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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

GPS Harmony

by Gordon West, Posted April 19, 2010
Dick Hansen of Norwalk, Connecticut, asks:"My new chartplotter is just great and gives me aerial and radar overlays. But when I transmit on VHF Channel 68, a frequency we use a lot in my area, the GPS hiccups, the chartplotter freezes, and it can take about 30 seconds for the system to recover. Everything works fine when I transmit on other channels; it’s just 68 that is

Water Babies

by Don Casey, Posted April 19, 2010
Olene Boyko of Urbanna, Virginia, asks:"On removing the inspection plates on the welded steel water tanks aboard my 48–foot boat, I could see they were painted on the inside with a blue high-gloss rubber-like paint. I also saw quite a bit of corrosion around the edges of the opening for the inspection plates and a considerable amount of scum and algae growth. Bleach has

Well Sprung

by Win Fowler, Posted April 19, 2010
Joe Nieters of Dillon, Colorado, asks:   "What are the advantages of a rigid boomvang? Many boats I’ve seen with them seem to also have topping lifts, and a lot of the rigid vangs also have a block-and-tackle control arrangement." Win Fowler replies: The advantage of a rigid boomvang is that it supports the boom. Having a topping lift and a rigid

Twin Pipes

by Nigel Calder, Posted March 19, 2010
Stan Stockdale of Palm Coast, Florida, asks:"I am installing a generator on my Morgan 416. Space is at a premium in the engine room, and I’m curious to know whether you approve of combining the generator’s exhaust with the existing Perkins 4.154 exhaust line, perhaps by fabricating a Y-type device and putting an anti-siphon valve connector immediately in front of the

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
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