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Ready on Deck

by Don Casey, Posted October 14, 2009
Steve Karas of Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, asks:"My 1985 Catalina 27 is in good shape except for some tiny spider cracks in the foredeck gelcoat. The previous owner tried to repair the cracks by drizzling loose gelcoat into them, but the repaired deck looks worse than it did before.I had to sand it all down—losing the non-slip prism deck pattern in the process—and then I

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

Wired and Wonderful

by Don Casey, Posted July 14, 2009
Mike Montanaro of Cornelius, North Carolina, asks:"Don Casey’s thorough and very informative article on the proper way to install shorepower on a boat (Sail, January) clarified a lot of points for me. But he says that if you touch both wires in a 12-volt DC circuit it is unlikely to cause injury. This assumes your body is the only current draw. What would happen if there

Faded Glory

by Don Casey, Posted June 14, 2009
David Watkins of Parrish, Florida, asks:"I have a 15-year-old fiberglass boat that I bought new. It has spent most of its life either in Florida or the Caribbean and has suffered severe exposure to the sun. There is surface crazing or cracking on the deck, coach roof, and upper topsides. These are not stress cracks, but they are widespread. Do you have some thoughts on

All Decked Out

by Don Casey, Posted May 19, 2009
David Worden of Kemah, Texas, asks:"I’m thinking of buying an older Cheoy Lee pilothouse 32-footer with sections of teak deck on either side of the pilothouse that flexes when I walk on them. I can see signs of water damage when I look up from below. Do you have an opinion on the best way to repair the deck?Could I cut the fiberglass skin out from belowdecks and

Stripped for action

by Don Casey, Posted April 15, 2009
Dave Storch, of Long Beach, California, asks:"The former owner of my Ericson 39 installed a teak cabin sole with grooves for holly strips. The strips were never installed, and the sole was never sealed or finished. It remains unfinished, but now has a number of stains in the teak, including engine oil that escaped when the engine was removed to replace the transmission.

Leaking Lexan

by Don Casey, Posted March 11, 2009
Bob Eischen of Toledo, Ohio asks:"The metal and Lexan hatches on our Slocum cutter are leaking. I’ve tried a BoatLife sealant and 3M’s 4200, but without success. What kind of sealant will stop the leaks?"Don Casey replies: BoatLife shouldn’t be used with Lexan because the polysulfide and solvents it contains will leach out the plasticizers

Daisy chain

by Don Casey, Posted January 20, 2009
Howard Lennox of Lexington Park, Maryland, asks:"I'd like to know how to inspect (for corrosion) a chainplate that is encapsulated inside a bulkhead. Are there any nondestructive tests I can perform to determine a chainplate's condition without having to cut into the bulkhead?"Don Casey replies:When a through-the-deck chainplate begins to

Cool Stuff

by Don Casey, Posted December 15, 2008
Henry Reents of Boise, Idaho, asks:"The box of our top-loading refrigerator has a large lower compartment that is separated from the main upper section by a three-piece plastic shelf. We don’t use the lower compartment very much. Would our compressor run less if we put large blocks of foam in that lower space? This would reduce the size of the refrigerator box by about a

Fittings out

by Don Casey, Posted December 4, 2008
Mike Hatch, of Trinidad, West Indies, asks:"My 36-year-old Pearson 390 has bronze through-hull fittings, which are starting to have a lot of surface corrosion. What’s the best way to keep them clean and bright?"Don Casey replies: Normally bronze seacocks and through-hulls turn green because the valves are weeping. If this is the case, you
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