Boatworks Most Commented

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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Just Slow Down

by Nigel Calder, Posted February 1, 2010
Many readers may be familiar with the hull-resistance curves associated with displacement boats, which include most sailing monohulls. These curves show the amount of energy needed (in kilowatts or horsepower) to move a boat at a given speed through smooth water in no wind.

At slow speeds, the principal resistance to motion is friction between the wetted surface area of the hull and the


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Sails Success

by Chip Lawson, Posted January 29, 2010
In the first two installments of this three-part story on buying new sails we considered types of material, sail-cut choices and construction options. Now we’ll discuss how to measure your boat in order to give your sailmaker the information he needs to build your new sails. Measurements need to be spot-on accurate or you’ll probably get sails that don’t quite meet your expectations. Take several
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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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