Dinghies! Inflatables, deflatables, and topside bangers

In my boating career I have had them all. Some I loved and some I beat to death with a stick. So, what is the right dinghy for you? Technology has vastly improved the designs and durability of inflatables since, with my wife rowing frantically and me squeezing a foot pump under my arm like […]

LIFEJACKETS … and things to ponder

I begin this blog with a disclaimer, what follows is my opinion and my opinion only, it is not the opinion of Budget Marine …  I was horrified to find that most States in the US mandate the wearing of lifejackets when on the water. For small watercraft such as kayaks and jet skis it […]

Taming the spaghetti on a boat

by Niels Lund No, not the nice kind that fills a boat’s provisioning stores, but the nasty kind comprising lots of twisted wires coming from who-knows-where and possibly leading nowhere, or somewhere impossible to reach. The kind that jams the insides of masts and becomes a bird’s nest behind the switchboard. The kind that has […]

A Fishy Story

I was helping deliver a sailboat, we were sailing up the Caribbean Island chain, well off shore and in deep water where pelagic fish like Dorado and Wahoo roam. It was a stunning day; we were making seven knots and seabirds were diving all around us. Seabirds in a feeding frenzy can mean there are […]

VARNISH! BEAUTIFUL STUFF OR THE DEVIL’S BREW?

… I have called it both. Our 1932 cutter shone with varnish. Twenty two coats on the mast, most applied in situ, and similar amounts on the cabin sides. Several times we stripped everything back to bare wood and started again. And yes, we glowed when people remarked how lucky we were to own such […]

PREPARE FOR NAMED STORMS

Hold fast Hurricane season is here. Having ridden out several hurricanes, and having had a boat smashed by one, I feel qualified to offer a few suggestions on storm readiness.  In times past yachtsmen would be gone from the hurricane belt before the start of the hurricane season and this is still the only way […]

LOSING A SEACOCK WILL SPOIL YOUR DAY

Seacocks! Nothing controversial there, one would think, but judging some of the installations I have seen, you couldn’t be more wrong. In these ‘Budget Blogs’, I like to include personal experiences, so I’ll begin with the day a seacock sheared off in my hand. In the late 90s, my wife and I were slaves to […]

The “Simple Bare Necessities” during Lock Down

Seagoing folk are often forced to find innovative solutions to their problems when they find themselves far from shore, or in a remote place with limited supplies. So making do with what one’s got, while living in a confined space, is not too strange for boaters.  We’ve all heard of the cruiser who glues his […]

THERE’S NO FUEL LIKE AN OLD FUEL

Diesel engines, keep ’em running  A diesel engine in a sailboat is a wonderful thing and I speak as someone who sailed thousands of miles without one. But a boat with an unreliable engine is almost worse than a boat with no engine at all. A sailboat can overcome loss of power in open water, […]

HE’S GOT A KNIFE!

Well, of course he’s got a knife, he’s a sailor. Do you remember the scene in Crocodile Dundee (I’m sure you’ve seen the film), where the thief pulls a knife, which is a piddling little thing, and Mick Dundee pulls one the size of a sabre and says “now that’s a knife?” Well, it got […]