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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

Smoking Windlass

by Gordon West, Posted December 13, 2010
Bob Foster of Sarasota, Florida, asks:"Last week, while my wife and I were cruising, our windlass motor suddenly stopped when I began to pull up the anchor. At almost the same moment, my wife shouted that she saw smoke coming from underneath the nav station. When we got home our local marine electronics technician told me that some of my electronic gear had been damaged as

Noisemakers

by Win Fowler, Posted December 13, 2010
Rick McCowan of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, asks:   "My boat has rod rigging. Whenever the wind blows between about 9 and 13 knots, the rigging hums quite loudly and it’s a bit annoying. Why is this happening, and what’s the best way to stop it?" Win Fowler replies: Although I need to know more about your rig to say for sure, I do have some

All Amped Up

by Nigel Calder, Posted December 13, 2010
Mike Keller of Arlington, Virginia, asks:"I recently upgraded the two lead-acid batteries on my Catalina to 79Ah Group 24 AGMs, and I’m thinking about wiring them in parallel to double my available power supply at anchor. I’d also add a small PWC battery for use as a starting battery. We don’t have refrigeration, but we do have lots of other gizmos that use power.My

Rusty Water

by Don Casey, Posted December 13, 2010
Rick Conner of Panama City, Florida, asks:"I made the mistake of filling my water tanks without first filtering the water. Normally I put a filter on the end of the hose, but this time I didn’t. Because the town water pipes are fairly old, I’m thinking perhaps some rust might have gotten into my tanks. Is there a way to get rid of the orange-colored water now coming out of
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