Monday, March 22, 2021


One of the nice things of having converted from Diesel to Electric Propulsion is the ability to easily upgrade. That includes the auxiliary systems.  Like BIANKA's 48 volt solar controller. I originally installed a Morningstar 48 volt solar controller back over ten years ago.

It has been a real workhorse that has never failed to keep the propulsion bank topped up summer and winter. Since that it was installed new solar charge controllers have come on the market. ones with MPPT tracking that claim to squeeze more watts out of the sun along with on board data collection with Bluetooth connectivity. So in late winter I decided to replace the Morningstar unit with a Victron SmartSolar 100/20 48 volt Solar Charge Controller.

Time will tell if the Victron unit will hold up as well as the Morningstar. But, I'm not going to get rid of the old Morningstar 48  volt controller. It has already proved it's self over the years. Instead it will become part of the boat's spares complement. As the prudent mariner always has a backup.


Thursday, February 25, 2021


 It's been a rough year because of the COVID virus which has continued into a rough winter here in the northeast U.S. I've managed to get some relief from the snow an cold temperatures by hopping onto a plane and getting some place warm every month for the last three months. Which for me is spending some time in the Florida Keys. Mostly in Marathon.  While I am enjoying the warmth I am also aware that the back to back winter storms and snow cover has prevented me from checking on BIANKA in over two months. It does not help that from my balcony I can see the boats anchored outside of Boot Key harbor. It makes me both wishing one of them was BIANKA and I was onboard. It is also a reminder that I need to get back onboard BIANKA to do a winter check as soon as possible.

Friday, August 07, 2020

TROPICAL STORM: Lesson Learned

 Somewhat of a tactical error on my part by not Putting a 4th security strap on the sale cover as tropical storm ISAIAS hit the area. It won't happen again.

Friday, April 17, 2020


Just made a call to the marina thanks to be COVID 19 virus they are shut down and 
not launching boats. Governor Cuomo just yesterday announced that businesses will stay shut
until at least May 15th and it could be extended after that. Looks like BIANKA might get splashed
in early June in the most optimistic scenario. Meantime I’ll be working on a new sail cover for the boat
while sheltering at home.

Friday, March 27, 2020


Bianka has only one sail but it is 540 square feet. it's rather large and unwieldy.  When I took
it off the boat last fall I just bundled it together and put it in the garage thinking that I would fold
it when I got the time on the lawn.   Well, the days came and went and I never did fold it last fall.
So when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and people including me were pretty much
quarantined at home.  It seemed like a good time to lay the sail out on the lawn and get it done.

I thought it was going to be more difficult doing it alone but, it was pretty easy.

Now I just have to wait until the boat is launched to get it where it belongs. On the mast.

Friday, February 21, 2020


It's a nice windless sunny winter's day about 45 degrees Fahrenheit which makes it an
excellent day to head down to the Boatyard and check on BIANKA. No wind makes for
a pleasant day to do a boat check even if it is still winter.
But, even before I climb into the cockpit I needed to do some maintenance at ground level.Toward the end of last season the combination lock I used on the dinghy dock fell into the water for about a week. I rinsed it and initially sprayed WD-40 into it at that time and it continued to work. Over the winter the remaining salt inside had started to ooze out of the lock and was starting to corrode it and make it difficult turn to the right combination

So I reached for the WD-40 and sprayed the lock.

 With some help from an old toothbrush I managed to remove the salt cake residue from the lock. Soon it was almost as good as new and the lock mechanism worked smoothly..

Since I had the can of WD-40 out it was also time to  lubricant the folding joints of the ladder I
use to climb  aboard BIANKA over the winter.

A few sprays of WD-40 on a warm winters day may seem like simple maintenance but, makes for a big improvement in metal items exposed to  the environment over the winter.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020


Went down to the boatyard for a  boat check and to charge up the batteries. The New Year begins with no snow but BIANKA seems to be nestled in behind snowbanks of shrink wrap anyhow.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”
― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

Sounds like a good idea! My passage has been booked.

Thursday, November 28, 2019


BIANKA is high and dry today having been pulled for the winter. But, years ago when I was living on board in New York she would often be in the water until December. One year when i was alone I thought it might be nice to have Thanksgiving on board by myself. I was not about to cook a hole Turkey for myself but, I thought buying a whole meal from a local Boston Market take out store would be perfect for a Thanksgiving dinner in BIANKA's cozy cabin. I got all the fixings I might have even had some cider on board.  As I was heating up the meal and the cabin began to fill with a wonderful aroma of turkey and gravy etc... the propane ran out. Unfortunately, the meal had not been entirely cooked. Beng Thanksgiving there was no way I could get the propane tank refilled either.  Enter Black Friday to save the day. Because some stores were getting a jump on Christmas sales they were open on this holiday. I jumped in the car and picked up a small Coleman stove and a one pound can of Propane. I headed back to the boat and finished cooking my Thanksgiving feast. It was a Thanksgiving to remember.

Friday, November 22, 2019


One nice thing about having electric propulsion and not the diesel is how it streamlines winter storage.  The only major thing I need to do is winterize the water systems on board. Once that is done I only need to do a few minor things to secure the boat for the winter. One of the things is to tape over the cockpit hatches using painter's tape.
 This helps keep rain and snow from working their way down below and into the bilge. I don't plan on going into the lockers until Spring but if I do the tape is easily removed and replaced.

I also tape over the instrument displays in the cockpit with the same tape to protect the displays from the winter sun.
These last two  items pretty much complete my winterization  routine.