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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

Asymmetrical Drag

by Win Fowler, Posted December 14, 2010
Hal Garner of Fort Myers, Florida, asks:   "My mast doesn’t have sheaves for a spinnaker halyard, so I fly my asymmetric spinnaker on my second genoa halyard. I also bend the sail’s tack onto a line that runs down through a block directly behind the forestay to a winch in the cockpit. When tacking the boat, I handle the spinnaker the same way I would a genoa. However I’ve

Propeller Puzzles

by Nigel Calder, Posted December 14, 2010
Steve Hiss of North Kingston, Rhode Island, asks:"I’ve installed a rebuilt M3-20 Universal diesel on my 29-foot Ericson, and I’m wondering whether the new three-blade prop, which looks a bit too big, is correctly sized. When I put the engine in gear just above idle speed the boat moves forward quietly, but any increase in rpm produces a pulsing vibration under the back of

Test Calls

by Gordon West, Posted December 14, 2010
Ralph Manies of Seattle, Washington, asks: "We’ve installed a new ICOM-802 single-sideband radio and now we want to test its DSC (digital selective calling) features. What’s the best way to do this?"Gordon West replies:First enter your MMSI number into the unit’s memory and then hook up the second receive antenna to the DSC antenna
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