Scooters Aboard!

Upon arriving in a new port, I, like most cruisers, usually want to explore ashore. Sometimes there are chores to do, other times there are specific attractions, and often I just want to get the feeling of a place. Regardless, land transportation quickly becomes an issue, especially if the supermarket, chandlery, or attraction is beyond easy walking distance. For years I carried a Dahon Mariner folding bike, but seldom used … Read more

Improving the Boat Fridge: Fridge Optimizer

Several years ago, I replaced the 15-year-old Norcold refrigerator aboard Safe Harbour with a shiny new NovaKool RFU9000. The new fridge reduced power consumption and was quieter, but it was far from perfect. In fact, it (along with the Force 10 range with the heat output of a Bic lighter) are among the most frustrating pieces of equipment onboard.  Temperature control in the NovaKool is, at best, imprecise. The rudimentary … Read more

Safe Harbour | Solar in the PNW?

For the last several years, Kevin and Laura have had solar panels installed on Airship. As we cruised together, we compared notes about electrical systems. Despite their enthusiasm for solar, I remained a solar skeptic (maybe even a solar curmudgeon!). I figured I already had a fancy alternator and reasonably sized battery bank. I only used the generator occasionally, typically when I needed hot water and hadn’t run the engine … Read more

Slowboat at the 2018 Seattle Boat Show

January 26 – February 3, 2018 The Slowboat team will be presenting ten different free seminars at the 2018 Seattle Boat Show.  We are excited to once again share our experience and expertise with the boat show crowd to help you have a richer, safer, more satisfying cruising experience.  In addition to leading flotillas up the Inside Passage to Alaska every summer, each member of our crew brings more specific … Read more

Slow Boat, Fast Dinghy

Nine humpbacks surface and exhale fifty yards from our dinghy, between us and shore. Dolphins leap out of the water, inches away, splashing water into our small vessel. A family of brown bears forage on the beach 20 feet away, munching grass. An icy chill briefly blasts as we motor through a waterfall that tumbles from rocky cliffs into the ocean. Tidal rapids roar as we zoom through against the flow. … Read more

Slipless in Seattle: Full-Time Cruising on Puget Sound

Since buying Safe Harbour three and a half years ago, I’ve been fortunate to spend each summer cruising British Columbia and Alaska. As spring rolled around I’d let the marina know that May would be my last month. And each fall I returned and lived aboard through the winter, spending most of my time at the dock. This winter was different. Unlike my previous job, working on Slowboat doesn’t mean … Read more

WiFi in the Wilderness

Back in April, we posted an early review of the WiFi in Motion MAX Marine router from SinglePoint Communications. We promised to let you know how the system performed after some extensive testing. Now, after cruising from Puget Sound, WA up the Inside Passage through British Columbia, around Southeast Alaska (and back) on a five-month trial, we think we have enough experience to give a thorough review – of the … Read more

Yeti Love

When we traveled in our Airstream we had a nice stainless steel Coleman cooler that did a great job for us keeping things cold and looking shiny. But the marine environment does not care about shiny. The hardware started to rust a little, and we decided we needed something tougher that could stand up to salt spray and being tossed around a bit. Enter the Yeti Tundra 50. The refrigerator on Airship (our … Read more

Our Five Favorite Boat Upgrades

As we prepared for our summer expedition up the Inside Passage to SE Alaska, we did a number of upgrades to Airship (our 2013 Nordic Tug 34). Now that we’ve been underway for over two weeks, some early favorites have emerged. Here’s what we like and why: #5: Nightstand USB outlets and iPhone/Watch charging stands  OK, this may sound like a dorky one, and it is only #5, but hear … Read more