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Dry and Nice

by Don Casey, Posted March 19, 2010
Rocky Hill of Canyon Lake, Texas, asks:"What’s the best way to repair my leaking foredeck hatch? I don’t want to replace the entire unit, because it isn’t cracked. It just leaks." Don Casey replies:There are three types of hatch leaks: around the frame, past the gasket and around the lens. To fix a leak around the mounting frame or past the

Call Waiting

by Gordon West, Posted March 19, 2010
Bob Hayes of Coral Gables, Florida, asks:"I’ve just returned from cruising in the Caribbean, and I can’t say enough about my AIS. It was great to be able to see the ships around us and to use their Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) numbers to hail them on the VHF. But when we got closer to Miami on our way home we began having some close calls with foreign vessels,

Speak Easy

by Gordon West, Posted February 19, 2010
Terry Rugg of Santa Barbara, California, asks:"The SSB insulators on my Islander 36 are coming off. Any ideas for a new setup for my straight wire backstay?"Gordon West replies:You have several alternatives. A stern-mounted 18-inch white whip antenna, from either Shakespeare or Digital Antenna, will transmit a good signal down to 12 MHz,

Power Outage

by Nigel Calder, Posted February 19, 2010
Bill Schoenherr of Midland, Michigan, asks:"My gelcell batteries are 8 years old and although they are showing no signs of age, I have abused them by discharging them below 50 percent of their capacity. I’m considering replacing them because we cruise the Great Lakes in the North Channel area and I would hate to have them fail up there. Are TPPL batteries (Odyssey) still

Soft Step

by Don Casey, Posted February 19, 2010
Rick Conner of Southport, Florida, asks:"My 1982 sloop has a keel–stepped rig and the balsa-cored deck around the mast partners is saturated with water. Can I drill holes into the deck and replace the core from the top using WEST System epoxy to make the repair? Or should I remove the wet balsa core from around the mast and fill the area with solid fiberglass? What about

Tension Tool

by Win Fowler, Posted January 19, 2010
Paul Derby of Cadillac, Michigan, asks:   "My 1976 Pearson 30 has a hydraulic backstay tensioner and I am wondering what the optimum backstay tension should be when cruising. I’m also thinking about replacing the hydraulic system with something else. Any suggestions?" Win Fowler replies: I can’t give you exact advice on your backstay tension

Silent Solenoid

by Nigel Calder, Posted January 19, 2010
Dave Smith of East Aurora, New York, asks:"When I hit the starter button to crank the engine on my 1984 C&C 35, I can hear the solenoid clicking, but it doesn’t normally activate the starter. Once in a while the engine will start on the first try. But usually I have to push the button a number of times before the starter engages. I did remove the starter and had it checked

Frozen Out

by Don Casey, Posted January 19, 2010
Roy Labonte of San Bernardino, California, asks:"The main and jib halyard sheaves on my Islander Freeport 36 are corroded and frozen at the masthead. I freed the pins on the sheaves by knocking them back and forth with a rubber mallet. But I have had no luck freeing the sheaves themselves. Is there any way to get them away from the mast?"Don Casey

Tracking Cool

by Gordon West, Posted January 19, 2010
Ralph Furman of Newport Beach, California, asks:"I use wireless sensors aboard my Hunter 45DS to monitor temperatures for my refrigerator, freezer, engine compartment, engine-cooling system and air conditioning. My system works fine except for two hours a day when the engine compartment and refrigerator readings go blank. But during the other 22 hours everything is fine.

Smoky Surfaces

by Don Casey, Posted December 20, 2009
S.J. Byrus of Auburn, New Hampshire, asks:"My Bristol 32 was built in 1980 and its hatches are molded fiberglass with gelcoat on the outer edges. The center of the hatch is translucent, so light can pass through. After 30 years of it being exposed to the sun, I’m starting to see some fibers in the translucent portion of the hatch, although no fibers have come loose. What
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