Boatworks Most Commented

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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Winter Battery Maintenance

by Peter Nielsen, Posted January 27, 2010
A few years ago, I left my boat’s two lead-acid batteries on board over winter. It wasn’t intentional—an early snowfall led me to cover the boat up sooner than anticipated, and I just never got around to taking the batteries off.

After three months of freezing New England winter, I suddenly remembered they were still on board. I snuck down to the yard one mild Saturday and hooked the


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Tension Tool

by Win Fowler, Posted January 19, 2010

Paul Derby of Cadillac, Michigan, asks:

 

"My 1976 Pearson 30 has a hydraulic backstay tensioner and I am wondering what the optimum backstay tension should be when cruising. I’m also thinking about replacing the hydraulic system with something else. Any suggestions?"

Win Fowler replies:

I can’t give you exact advice on your backstay tension


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