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Bowsprit Dreams

by Win Fowler, Posted March 8, 2011
Frank Fosse of Charleston, South Carolina, asks:   "I sail a 1983 Beneteau First 42, which I enjoy very much. I would like to fly an asymmetric spinnaker and/or a Code-O sail from a bowsprit, like on many of the more modern boats I see these days. I see there are some removable bowsprits on the market, but they look a bit light to me. Are they really strong enough for what I

A Reluctant Engine

by Nigel Calder, Posted March 8, 2011
Ted Klastorin of Seattle, Washington, asks:"I have a Universal XP25 diesel engine with approximately 2,200 hours on it. The engine runs well, but is difficult to start after it sits idle for a few days. To get it started, I have to bleed air out of the fuel system for several minutes. Once started, however, it runs smoothly.I have checked and replaced both fuel

Fridge Burnout Mystery

by Nigel Calder, Posted January 25, 2011
Lewis K. Redmond of Plainfield, Illinois, asks:"We have an Adler/Barbour cold machine refrigerator, which is air-cooled with a small vertical evaporator. The ground wire and its retaining screw on the PCB board somehow were burned black. The technician’s guess was that something must have been thrown across the terminals to have caused this burnout. What measures would you

VHF Frequency Confusion

by Gordon West, Posted January 25, 2011
Tom Kamlowsky of Salt Lake City, Utah, asks:"While sailing in San Francisco Bay last month, I contacted the Coast Guard on VHF channel 16. On receiving my call, the Coast Guard radio operator asked me to change frequency to channel 22. I changed both my Icom M304 and M34 radios to channel 22 and quickly found that I could not use the M34 because of interference from a

Soggy Screw-Hole Saga

by Don Casey, Posted January 25, 2011
Harold Simpson of Dallas, Texas, asks:"I was replacing the solar fan mounted in the front hatch of my 1987 Hunter 23, and when I removed the hinge screws, I found clear water in the screw holes in the cabintop. I also recently developed a leak in the cabin roof, which appears to be coming through the mounting screws of a block on the port side of the mast. The water is

Mainsail Reefing Protocol

by Win Fowler, Posted January 25, 2011
Elroy Schwartz of New Orleans, Louisiana, asks:   "When I was learning to sail I was taught when reefing a mainsail (with slab reefing, that is) to first tighten up the reef line securing the clew and then take full tension on the halyard to tighten the luff and tack. When I reef this way on my current boat, which I bought used a couple of years ago, the foot of the sail gets

Keel Bolt Anxiety

by Don Casey, Posted January 25, 2011
Doug Nicholson of Seattle, Washington, asks:"My 5-year-old, 37-foot sailboat has mild steel keel bolts, nuts, washers and channel spacers securing a cast iron keel. The bolts, nuts, etc. are all quite rusted. The shallow bilge has not been kept dry, and they’ve been sitting in water for some time. How worried should I be? My surveyor suggested I just “knock off all the

Slashed Mast Wires

by Gordon West, Posted January 25, 2011
Ron Samuelson of South San Francisco, California, asks:"When the crane crew at my yard began lifting my keel-stepped mast out of my boat, the man below- deck hastily took a pocketknife and cut all the wiring free. Now the mast is back in place, and I have about a dozen loose wires going nowhere. Can they be spliced back together, or must the mast be

Mystery of the Alternator

by Nigel Calder, Posted January 25, 2011
Frank Hague of Jersey City, New Jersey, asks:"I repowered my boat last year with a new Westerbeke engine that came with a 100-amp alternator with an external regulator. I also have a solar array and an Air Breeze wind turbine feeding juice to my house batteries. When the house batteries are full and I am feeding them power from the alternator, my tach needle will suddenly

Ground Round

by Don Casey, Posted December 14, 2010
Lee Andrews of East Hampton, New York, asks: "I’ve had electrolysis issues on my Tartan 3800, so I’ve installed a galvanic isolator, I deploy a zinc grouper whenever I’m in a slip, and I use shore power only when I have to. When I hauled out last fall I could see my shaft zincs were far less corroded than in previous years, but paint continues to pop off my lead keel in
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