Boatworks Most Commented

Call Waiting

by Gordon West, Posted March 19, 2010
Bob Hayes of Coral Gables, Florida, asks:

"I’ve just returned from cruising in the Caribbean, and I can’t say enough about my AIS. It was great to be able to see the ships around us and to use their Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) numbers to hail them on the VHF. But when we got closer to Miami on our way home we began having some close calls with foreign vessels,


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School's In

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 1, 2010
“The purpose of this class,” announces the burly man by the blackboard, “is to save engines from people like you.” Larry Berlin is not a man to mince his words. Tall and grizzled, the head of training for East Coast Yanmar diesel importers Mack Boring is an imposing figure. It is all I can do not to flinch guiltily as his eyes bore into me. Has he somehow sensed that I once left old oil in an
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Speak Easy

by Gordon West, Posted February 19, 2010
Terry Rugg of Santa Barbara, California, asks:

"The SSB insulators on my Islander 36 are coming off. Any ideas for a new setup for my straight wire backstay?"

Gordon West replies:

You have several alternatives. A stern-mounted 18-inch white whip antenna, from either Shakespeare or Digital Antenna, will transmit a good signal down to 12 MHz,


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Power Outage

by Nigel Calder, Posted February 19, 2010
Bill Schoenherr of Midland, Michigan, asks:

"My gelcell batteries are 8 years old and although they are showing no signs of age, I have abused them by discharging them below 50 percent of their capacity. I’m considering replacing them because we cruise the Great Lakes in the North Channel area and I would hate to have them fail up there. Are TPPL batteries (Odyssey) still


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Soft Step

by Don Casey, Posted February 19, 2010
Rick Conner of Southport, Florida, asks:

"My 1982 sloop has a keel–stepped rig and the balsa-cored deck around the mast partners is saturated with water. Can I drill holes into the deck and replace the core from the top using WEST System epoxy to make the repair? Or should I remove the wet balsa core from around the mast and fill the area with solid fiberglass? What about


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