Ingenious solutions, repairs you have done at sea.


west mi
Doing a delivery on a J35 (go figure !) from Muskegon to Chicago, the water pump belt exploded. I had asked a week earlier for a replacement on board so I figured it was in the delivery bag. When I went to get it we discovered the delivery bag was in the owners car on it's way to meet us in Chicago. Well the wind was at .7 Knot (on the nose no less) so sailing was not going to happen as we were 40 miles out with 14 hours to go before the start of the first race. After trying various things to make a belt, and giving up because i could not get anything that would last more than a few minutes, i hit on the idea of moving the water pump to the alternator location and for the next 30 minutes I worked it out. The guy that was with me decided to bet dinner that i could not do it. Well it worked perfectly and we got to Chicago 2 hours before we had to leave for the race.
I got a very nice dinner that night from my delivery friend, and an even better one the next night from the owner.
What the fuck was the spare belt doing in the "Delivery Bag"? Does anyone really think that the weight of a belt and a few other spares will make any difference on a 11,000 pound boat? Had anyone thought of replacing the belt as part of a maintenance program? Pretty simple on a J-35!

I could give a hang where the new belt is stored, my question was, why is the delivery bag in a car and not on the boat, it is a delivery bag and we were on a delivery...

The other issue you noticed is a constant on the boat. We are the most weight worried J35 I know of but stay class legal no matter what.

Knew a guy on 08 Bermuda race who blew out a mainsail headboard on day2. Cut his wife' wooden s galley cutting board in half and bolted it around the sail. Held up. Wife wasnt happy.
Wasn't that "Jerry-rigged"
Yep :p And sailing for 2 days with StromTry they still beat 3 J44s. Dont know what problems those guys were


Jerry is great at Macgyvering stuff fo shizzle. One year he replumbed our lpg line + wiring when solenoid busted all while the boat was on its ear. Without that we might have gone a day or two without blueberry pancakes and pot roast.
Thank's anything to stay in the race or out on the water, but it was a plastic cutting board, there were some pictures floating around of it and a happy crew with Dark & Stormies in front of the Dingy Club about 3 in the morning on arival.




Super Anarchist
We were fishing for snapper at a bit of a sea mount off the north end of Orcas island with one other boat. The sun had gone down and we notice that the other boat had its engine cover off and hadn't reset for a while. We were about ready to go home so we figured we better check on the other boat. WE pulled up to their stern and asked whats up. they said the nut retaining the bendix gear had stripped and flew off. the bendix gear wouldn't stay in line w/ the ring gear. they had stripped every hose clamp the could spare to try to keep it on long enough to start. I turned to my friend kevin to ask for 10' of spyder line (spectra) but he was already pulling it off his reel. I dropped two half hitches on the shaft and wrapped the rest into a big pile and finished with another half hitch. I said hit it and within one minute of pulling up to their boat the engine started. We LONE RANGERED off into the night knowing there would be some happy wives in two camps.



Super Anarchist
Used my rigging knife to poke holes in an empty beer can to smoke weed after a beer can race.
Did the same using empty toilet paper roll and aluminum foil...
Had a crewmember that was a real McGuyver in this area.

Could turn anything into a bong.

Both of those are old hat.

One day he was bragging how he used the wrapper from a sanitary napkin as a rolling papers on golf course.

Something about it being rice paper.

We had to do an intervention on the clever idiot.

"You understand what you said? You just bragged to smoking sanitary napkin wrappings dude.

And where did you get a sanitary napkin wrapper in the middle of a golf course?."

He is much better now.



New member
SF Bay
Small hole in the elbow on the diesel, so my brother takes a cigarette filter rolls it tightly pushes it in the hole, adds a little superglue to melt the polyester and voila' Hole plugged! B)

He mentioned that he wished he had one of the orange anchor bouys. I told him about making a "home made" one out of an empty gallon water jug and expanding foam. I knew by the way Ben's eyes lit up that we were in trouble...

