Boatworks Most Commented

Wireless Mousetrap

by Gordon West, Posted January 20, 2009
Tom Gilbert of Jensen Beach, Florida, asks:

"I'm about to install Wi-Fi on my boat so I can use my laptop when I'm in the harbor. I think a 14-element YAGI, such as the RL/WAVRVMAR or the RL/14ele2.4wp, would be good units I can aim, set, and receive. However, other people tell me that an omnidirectional antenna is the answer. Which is the better


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Can you hear me now?

by Sail Staff, Posted January 12, 2009
Having a VHF radio on a boat is always a good idea. It allows you to communicate with other boats, marinas, and rescue services if necessary. I have two on my boat, one a handheld and the other a fixed set. Fixed sets have a maximum radiated power output of 25 watts, while handhelds normally have a maximum output of 5 watts. The more power a transmitter has, the farther its signal can travel. The
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Strike out

by Nigel Calder, Posted January 12, 2009
Bob Graveline of Bismarck, North Dakota, asks:

"Last summer my 34-footer was hit by lightning when it was sitting unattended in my marina slip. The boat was plugged into shore power when it was hit, but it was not drawing power. Do you think that having a boat plugged into shore power increases, decreases, or has no effect on the chance of damage from a


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Deck gear

by Sail Staff, Posted December 23, 2008
Upgrading the deck gear on your boat can seriously enhance your sailing pleasure. Once you’ve sailed a boat set up with low-friction blocks, good rope clutches and jammers, and genoa-sheet cars that are quick and easy to adjust, it’s hard to go back to the creaky, friction-riddled 30- or 40-year-old deck gear that so many older boats are still saddled with.

We had always planned to replace


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Ten things diesel mechanics think every boatowner should know

by Capt. Bernie Weiss, Posted December 23, 2008
Diesel mechanics is not a difficult subject. In fact, all owners of diesel-powered boats can—and should—learn the fundamentals of operating and maintaining their engines. To run well, a diesel engine requires clean fuel, clean oil, and a lot of air. Routine maintenance will virtually guarantee years of trouble-free service and will keep your busy mechanic at bay.

How a diesel engine works,


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