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Spinnaker Savvy

by Win Fowler, Posted August 21, 2010
David von Fruke of Ssen, Minnesota, asks:   "Last year I purchased a 202 ft2 asymmetrical spinnaker for my Hunter 170 along with a sock for dousing the sail. My goal is to set the spinnaker singlehanded, and while I can manage it, I do have trouble raising and lowering the sail. I have been thinking about putting the spinnaker on a roller furler. What do you

Wobbly Cells

by Gordon West, Posted July 21, 2010
Chet Sturgis of Chicago, Illinois, asks:"Recently, I installed a cell phone amplifier—I don’t recall the manufacturer’s name—to increase my range when I’m sailing off the coast. Although range has improved, when I’m back in my slip I can’t get good reception from someone who is calling me from just several hundred yards away until I turn off the amplifier. What am I doing

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

Sizzling Summer Zincs

by Nigel Calder, Posted July 20, 2010
Stuart Goldman of Shelter Island, New York, asks:"For the last two years the zincs on the shaft and MaxProp on my Hinckley SW 42 have started to really dissolve in early July—after the boat has been in the water for about a month. The boat is on a mooring that’s at least 500 yards away from any other boat except a 50ft powerboat, which is also on a mooring about 50 yards

Out of Breath

by Nigel Calder, Posted July 20, 2010
Terry McCoy of Gainesville, Florida, asks:"After running perfectly for years, the diesel engine on our Beneteau 331 stopped running when we were backing out of the slip. It started right up, but then stopped again—and again. I changed the fuel filters and the engine ran without a hitch until one day we were returning to the marina and suddenly it quit again. Although it

Tight Strings

by Win Fowler, Posted July 20, 2010
Philip Donegan of Kemah, Texas asks:   "My 35ft boat has a 379 ft2 mainsail. I’m using 10mm braid for my reefing lines, but I am thinking about replacing them with smaller Dyneema lines on the theory that the smaller diameter line will reduce the friction on the blocks. Am I correct, and if so, what is the minimum line strength I can use?" Win Fowler

Bronze Bondshells

by Nigel Calder, Posted June 19, 2010
Jim Fischer of Ellicott City, Maryland, asks:"All the bronze seacocks aboard my 1979 fiberglass 34ft sloop are connected to a keelbolt, along with the boat's lightning ground system, which is also connected to a keelbolt. Is this still the recommended arrangement, or do you think all the seacocks should be isolated from each other and not connected to a keelbolt? 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

Tiny Tunes

by Win Fowler, Posted June 19, 2010
Joseph Serio of Brooklyn, New York, asks:   "What is the best way to check that the shrouds and stays are properly adjusted on my Irwin 40 Mk 11?" Win Fowler replies: Let's talk about a single-spreader rig. For more spreaders the principles are the same, but the process is a bit trickier. Before you start, make sure the spreader-tip heights bisect

Name Changer

by Gordon West, Posted June 19, 2010
Paul Scott of Coral Gables, Florida, asks:"I just bought a pre-owned boat that came with a fairly new 406 MHz EPIRB. I've checked the date on the battery, and it is fine, but when I contacted the FCC to change the registration information, they told me that they don't handle EPIRB registrations. Where should I go to re-register my unit?"Gordon West
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