Boatworks

Tracking Trickles

by Don Casey, Posted November 23, 2010
Finding a big leak is relatively easy, but a small one can be a major challenge because a boat’s interior is a bit like a room in a funhouse, where water flow often seems to defy gravity. A trickle in the cabin, for example, may be coming from a leak in the deck half a boat length away. Conventional search techniques include 1) flooding the deck by sections with a hose, and 2) building a dike of
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Corrosion Stopper

by Peter Nielsen, Posted November 23, 2010
If the green grounding cable on your boat’s AC inlet is connected to the DC ground as the American Boat and Yacht Council recommends, you may be asking for trouble.

As soon as you plug into shorepower, you’re connecting the underwater metal on your boat—stainless steel propeller shaft, bronze prop and through-hulls, zinc anodes, aluminum saildrive—to the underwater metal on all the other


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I’ve always liked the versatility that comes with a centerboard. The ability to vary your boat’s draft from deep to shallow greatly increases the options you have when cruising. The other side of the coin is maintenance.

A centerboard can be made of anything from foam or plywood sheathed in epoxy to solid bronze or cast iron. The former will need fresh antifouling each year. The latter will


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Winter's Folly

by Peter Nielsen, Posted October 28, 2010
Do you winterize your own engine, or do you have the yard do it? I take the former approach, for three reasons. As my dad used to say, if you want to be sure a job’s done properly, do it yourself; I’ve seen some pretty sketchy work done by so-called marine professionals over the years.

The second reason? It seems silly to pay someone to do a job that’s a) not very time-consuming, b) not at


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Light Work

by Peter Nielsen, Posted October 28, 2010
One of the best mini-projects I’ve done this year is to replace most of the halogen light bulbs on board with LEDs. I’ve always hated halogens; so much of the energy they consume is wasted as heat that they are models of inefficiency, and that same heat can actually be dangerous if something flammable is pressed up against a light fitting. The fact that I have scorched my bald spot countless
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