young 88 I have…

Great Circle Sailing

What is a Great Circle I hear you ask!? Well I didn’t know much about them either UNTIL NOW! So if you are excited to learn new things about circles and sailing, then please dear reader – carry on and be enlightened! A Great Circle is a circle whose plain intersects with the centre of…

The Magnetic Compass

The Ocean Yachtmaster syllabus requires that you know a few things about compasses – how they work and how to use one. The Earth’s Magnetic Field Imagine that inside the earth is a powerful bar magnet. This lies with its blue end toward North and its red end towards South. It’s axis is not exactly…

How to make a cheap hot shower!

Wildwood is too small to have a shower inside, so I got this great idea on a hot outdoor shower from a friend of mine. Head down to your local hardware or gardening store and buy yourself a pressurised weed sprayer container – the one where you pump the handle to get the pressure up.…

Boat Coat

Wildwood’s new Boat Wrap!

Wildwood has been needing a new paint job for about the last five years. We have been nursing it along by filling and patching up bits here and there, but ultimately that made her look like she had bright white shiny spots over the dull hull. As it is her 30th birthday next year, I…