Sunday, September 11, 2022

Feedburner Replacement


No, Feedburner is not a part of the boat.

Easy to Subscribe
I use Google Blogger for this blog.  Mostly because I feel Google gives me better search coverage and it's more user friendly for the reader than Wordpress.

For email subscriptions, I used Feedburner, also by Google.  When someone subscribes to the blog, Feedburner sends an email of the post automatically, not me.  Feedburner was built-in to Blogger so it was easy for me as a beginner.

2 years ago Google decided to stop supporting Feedburner and not allow new email subscriptions but would continue to send emails to people already subscribed.

Easy to unsubscribe
Well, I am finally getting around to finding a new feed service and have decided on "".

"" is free, simple to add the code to the blog, and allows me to import subscribers from Feedburner.  Does it work?  The last post was my test and it seemed to go well.

So, if you are now getting 2 different emailings of the blog, not to worry.  I will be clearing out Feedburner and going full on with

If you find yourself visiting the blog often, make your life easier and subscribe.  You can unsubscribe anytime. 😀

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Doha, Qatar

Continual urban renewal

Our flight to Philly from Kuala Lumpur had a 7 hour layover in Doha so we decided to make it a 3 day layover instead and explore a new place.

Hotter than Malaysia but no humidity

Qatar Central Bank, new pavers of course
We have never been to any Persian Gulf country so we thought why not.  We did however have to get a few extra Covid tests. 

The country is built with oil money.  It was nothing more than a sand dune until the early 1970's.  Everything is new since.  It is the 2nd safest city in the world.

The  FIFA World Cup is being hosted in Doha in November 2022.  They have gone all out sprucing up the city.  It looks like every street is being torn up and repaved with granite paver stones.

The giant thumb.  A good reference point

You can get lost easily
We did alot of walking around avoiding the maze of detours, cars, and piles of pavers.

The neatest place we went was the Souq Waqif marketplace.  It's a couple hundred year old Bedouin market that burned down in 2003.   It was rebuilt from 2006-2008 and is really quite impressive.

It is about 20 acres and easy to get lost inside all the alleys, nooks, and passageways.  You can get just about anything there from rabbits to falcons or spices to gold.

It seemed like 90 percent of the population was Indian.  Most had emigrated for the work and education.  The restaurants were good and we ate Indian food every meal except for one Lebanese dinner.  

It was a fun 3 days but we see no reason to do it again.  There are plenty of other layover cities to explore.

Neat primitive architecture

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The Rest of the Work

The poor little car wasn't meant to haul this much
Unfortunately I didn't take many photos alot the work we did.  

We started out re-bedding the stainless bits that were removed for the spray job.  Wind generator masts, support bracing, life raft canister frames, life lines, bilge pump housings, vent covers, blocks, and clutches all had to be caulked and screwed securely. 

We installed the swim platform (previous post) and hull rubrails.  

The hulls had been sanded just after spraying the gelcoat with 120 grit.  We had to now finish the sanding bot outboard hulls with 400 then 800 grit before installing the rubrails.

We had a machine shop completely redo the swim platform ladders.

Weighing in at the scrap recycler

We got rid of the dead house batteries.  660 pounds of lead went to recycler in Sitiawan.  I got $200 US in exchange.  The original cost was $3800 and they never were any good from day one.  

We ordered 1000Ah of Lithium Batteries from China that will be installed when we get back.  They weigh half as much and have double the capacity.

Finally, Tortuguita was wrapped and secure while we take our trip home for the summer.

All wrapped up.  We're finally getting good at this.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Post Covid Dining

Happy Hour onboard 'Ocean Magic'

As Malaysia re-opened, so did the population of the marina.  Folks had returned to their boats after Covid Cabin Fever and seemed much more social than before.

Unfortunately, like many restaurants worldwide, there were many places that had to shut down.  The same thing happened in Malaysia and some of out favorite places were out of business.

As it turned out, the giant Food Courts turned out to be our go-to places for large group dining. 

The Chinese (WDS) Food Court


The 'Looking Good" Food Court

Lunch at Nipah Beach, Pangkor Island

The Home Curry House moved into the building where Vasantha Bavan was located and kept their old hours of lunch and closed at 6PM.  That pretty much rules out Home Curry for dinner but they are considering staying open until 9PM which would be great.  So we really lost 2 good Indian Restaurants.  

