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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

Halyard Hook

by Win Fowler, Posted October 21, 2010
Leon Lieberman of Ambler, Pennsylvania, asks:   "The center headsail halyard on my C&C 33 needed replacing, and a crewmember accidentally pulled it out without attaching a messenger line to run the new halyard. I’ve been up the mast twice, but can’t get the new halyard to feed in over the sheave and down the mast. Any thoughts on how I can get the halyard up and over the

Double Vision

by Gordon West, Posted October 21, 2010
Rene Etherton of Chicago, Illinois, asks:"When we’re anchored out my audio system works fine, and we get great reception on our HD LCD TV. But back in our marina we get a loud hum on the audio system, and TV reception from several stations is always breaking apart. Why does this happen?"Gordon West replies:I’m almost certain that the hum in

Tank Trouble

by Nigel Calder, Posted October 21, 2010
Larry Barth of Columbia, South Carolina, asks:"For some reason the metal fuel tank feeding the Fischer Panda genset on my Hunter 41 now contains some water and other debris. How should I clean the tank? Would I be better off replacing the fuel tank with one made of plastic? Also, there is still about 10 gallons of diesel in the tank. How do I filter the fuel so I can use

GroupThink

by Don Casey, Posted October 21, 2010
John Green of Kemah, Texas, asks:"Many sailboats in my marina have “grouper” or “guppy” anodes that dangle in the water on a wire clamped to a shroud or backstay. I’ve asked a number of owners why they are doing this, and their answers range from grounding the standing rigging, to preventing galvanic corrosion of the rigging, to helping lightning find a route to the water

Fine Tuner

by Gordon West, Posted September 21, 2010
Ben Hathaway of Coos Bay, Oregon, asks:"My boat’s VHF and SSB both have the same Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number. I’ve recently purchased a new marine VHF handheld with DSC capability. Should this new handheld have the same, or a different MMSI number?" Gordon West replies:This is a great question, and it’s one that is
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