Boatworks Most Commented

Clear Channel

by Gordon West, Posted September 20, 2009
Henry Meyer of Chicago, Illinois asks:

"I'm thinking about getting a satellite radio receiver so I can download all the marine weather products that are available these days. But I'm curious: Will I have to mount one of those softball-sized antennas above my deck?"

Gordon West replies:

Before you do anything about mounting the antenna, first


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Circuit Breaker

by Don Casey, Posted September 20, 2009
Gene Cramer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, asks:

"Where can I get a galvanic isolator of the sort you mentioned in your excellent piece on wiring a boat for shore power? Also, the circuit you described in that piece doesn't seem to provide ground-fault protection either for the battery charger or for other branch loads, such as the water heater, which would be hard-wired to the


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Compass Truism

by Tim Bartlett, Posted September 14, 2009
Karl Westman of Ocean City, New Jersey, asks:

"Is it all right to use magnetic headings on my chartplotter to adjust a new compass?"

Tim Bartlett replies:

In theory, definitely not. But in practice I'd have to give you a very guarded "maybe." The problem, of course, is that your heading is the direction your boat is pointing in. Your


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Dirty Ground

by Nigel Calder, Posted September 14, 2009
Mark Karwowski of San Francisco, California, asks:

"Recently we had trouble starting the diesel engine aboard our Nordic 40. Although all the lights and other electrical equipment aboard worked fine, whenever I touched the starter button, the starter motor hesitated at first then sped up. We checked the batteries and found that they were eight years old, so we decided to


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Mildew removal made easy

by Charles Mason, Posted August 24, 2009
If your sails are made from laminated materials there’s a good chance that you’ve struggled with ways to keep mildew from getting a toehold in the fabric.

"Many of the sails made today are constructed with laminated materials," says Jeff Andersen, President of the New Hampshire-based Sailmaking Support Systems. "Although a laminated sail will be lighter and potentially faster than a woven


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