Fortunately our good friends who own a Mom and Pop food cart in the WDS Food Court called Lodge's Indian Food Corner survived Covid.

Dave's Birthday at The German Restaurant
Being one of the remaining Indian places, their little cart ended up tripling their business.  They have lines of delivery guys from GrabFood (similar to Uber Eats in the US) waiting to whisk their deliveries away.

We took a rare day off and went over to Pangkor Island and ate at Nipah Beach.  It was a going away lunch for our Aussie friends Peter and Denise on REVERIE who were heading over to Indonesia and downwind.

The 2 main Western Food joints,  JOOKS 2 and CAPRI, were still in business mostly due to their cruiser and expat clientele. 

Brett's Birthday at Jooks 2
The best Thai food in the area is THAINESE which picked up a new, larger, and renovated corner venue due to the closure of the Malaysian joint that was there.  They will end up doing great.

Our new favorite Indian Food
A great lunch buffet place, D'WARISAN, had just re-opened while we were there and is doing great.  WAN'S Coconut Shakes, the best shakes in town, moved into the same building and is piggy-backing on the buffet.

This was the first time that we were in Malaysia for Ramadan.  Many places just stayed closed for the month and the ones that were open, started serving closer to sunset.  Many tables were pre-reserved for the fasting Muslims so we pretty much avoided those places since we didn't want to eat so late. 

Carlsberg Special Brew 6%
All-in-all, our food choices have become more limited but Covid closures did force us to find new places to go dining.  

Hopefully we will get good full menu Indian and Thai places up in the future.

Ending of a Looking Good Dinner

Friday, April 15, 2022

Tessilmare Rubrails on a Privilege Catamaran

Insert style rubrail

There are 2 types of rubrails.  One kind is a track with a slot that gets an insert. The other is a track that gets a cover over it.  The tracks are screwed to the boat. 



Cover style rubrail by Tessilmare

Tortuguita has rubrails down the sides and around the swim platforms.  Both were in terrible shape and were removed for the gelcoat spraying.  The rubrails that are on the sides have an aluminum track with a plastic insert.  The aluminum was deteriorated, the caulk had failed and dirt and algae were living behind the insert. We replaced these with Vetus EHARO60.

Original swim platform rubrail

Old rubrail removed from groove
The swim platform rubrails were an extruded white rubber that was screwed to the hull through a slot down the center which was then caulked to keep water out.  This is kind of a hybrid design.  These were also in terrible condition.  I researched all options and unless I wanted to have 500’ custom made, I could not find an easy option.

New rubrail has to fit in this groove

The big problem finding a replacement rubrail is that it has to fit into a recessed groove that runs around the perimeter.   


Rubrail on LUNA.  RADIAL 30


Lou on LUNA turned me on to the Tessilmare RADIAL rubrail but the one he used was a little smallish looking (30mm) but it did mount inside the groove easily.

Mounting and thermoforming the track
Well, of course I wanted bigger and didn’t care how hard it was to install so, I bought a sample of the Tessilmare RADIAL 60mm and came up with a plan, sort of.  Nothing ever goes as planned.
Bend the cover to get it on the track
The rubrail mounts on a track by bending the cover and feeding it onto the track.  It’s a neat design and there are many videos on youtube of installations on flat surfaces. 

The problem with installing it into a groove is that the cover spreads out when bending which keeps it from fitting onto the frame.

Mount and trim the cover

The first part was to mount and screw the track to the groove so that the cover would fill the groove as much as possible.  I actually installed the rubrail upside-down so that the long edge runs around the upper corner of the swim platform to hide the gap at the top.  The track had to be thermoformed with a heat gun and screwed in place so that the finished product wouldn’t have gaps.

Hold the bottom in the groove and pull the top back to access the screw

Now the fun part was to remove the track and mount the cover on it. 

Then the assembled unit had to be caulked and screwed into the prior drilled holes. 

Some thermoforming was needed on the cover around the compound corners.

After the caulk dried, the edges were taped and caulked.

Each hull took 8 long days to complete with the only real unexpected issue was that the track, being black plastic, expanded 6mm in the heat of the day.  This really caused problems getting the screws back in the correct place during the final remounting.  Nobody said it would be easy.  Especially me.

