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Sail Gear For Sale

Since we’re land based sailors for the time being, we thought we’d release some cruising gear that should be put to good use rather than being stored in our home.


If you’re interested in anything below, would like to see more pictures or have questions, please let us know. (We will arrange sale and shipping via PayPal.)

Hope you all enjoyed a restful weekend.


Smitten with Sailor Bags

When it comes to toting our gear from the boat and back and everywhere in between, we’re set!

Our new Sailor Bags

The crew over at Sailor Bags generously shared an assortment of their signature bags to help outfit us along our sailing adventures. And they’ve certainly done so in style!

These bags are sturdy, fully collapsible, water resistant and guaranteed for life making them ideal for anyone active on and off the water. Being crafted from custom-woven sailcloth, they have a classic nautical appeal that keeps them in season year-round and adventurers like us organized on the go.

We first discovered their website when searching for durable, stylish and affordable bags to replace our bulky landlife luggage. While we could find durable bags out there, none seem to fit the full bill of style, value, and durability as ideally as Sailor Bags.

With Kaleo dockside while we visit family in Carolina Beach this week, we’ve been using our bags continuously to haul clothing and gear back and forth from the boat to the pool, condo, cars, and beach. They pack easily with large openings secured by sturdy zippers (like the kind on a dodger or bimini) and the tough sailcloth can handle being tossed onto the dock or sitting on the cement at the pool.

Sailor Bags are made in almost every style and size that you could want. Duffles, Totes, Cooler Bags, BackPacks, Messengers, Stow Bags and more. In case you’re curious, we have the Mini and XL Tote, Medium and XL Duffel, Messenger Bag, Wristlet, CoolerBag, and LunchBag.

Check out their site to learn more and join them on Facebook where they have fun giveaways, discounts, and other gift ideas.


Cruise RO 20 GPH Watermaker Up & Running

Life aboard Kaleo has reached a new level of liberation.

Longer, more leisurely showers. Hair washing daily if we’d like. All fresh water dishwashing. Full rinse outs of snorkel gear, swimsuits and wetsuits. Fresh water deck and dinghy wash downs. And last but certainly not least, a less irked captain when the tattle-tale pressure water pump kicks on frequently.

All the SeaMaker 20 components ready for install

With the installation of our new Cruise RO watermaker, we’re now transforming seawater into our own fresh water. And a lot of it.

While we didn’t leave the dock with a watermaker, we quickly learned that having one meant the difference between camping and a more comfortable life aboard. The first half of our cruise involved carefully rationing our water use, jugging it aboard six gallons at a time and being dependent on marinas, local supply or friends with watermakers. Huge thanks to Storyville and Morning Glory for keeping us hydrated.

But not all watermakers are created equal. After much research we chose the Cruise RO model because:

  • It makes a lot of water, fast. While most 12 volt watermakers pump out 4-8 gallons per hour, the SeaMaker 20 far outpaces the competition by producing 20 GPH (they also have 30 and 45 GPH models).
  • It’s designed for cruisers by a cruiser. Rich Boren of s/v Third Day, who has cruised extensively with his family throughout Mexico, set out to create a high capacity unit within reach of the average cruiser. We can only imagine that having more than two people onboard might have been his single greatest source of inspiration for these high capacity units.
  • It doesn’t use proprietary parts. Meaning, everything for maintaining or repairing can be found at most local hardware stores leaving choice in the hands of the capable cruiser rather than forcing a single branded solution from a manufacturer. This transparency is a welcome countercurrent to the marine market which almost always limits choice and charges extra for it.
  • It’s powered by the cruiser-ubiquitous Honda 2000 generator. At 100 gallons of water for less than a gallon of gas, the Honda we already have onboard is a simple, fuel-efficient way to make a lot of water quickly.

Installation was fairly straightforward:

  • All of the components are separate, allowing them to be conveniently installed in different lockers within the boat.
  • The installation manual was detailed and easy to follow. The hardest part was determining where all the components would go. I was able to install the pre-filters and boost pump under the galley sink and the high-pressure pump and RO membrane under the quarter berth.

Test fitting the reverse osmosis membrane

  • Other than bolts, screws and wiring, the kit came with everything needed to install the unit, including extra plumbing fittings to plumb into our water tanks. A bonus since we did the install in a remote Bahamian anchorage with the nearest marine supply store several days away.
  • The color-coded plumbing uses very easy to connect fittings and included more than enough piping to run product water into Kaleo’s tanks.
  • Cruise RO includes a remote panel as a standard feature. Our control panel is mounted on the starboard side of the quarter berth and makes running and monitoring the unit far easier than having to access the lockers if we didn’t have the panel. Plus, for boat geeks, it looks really cool.

Back of the remote panel and instructions, easy to follow

The remote panel

Now every company claims customer service but often falls short when it’s time to deliver. When we received our unit, the high-pressure pump motor had a fault that wouldn’t allow it to start up from the Honda. After a quick phone call and a few emails, the guys at Cruise RO delivered on the customer service by having a new motor waiting in George Town, Bahamas before we could even get back there to pick it up. They were more dedicated to making the situation right than worrying about if I had done something wrong or incurring additional cost on their end.

For us, the greatest feature of having a watermaker is invaluable independence. But, the greatest feature of having a Cruise RO watermaker is independence from constantly running it. Producing 20 GPH means that we run the watermaker for about two to three hours, twice a week. Yes, even now with our new found liberal water usage. If we had a 12-volt watermaker, we’d need to run it four to five hours at least four times a week just to keep up with usage, let alone “stockpile.”

