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New Moves

by Win Fowler, Posted September 21, 2010
Joanne Rideout of Astoria, Oregon, asks:   "I’m a new crewmember racing on an Olson 30 and one of the jobs I’ve been assigned is going on the foredeck to skirt the genoa when we tack. I’ve nearly fallen overboard a couple of times trying to get the sail inside the lifeline after it gets caught outside. What’s the best way to skirt a genoa when it gets stuck? Also, how do I

Solar Switches

by Nigel Calder, Posted August 21, 2010
Jack Fyfe of Westerly, Rhode Island, asks:"I‘ve really enjoyed reading about Nigel Calder’s solar projects, because I am getting two 24-volt Sanyo 205 watt panels and two Morningstar MPPT controllers. I’m using AWG 2/10 wire for the 25–foot run from the dodger where the panels are located to the battery switch. I wonder whether connecting the charge controllers to the

Home Plate

by Don Casey, Posted August 21, 2010
John Manzano of Charlottesville, Virginia, asks:"I am planning to install a copper grounding plate on the hull of my Pearson 365 for lightning protection, but I’m not sure how to connect the mast and shrouds to that plate. The boat has no keelbolts. Do I drill a hole through the hull, and if so how big should the hole be? What should I use to seal the hole?"

Antenna Heaven

by Gordon West, Posted August 21, 2010
David Stiller of Miami, Florida, asks:"I’m getting a new Standard Horizon GX2100 marine VHF with integrated AIS receivers, and I’m curious whether it will work with my Shakespeare masthead antenna?"Gordon West replies:AIS frequencies are 4.6 MHz higher than normal VHF ship-to-ship channels. However, I’ve done some tests, and Don Henry at

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
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