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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

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
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