Boatworks Most Commented

Installing a Water Heater

by Peter Nielsen, Posted January 28, 2010
When replacing the pressure water system on our project boat, we thought it would be fun to install a water heater. But where to put it? Like most early ’70s boats, our Norlin 34 lacks interior volume compared to modern boats. The need for the heater to be mounted below the engine’s heat exchanger (to prevent problems with coolant circulation) further complicated matters.

The only logical


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Keeping the Sea Out

by Peter Nielsen, Posted January 28, 2010
Out of sight, out of mind…That adage is so old it creaks, but that doesn’t make it any less true. It was especially true of the cockpit drain hoses and gate valves on our 34ft project boat. Back when we acquired the boat, the surveyor looked at the ancient hoses and corroded gate valves in horror and suggested that we replace them “before long.” Three years later, “before long” still hadn’t
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Backstay Tensioner

by Peter Nielsen, Posted January 27, 2010

Easy Upgrades: #1 of a series

Every fractionally rigged boat will have (or should have) a means of adjusting backstay tension. Its main purpose is to flatten and depower the mainsail in stronger winds, putting off the time at which a reef will be required. Because very few masthead-rigged boats are provided with backstay adjusters, cruising sailors regard them with the


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Coaching USA 17

by Sail Staff, Posted January 27, 2010

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Bilge Pump Renewal

by Peter Nielsen, Posted January 27, 2010
Before I laid the boat up, I had to replace a bilge pump that had mysteriously stopped working. This was a secondary pump, serving to keep the water out of a poorly drained part of the hull forward of the mast step. It was a good opportunity for a quick photo tutorial on connecting 12-volt wires together. Yes, this sounds remedial, but I have seen enough botched jobs on boats to know that you
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