Boatworks

Better to be seen

by Gordon West, Posted July 20, 2008
"I have a 28-foot boat with a fractional rig. I’m thinking about mounting a radar reflector on the leading edge of the mast between the forestay and the masthead. Is this a good idea?"

-- Dave Adams, Newington, Connecticut

Gordon West replies: Having a radar reflector is always a good idea; it can increase your boat’s target visibility by up to 6 miles.


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Wilting waypoints

by Gordon West, Posted July 16, 2008
"Starting my engine often wipes out some waypoints in my charting program. My multimeter tells me that the voltage to the charting system drops only .5 volt when the starter is cranking, but that seems to be enough to cause the problem. Everything else still works fine with the lower voltage. Any ideas?"

-- Janet Margelli, Marina del Rey, California

Gordon West


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Mast lines

by Win Fowler, Posted July 16, 2008

"I’m building a 42-foot cutter that I hope to launch this year, and my present sailplan is a fractional rig with running backstays. I plan to use a carbon-fiber mast, but I want to do away with the runners. Can a rigger redesign the standing rigging—particularly the chainplate locations—or will I have to redo the whole sailplan? And if that’s what’s required, where should I go to get a new


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Impeller Love

by Sail Staff, Posted July 9, 2008
By Peter Nielsen

A raw-water cooled engine is cooled by water drawn from outside the boat, then circulated through engine block and cylinder head.

A fresh-water cooled engine is cooled with “raw” water pumped through a heat exchanger, where it first draws the heat from the fresh water/antifreeze mix that cools the engine, then is injected into the exhaust hose where it cools


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Ground out

by Gordon West, Posted June 26, 2008
"I’ve got my boat well grounded for lightning protection and have a pair of insulators to isolate my backstay. I’m concerned that the grounded rigging will pull down my SSB signal transmissions."

-- Jim Wonn, Cashmere, Washington

Gordon West replies: As long as your backstay is insulated so the SSB antenna can radiate, there is no problem. Although the signal


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