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A New Cruising Dinghy

Made the big switch from our old fiberglass rowing skiff to a new Achilles RIB.Here’s a few pics of the new boat. More details and pictures on our new cruising

Sad News

Sad news about George Buehler. He was the inspiration and designer for many excellent,
stoutly built ocean going boats- including our KamaHele:

To all concerned…
It saddens me to announce the sudden death of George Buehler.

George died February 28, 2018 at age 69 of complications following an aortic aneurysm and emergency surgery.

George would be honored that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to WAIF at
Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation is a non-profit organization which was formed in 1990 in an effort to help Whidbey Island’s homeless companion animals.
Another important organization is Old Dog Haven at

His business George Buehler Yacht Designs at this time will be closed. Any future information of his memorial service or future business details will be provided at a later date.

George is survived by his wife Gail Buehler.


New davit for the bow

The long range plan for Kamahele is to build and install a forward mast, which would also include a lifting boom to handle loads on and off the fore deck. This major project is on the back burner as we get the boat ready for cruising this summer. There…

New Cruising Blog

As our boat-building lifestyle gets back to more of a boat-cruising lifestyle, this seems like a good time to start a cruising blog. We’ve begun to take the boat out more and put some hours on all the equipment we’ve been installing to get the boat cru…

Putting things back together.

Next couple of weeks after the haulout were spent cleaning and putting everything back together inside the boat. The forepeak deck had to be rebuilt, with a bigger hatch to access the bow thruster hydraulic equipment:Boxed in some trip ballast:Went wit…

The Haul-out

So its been a little over two years since our last haulout.No real surprises coming out of the water. We lost a little paint around the anodes (we are slightly over-protected with zincs), and the prop had quite a bit of calcified growth, and a nice col…

Hooking up the hydraulics

Kind of light on the pictures, but just prior to hauling out we got most of the hydraulic plumbing in place up to the forward bulkhead where the bow thruster is going. This included three more lines from engine room to bow (supply, return, and case dra…

More prep for new hydraulics and bow thruster install

Here are some pics of another weekend of work getting ready for the installation of the new bow thruster and hydraulic system upgrade. In order to get access to weld in the 12” pipe that will become the bow thruster tube, I had to remove some interior interferences in the forepeak. This mostly involved cutting back the decking in a way that would allow access for the work, but could be temporarily re-assembled so we don’t have to live with a big hole in the deck for the next few weeks.

In the engine room, I installed all the hydraulic distribution blocks and other components, including adjustable pressure and flow controls coming off the main pressure output of the pump for the anchor winch. This is so that the high 3000 psi pressure and 20+ gpm flow from the pump (as it is set up for the bow thruster) doesn’t overwhelm the winch motor or any other less demanding loads we attach to the system.

The system of distribution and return blocks make for a neat arrangement with minimum extra fittings, and lots of extra ports for future expansion. In order to fit everything on the bulkhead (including the big cabinet housing the electronics for the hydraulic system), I had to move the fixed fire suppression bottle over a few inches. All the mounted components and distribution blocks are attached to the bulkhead with bolts that are threaded into the aluminum mounting plate from the front, so they are easy to remove if needed.

A few additional hose runs from the engine room to the bow are needed for pressure, return, and case drain lines. New holes are now drilled through the bulkheads and once painted, I will be installing JIC hydraulic bulkhead fittings at these transitions.

 With all the primary pieces installed, I will be measuring (at least twice) and making up the hoses that connect everything together. Cleanliness is critical with hydraulic stuff, so I am doing my best to keep everything clean and capped during the install.
The only hose that does not use a crimped fitting is the supply line from the tank to the pump inlet. This is a monster 2.5” id hose. If they even make crimping dies in this size, we definitely do not have one in our shop. Instead, it will be secured will dual T-clamps at each end. Since this is a low pressure line, that should be more than enough to stay leak free. I was a little worried about fitting up this hose because in this size, the necessary wire reinforced construction to keep from collapsing under suction makes it very inflexible. Fortunately, with a straight flange adapter coming off the bottom of the pump it made a nice easy single curve down and straight back up to meet the tank fitting. Both the supply and case drain fittings at the bottom of the tank have ball valves that will be handy for servicing the system without draining the tank. I like to remove the handles on any valves that are normally open and would cause damage to equipment if accidentally closed when running, so I’m doing that here as well.

Preparing for the bow thruster install

The past couple of months of boat work have been focused on doing the design and prep work to install a bow thruster at our next haul-out. I have been driving boats of all different types and for over 20 years now and consider myself a pretty decent bo…

Dickinson Bulkhead Mounted Stove

This was definitely one of the biggest bang-for-the buck-projects we’ve done in a while.We installed a Hurricane diesel-fired hydronic system when we built the boat and that is still running great, keeping the entire boat warm and dry in the winter and…