Boatworks Most Commented

Sparkling Spars

by Nigel Calder, Posted October 20, 2009
Janet Hartman of Beaufort, North Carolina, asks:

"Recently I contacted the National Ocean Survey (NOS) to ask whether the authorized clearances for overhead cables shown on their charts include the extra distance needed to avoid arcing. I received an email from nautical.charting@noaa.gov stating 'The ‘authorized clearance’ for an overhead power cable does not include the


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Hot Stick

by Tim Bartlett, Posted October 14, 2009
Jim Liggett of Cornish, New Hampshire, asks:

"I am installing a lightning- ground system and plan to use a 5/8in rod extending at least 6in above my VHF antenna. Does it matter whether the pointed rod is solid copper or can it be copper-coated steel, as is often used for grounding rods on shore? If the steel rod will work equally well, is there a good way to keep the tip


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Clear Eyes

by Gordon West, Posted October 14, 2009
Robert Miller of Port Isabelle, Texas, asks:

"If I don’t bother to clean my radome when it gets covered with dried salt spray, dirt and dust, will that have any effect on the efficiency of my marine radar antenna?"

Gordon West replies:

It could be significant, which is why you should always keep your radome as clean as possible. Soot, dust,


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Outboard Boat Motors - DIYOutboard Shifter

by Sail Staff, Posted October 8, 2009
D.I.Y. Outboard Shifter

A lever for all reasons Although I could reach the tiller/throttle of the five horsepower outboard that was mounted on the transom of my 20-foot trailersailer, whenever it was time to go from forward to reverse I had to face aft and then bend over the transom and the motor to reach the side-mounted shift lever. That's not a good position to be


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Sailboat Rigging - Highly Strung

by Sail Staff, Posted October 7, 2009
Time and again sailing has been revolutionized by the introduction of new fibers. Traditional wood hulls have been supplanted by glass fiber, Kevlar and carbon. Canvas sails have given way first to Dacron and then to laminated sails utilizing various high tech fibers. Running rigging today is entirely synthetic. And now stainless steel standing rigging is being replaced by fiber rigging,
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