Finished product

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

2 Year Covid Boat Storage

Shredded sunshade and broken timber
We were back in the US for almost 2 years during Covid, Tortuguita stayed in Malaysia, covered by sunshade exposed to the elements.

We had no idea what to expect when we returned.  

I had built a timber frame on the deck to hold the sunshade.  Would that still be intact?  Would the sunshade be torn to shreds?

Broken timbers at the bow
Would the sunshade be dragging on the ground and make it easier for rodents to infest the boat?

Would there be ants and termites that found there way onboard?

Would monkeys be living aboard?

Worst of all, was rain leaking inside that would allow mold to grow all over?

Well, after 2 years, it really wasn't so bad.  Considering....

Green slime everywhere

Yes, the sunshade was shredded in places but not dragging on the ground.

The timbers had rotted or cracked from the high winds but the loose pieces did not cause any chaffing damage.

There were no insects nor rodents living onboard.

There were a few minor leaks but no mold.

Safe in the garage?
The dinghy had been chewed by some boatyard dog but it still held air.

The only mold was on the decks and was the green slime type that grows everywhere in Malaysia.  A little Clorox and pressure washing takes care of it.

The Volvo was parked under the boat well protected.  The tires were kind of flat and the cover was dry rotted but it could have been worse.

A real Rats Nest
Then again, it was worse as we began poking around.  Rats had been living in the car.  Don't know how they got in or how long they were there but it was not a pretty sight or smell.

If something had to be trashed, it might as well have been the car.  It doesn't owe us anything and I would much rather have a two thousand dollar car destroyed instead of a quarter million dollar yacht.

A worthwhile trade.

Wire Insulation must taste good

Sunday, February 20, 2022

SkyCab and SkyBridge

Yes, we are being tourists. Just like getting selfies with the Giant Prawn, Giant Mango, Giant Banana, and Giant Avocado in Australia, we had to do the Giant Cable Car and Giant Bridge.


The SkyCab is the world's Free Span, Single Rope Cable Car.  

At the top of the mountain is the SkyBridge.  It is the longest Curved Single Column Cable-Stayed Suspension Bridge in the world.  It is 125 meters long and sits on a mountaintop 660 meters high.  It has glass panels in the deck and can only be reached by the SkyCab.


The view really is incredible.

And just like the Giant Prawn, we'll do anything once.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

The Island Tour


Monkeys in our hotel Pool
Langkawi is a group of 99 islands, 30 miles offshore in the Malacca Strait near the border of Thailand.

Creative use of towels    
We will end up here with Tortuguita on our way North but the Bubble was a good way to check it out in advance.

We spent the first few days recovering from the flights and doing administrative things like getting a SIM card and shopping. 

We had the full run of the island with no restrictions.  This was much different than any other quarantine or COVID lockdown that we have experienced before.

Taking a break
Great idea




Thailand in the distance










Excellent Thai Restaurant at the Hotel
We met up with quite a few other cruisers who were doing the same Bubble.  Some we knew, some we didn’t.  Almost all were heading to Pangkor Marina Island like we were.  We would all meet up for Happy Hours and Dinner at one of the Hotel Restaurants.





Inside the 'Lucky Temple'
After a few days, we hired a driver for the day and did a circumnavigation of the island.  The drive without stops would take about 4 hours.


Our first stop was the “Lucky Temple” because, why not?  Luck is good, right?

There was an interesting carving in the marble hillside, the Goddess of Mercy”


The Goddess of Mercy

We will be anchoring here










SkyCab with Telaga Harbor
Next was Tanjung Roo.  It is a quite beautiful beach area adjoining a mangrove area that tours visit.  There is an anchorage called "Hole in the Wall" that we will definitely be staying in.

Our next stop was the SkyCab Cable Car and Skybridge.  SkyCab is the steepest and  longest free span single cable ride in the world at 42 degrees and 950 meters respectively. 

From the SkyCab hill,we saw Rebak Marina Island, and Telaga Harbour Marina.  You have to take a ferry to get to Rebak but not so with Telaga.  So, we had the driver take us there for a look around.

Royal Langkawi, Rebak,and Telaga are the 3 yacht marinas on the Langkawi.