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Chain Gang

by Don Casey, Posted September 21, 2010
Mark Gagyi of Vermilion, Ohio, asks:"Last year I converted from a manual to an electric windlass and replaced the rode. Now I wish I had more chain. Is it is safe to weld some more chain on to what I now have?"Don Casey replies:The answer is no and the reason is that the welds in every link of an anchor chain must be stronger than the rod

Home Plate

by Don Casey, Posted August 21, 2010
John Manzano of Charlottesville, Virginia, asks:"I am planning to install a copper grounding plate on the hull of my Pearson 365 for lightning protection, but I’m not sure how to connect the mast and shrouds to that plate. The boat has no keelbolts. Do I drill a hole through the hull, and if so how big should the hole be? What should I use to seal the hole?"

All Stuffed Up

by Don Casey, Posted July 21, 2010
Pete Ward of Wilmington, North Carolina, asks:"The packing in my stuffing box has become so tightly compressed on the shaft that when I put the transmission in gear, the whole thing turns in the rubber hose that’s connected to the pipe going through the hull. I’ve tried to get all the old packing out with a hook, but it’s still there. I don’t want to use a hammer. Can I

Ask Sail: Twist and Shout

by Don Casey, Posted June 19, 2010
Don Glynn of Westlake Village, California, asks:"My ground tackle consists of 30ft of 5/16in galvanized chain, 270ft of 5/8 in three-strand nylon and a 22-pound Danforth anchor. Recently I discovered a 20ft hockle in the middle of the 10-year-old nylon rode and assumed that the kinks occurred after being coiled many times, and the boat circling around the anchor. I am

Water Babies

by Don Casey, Posted April 19, 2010
Olene Boyko of Urbanna, Virginia, asks:"On removing the inspection plates on the welded steel water tanks aboard my 48–foot boat, I could see they were painted on the inside with a blue high-gloss rubber-like paint. I also saw quite a bit of corrosion around the edges of the opening for the inspection plates and a considerable amount of scum and algae growth. Bleach has

Dry and Nice

by Don Casey, Posted March 19, 2010
Rocky Hill of Canyon Lake, Texas, asks:"What’s the best way to repair my leaking foredeck hatch? I don’t want to replace the entire unit, because it isn’t cracked. It just leaks." Don Casey replies:There are three types of hatch leaks: around the frame, past the gasket and around the lens. To fix a leak around the mounting frame or past the

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

Frozen Out

by Don Casey, Posted January 19, 2010
Roy Labonte of San Bernardino, California, asks:"The main and jib halyard sheaves on my Islander Freeport 36 are corroded and frozen at the masthead. I freed the pins on the sheaves by knocking them back and forth with a rubber mallet. But I have had no luck freeing the sheaves themselves. Is there any way to get them away from the mast?"Don Casey

Smoky Surfaces

by Don Casey, Posted December 20, 2009
S.J. Byrus of Auburn, New Hampshire, asks:"My Bristol 32 was built in 1980 and its hatches are molded fiberglass with gelcoat on the outer edges. The center of the hatch is translucent, so light can pass through. After 30 years of it being exposed to the sun, I’m starting to see some fibers in the translucent portion of the hatch, although no fibers have come loose. What

Scruffy Smells

by Don Casey, Posted November 20, 2009
Cat Fraser of Colchester, Vermont, asks:"How do I get rid of what I call 'boat smell?' I’ve tried baking soda, a dish of vinegar and many commercial products. Somebody told me that coffee grounds are the way to go. A friend of mine made her husband change to stainless steel water tanks, but that’s not an option here." Don Casey replies:To
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