So, we set about this project. Ben has the foresight to get out an old spinnaker (a big sail that looks like a balloon when deployed) and use it as a "coverall" for the boat. Later on, this foresight would save us a lot of time. We found some old water jugs that hadn't yet been put in the dumpster onshore, and Ben rummaged around in some compartments down in the hold and came up triumphantly holding a can of "Great Stuff" - that expanding foam you can get at Home Depot stores. So, we just installed the nozzle on the can, inserted the tube into the gallon jug and pulled the "trigger", expecting the jug to fill with foam. We even thought of filling the jug from the bottom, so we inserted the tube all the way and were going to retract it as the jug filled.

We were a little afraid the foam would be exothermic and melt the jug, but we hoped that if our fears were realized, enough of the jug would be left as something of a "form". So, with all this discussion out of the way, Ben held the jug and can as far away from as he could, and pulled the trigger. Nothing. Not even the hiss of escaping gas.

After some luckless playing with the nozzle, and eventually breaking it off the can, Ben hit upon the idea of screwing a wood screw into the opening. He did, it worked. But there was foam spewing everywhere. Ordinarily, Great Stuff foam issues forth from the tube in a rather sedate fashion that I find rather aggravating; there was nothing sedate about what was happening now, and with 20/20 hindsight, I understand why the manufacturer hasn't fixed this "problem".

In the space of the 8 seconds that the foam issued forth from the can, we managed to fill at least one jug and part of another. Or so we thought. A quick look around showed that most of the foam was outside the jugs. And Ben discovered, the hard way, that the foam is a very effective glue. And about as obnoxious as crazy glue. (He had managed to get some on his belly and made the mistake of leaning forward to grab something - causing his belly to come in contact with his chest - gluing the two together.) The main difference between Great Stuff and Crazy Glue was that once Crazy Glue is detached, that's it. Not so with Great Stuff - it sticks again, and again, and again.

While Ben was preoccupied with detaching various parts of his anatomy with other parts of himself, the boat, and other objects in the surround, I was madly scooping up all the escaped foam with a paint stirrer and trying to force it into the jugs. And trying to keep myself from getting in Ben's predicament. Just as I got most (I think) of the foam off the spinnaker and into the jugs, Ben was making some exaperating sounds. As I stood up to take a breather and look around, Ben rolled everything up in the spinnaker and headed for the back of the boat. I thought he was going to throw it all overboard, but he stowed it in the paint locker. We'll probably never get it apart tomorrow, but we'll see. Then we had to figure out a way to get the foam off our fingers, skin, clothes and other parts and things. Acetone and mineral spirits had no effect. Ben discovered that naptha (lighter fluid) worked. So now we both have this residual smell about us... I hope no one lights a match at the Last Resort tonight...

Best repair to make me laugh!!!!!!!



A couple of good ones that come to mind:

Crossing the Gulf of Mexico in a Ranger 33, and blew the fan belt on the alternator (remember those piece of shit Atomic 4's). Tore the boat apart looking for the spare to no avail. Took some yacht braid and did and end for end splice, mounted it up and tired it, but it was too slipppery and just burned up in a few minutes. So, second try, new section of yacht brain end spliced, but this time with a section of surgical tubing as a cover stitched on. Worked like a champ.

Custom built 40' during Atlantic Crossing. The only way to charge the batteries was off the main engine (a Ford Lehman diesel), so if it didn't run, no juice, also no refrigeration. A few days out the water pump coupling sheered off. Tried several fixes, but because of the location and the amount of torque, nothing worked. Ended up taking a spare electric fresh water pump and rigged it up bypassing the enging pump. Used it all the way across, each time just hoping it would hold up. Never missed a lick.

Hardly a dramatic story but while cooking breakfast (dockside) for five cruising boats. my waffle iron heat control in the handle burned up. I used the brass spring out of an old set of Atomic 4 breaker points set that was stored in the junk box. A little electrical tape and duct tape for extra insurance and voila! Waffles for everyone ;) BTW that was motivation to clean all the damn junk (including the waffle iron) off the boat and the waterline was lowered about an inch.
you meant raised

Yeah, I'm bored....