S/V Hello World's Travel Log

boob tube

I'm catching up on some project blog entries I've been meaning to do for a while. Don't be too surprised to see a few boring boat project entries in the next few weeks or so. That's all we're doing right now.

Christy and I haven't owned a TV since we've been together. That isn't really the hardship that it sounds like. We watch Netflix. We have DVD's. We have digital movies, etc. We haven't extracted ourselves from visual pop culture, we just view it through a computer and more recently an iPad.

Now all that has changed. Mostly because I'm tired of staring at a laptop screen only incrementally larger than a phone. We have a great space for a TV/monitor inside of the housing for our fold-up table where our bar currently resides. And if mounted on an articulating arm mount, we can use in a couple different configurations, and then tuck it neatly and safely inside behind the fold up table for when we're in a seaway.

We had two problems to contend with in this arrangement:
  • I don't want to drill holes in our bulkhead to mount this TV. If this one craps out and we have to buy a new one, we will likely have to move the mount and drill more holes. Do not like.
  • However, even more importantly, Christy did not want to lose her bar. We store bottles of booze in the space I want to mount the TV/monitor and by god - we are not going to diminish Hello World's booze carrying capacity.

In the end, we came up with a solution that makes everyone happy. No bottles of booze were harmed (or even re-located) in this project. No holes were drilled in the bulkhead. And I have a shiny big TV/monitor.

In order to solve the no-holes-in-the-bulkhead problem, I built a fiberglass mounting bracket to be hung from one of the shelves inside the table housing. I made the bracket out of high strength G10 fiberglass with loads of thickened epoxy and some extra layers of fiberglass to tie it all together. Even though the TV only weighs 8 pounds, when fully extended, it will put a fair amount of leverage on this piece.

Mounting the bracket.

The TV in place on the articulating arm.

The arm mounted off the bracket hung off the shelf.

Watching a little Arrested Development.

The TV turned sideways.

The older we get, the more we learn just how hard core we're not. I really love having this TV. Probably more than I should.

(Can't wait to see what kind of search term hits we get based on that blog post title.)

smart plug

We have a few safety rules on Hello World. Somewhere in the top five is: DON'T LIGHT THE BOAT ON FIRE. We had a few incidents here and there (for the record, melting butter in a plastic dish on top of a burning diesel heater is not a great idea), but by and large, the biggest risk right now while we're in a marina full time is our shore power cable.

Our marina is full of stories of boats either lighting on fire or almost lighting on fire from shore power cables working loose and heating up from the electrical resistance in a loose connection. Standard twist-lock shore power outlets are notorious for this.

I finally got around to installing a Smart Plug. Smart Plugs replace the shore power outlet on the boat and boat connector plug on your shore power cable. They provide a much stronger physical connection between the outlet and cable than the ordinary twist-lock plugs. And they have a thermostat inside that will cut the power if the connection ever starts to heat up.

No going back now.

Relieved to find clean copper wiring inside our shore power cable.

Half the plug installed.

After many F-bombs and a couple bloody knuckles, I finally got the old shore power outlet out of the boat.

Wired up the outlet.


I did some forensic analysis after I was done. I found signs of overheating on the old shore power plug I cut off. There was some discoloration on the plastic and some melting. I have no idea how long before that would have manifested into smoke and fire and OH THE HUMANITY but I'm pretty relieved I headed off the problem before the boat caught fire.

Disclosure: I have a friend that works at Smart Plug. And yeah, I'd really like to see the company take off and for them to make cement trucks full of money. However, what I'd like more is for my boat to not catch fire. Whether I knew anyone at Smart Plug or no, I'd be all over recommending this product.

Seriously, if you have a boat, buy one of these things.

Viva Mexico!

It's well past time to write a blog post when our tans are completely gone.

We managed to escape to Mexico for 10 days of amazing weather and great friends in January. No, no, we didn't get to hang out in those hammocks over there, we just got to hike through this amazing resort and pretend we had enough dough to stay. In fact, we stayed with Keith and Olina on s/v Anon. They were somehow laid back enough to spend ten whole days hosting us on their boat without throwing us overboard.

(or maybe this was a hint that we just didn't get)

We stayed in a little town north of Puerto Vallarta called La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (La Cruz for short, because seriously, no matter how many Pacificos we had, we couldn't say Huanacaxtle right). It was a quick drive from the gringo surfer town of Sayulita. So we made like locals and surfed. On stand-up paddleboards. Yes, you heard that right. We stood up in the surf. I was never aware that you could do such a thing - I've only ever seen people on these things in flat calm water in Seattle. Fortunately there is no photographic evidence of me attempting (unsuccessfully) to paddle a massive wave (probably a tsunami) and ending up in a complete and total yardsale of boards, paddles and Christy-parts everywhere. Instead, you get this happy-go-lucky shot pre-yardsale.

We hiked

We danced

We crossed dangerous Mexican bridges

And some rivers with no bridges at all

We sailed (without foulies!)

We got to see old friends s/v Bella Star and s/v Ventured

And we drank lots of Mexican beer. Just like the old days.

Only this time, it was cold :)