Saturday, July 11, 2020

Excel Anchor--Love It!

It may look a lot like the Lewmar Delta, but the performance is on a whole nuther' level, perhaps the best of the new generation anchors. I've just started testing, but my first impression is that this is probably the best anchor, at any price, for the Chesapeake Bay:
  • Sets and resets seamlessly
  • Holds well in mud. Not as good as Fortress, but better than anything else.
  • It does NOT clog with sticks and sticky mud like roll bar anchors. This is a big win in the Chesapeake.
  • Does well in hard sand.
  • Aluminum. 8 pounds is all I need! But steel would be even better in some ways, so get steel unless ounces matter to you.
  • Comes up clean, like a Delta. But it sets 4x faster and holds 2x better.
 I have not tested rock and weeds yet.

Before testing, I had not yet fitted a rode.

I like it!

Update, 7-11-2020

Rocks seem to be the Achilles heel of well, every anchor.  I spent a number of days last week fishing some areas over jointed rock slabs with small pockets. The best anchors are those that present a sharp point straight down. Northill is quite good. Steel pivoting fluke anchors are surprisingly good. Everything else is terribly hit-or-miss and insecure with even the slightest shift. Very long scope is the rull, since ANY uplift will cause intimidate dragging.

Thus, my standard anchors will now be the Northill and the Excel. Both hold well in sand and mud, and the Northill will fill my fishing needs.

So where did the Northill design come from? They  were used to anchor flying boats in WWII. Not this specific model. There was a light weight stainless version. But the same angles.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Ulitimate Laundry Tub Drain Strainer

I don't know why it took me so long to reproduce for home use, a design I have used in industry for decades.

  • Never used wire mesh (bad) or expanded metal (worse). The corners of each opening form a wedge to trap fibers.
  • The strainer material should be about as thick as the hole diameter. This also reduces debris hang-up. It makes it more dificult to hang through and staple. It also makes for less friction when cleaning wrapped (stapled) fibers, since it is like a larger diameter pulley.
  • Flow outside-in if feasible. It is easier to clean the outside by just it wiping off. No digging.

This laundry tub strainer was made from a 1.25-inch PVC stub glued inside a 1.5-inch riser, that was then drilled with 1/8-inch holes. The top is open. After drilling the holes, sand or scrape to get rid of all of the burs, but do NOT chamfer the holes; that will actually make it harder to clean.

I could have drilled the holes more closely, but this was a trial version. The hole size I am happy with. Not matter how jammed, I can wipe it off with once swipe of my hand.  The open top means that if it clogs the tub will not overflow.

I made another for a bathtub. Works great. One swipe to clean.


Wire mesh and expanded metal are just cost-cutting measures. Perforated metal or plastic is always better. Boat applications? Cockpit drains come to mind. 

Yup, any strainer that is hard to clean. There are companies that make custom strainers for big money, or you can make your own from PVC. Vary the hole size according to the application (but there is seldom good reason to go smaller than 3/32-inch--9/64-inch is industry standard for most plumbing), drill them closer, and a drill press is darn handy, because there are a lot of holes. Yes, you can buy perforated materials, but fabrication is another thing.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Nothing cool to report, so just a few photos from my last outing.

The view from the boom 

On a three-sail reach. 120% of windspeed.

 Warehouse Cove, Chesapeake Bay