Our first round of water pouring into the sink

I didn’t include many technical details of the install in this post as most of the information can be found at the Cruise RO site but I’m happy to answer any questions about the unit itself, installation or our continued use of it.

Water, Water Everywhere …

… but none we can make.Yet.

First thing Saturday, we moved a little more north along Long Island to Thompson Bay and found ourselves a deep and sandy spot to secure our hook.

Christie and Mili headed in to town to explore the local farmer’s market, check out the grocery store and hike across the island to beachcomb along the Atlantic side of Long Island. With the gals off the boat and with room to work (visualize tools everywhere and our home in disarray), the guys excitedly jumped into the watermaker install.

Matt working to hook up the pump motor

After hooking up the pump motor and a few calls with the factory, it became apparent there was a problem. Our power source, a Honda 2000 generator, couldn’t start the motor even though the watermaker is designed for this exact generator. Joined by Ken, a certified electrician from a neighboring trawler,” Barbara”, we double checked our wiring, ran multiple tests with different generators and none solved the problem.

In the meantime, Christie and Mili had hiked in a few extra miles all over Salt Pond (the town) tracking down parts that we ultimately wouldn’t end up needing. Frustration started to settle over “Kaleo” as we had hoped this would be a near-seamless install. But, who are we kidding. It’s a boat project after all.

Matt talked with the company’s co-founder a few times and was assured that they are willing to do whatever it takes to get it up and running. The only problem is that shipping a new motor out here is much more complicated than simply making a parts exchange back in the states. It’s a multi-week ordeal involving air freight, customs, duty fees, etc. Not to mention the time it will take for all this to happen and we’re not keen on returning to George Town to wait again. The builders are looking into how we might fix it out here and we’ll go from there.

Ted and Matt discussing the install

Frustrated at having waited in George Town for an extra few weeks and now still without a watermaker, we cleaned up then joined Ted and Mili aboard “MG” for dinner and a distracting game of Mexican Train. “MG” said they are happy to make us water anytime and we truly appreciate what a blessing they are to us. The dinner,  game and company were the high points of the day but we returned to Kaleo exhausted and still a bit deflated.

N 23° 31.09 / W 75° 08.04

A Step Closer & Staying On Course

The presence of wind powered self-steering is one of the surest ways to tell if a sailboat is used for passage making (sailing for extend times to different destinations). And Kaleo will soon enough be among the ranks of those boats. A wind powered self-steering system uses the wind to steer the boat on a steady course and once set, doesn’t require anyone to be at the helm. When sailing somewhere more than a few hours away, hand steering can be tiring and it’s hard to stay on the correct course after hours at the helm.

Cape Horn – Integrated Self-Steering System Schematic

We recently ordered our Cape Horn self-steering system and are now in the 6-8 week build window, anxiously awaiting its arrival. We did a lot of research on self-steering gear (in fact Matt read up on this topic before we even owned a boat) and considered many brands and types – Monitor, Hydrovane, self-made. We ultimately landed on the Cape Horn for three reasons:

  1. Its reputation among the blue water sailing community
  2. Its integration into the hull structure
  3. A recommendation from an Aloha 34 owner who sailed with it to the South Pacific

Custom made for each vessel, the Cape Horn is built in Canada and will arrive via UPS in the next few weeks. Expect some pics of us unwrapping the system and a post or two detailing the install.

For the crusing inclined, read on about our reasoning for going with a wind vane over an autopilot. There are advantages to both systems and since they both cost about the same we chose the wind vane because it:

  • Requires zero power
  • Functions no matter what the boat systems are doing (important if you’re offshore for extended periods of time)
  • Requires crew dilegence in monitoring the wind and course (There is potential that an autopilot gives you an excuse to be lazy)
  • Doesn’t involve a computer. After all, part of going cruising is to get away from daily dependence on computers :)
  • It makes the boat look like a true blue water cruiser, which is very important for your in-port credibility!

Lastly, I can’t say enough about how great Yves Gélinas, owner, designer, and builder of Cape Horns was during the research and order process. Matt had so many questions that Yves answered and he even had numerous phone calls with Matt to talk him through the measurement and optimal install for Kaleo.

Some Gear That Keep Us Going

We’ve certainly started more projects than have finished lately. It seems that in the boating world parts take longer to arrive than the time it takes to do the actual project. We’re currently waiting on the delivery of items such as dorade cowls, a finished bathroom counter top & revamped companionway doors.

So while we have less completed project updates, we do have a few tools that we’ve started relying on time and time again. The first is a custom screwdriver called a Picquic.

Matt first read about this at Navagear and I (Christie) got him the Mariner for Christmas! It’s especially handy because it was custom ordered with the bits we need most (e.g., a square bit because our Canadian boat was built with square screws).

A second tool that sees a lot of use is the Power8 Workshop, basically the most common power wood working tools combined into one flexible unit. Another holiday gift (it was a good Christmas for Matt), this makes it easy for him to handle projects and fabricate parts that he would normally have to pay someone to do. A bonus for boating life is that it packs into a small case and is powered by batteries, meaning it can be used in remote anchorages or when away from a power source.

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Volvo Ocean Race Gear …

Straight from Sweden. Our friend Jenny, who works for Sony Ericsson, sent us a sweet backpack & shirt from her adventures in Marstrand (a port of call in The Volvo Ocean Race).

The shirt is that great wicking material & it just looks racy. I’m going to want to put Kaleo’s rail in the water & sail fast every time I wear this. Though I do feel a little bad wearing this gear since I was cheering for team Puma, who took 2nd behind Ericsson 4, throughout the race.

Thanks Jenny for the great gear!

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Transparent Canoe

I would really like to have this.

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