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Stripped for action

by Don Casey, Posted April 15, 2009
Dave Storch, of Long Beach, California, asks:"The former owner of my Ericson 39 installed a teak cabin sole with grooves for holly strips. The strips were never installed, and the sole was never sealed or finished. It remains unfinished, but now has a number of stains in the teak, including engine oil that escaped when the engine was removed to replace the transmission.

Spot on

by Gordon West, Posted April 14, 2009
R. Staats, of Neha Bay, Washington, asks:"Have you tested the new SPOT portable position transponder? If so, is it living up to all the hype it has received?"Gordon West replies: Yes, I have tested it, and so far it has worked well for me. This $150 transponder provides reliable status signaling through 48 Globalstar low-earth-orbit
"I am curious how the Odyssey TPPL AGM batteries are working out on Nigel Calder’s new boat. I am thinking about putting TPPL AGM’s on my boat for all the reasons Calder gives. However, I wonder about how they might affect my charging system. I have a160-amp Balmar alternator and an 80-amp Yanmar. When I’m running the genset I use a Prosine 2.0 charger. Do I have to reconfigure the chargers for

Come in, Calcutta

by Gordon West, Posted March 11, 2009
Don Arnold of Chattanooga, Tennessee, asks:"My local marine-electronics dealer tells me that marine SSB and ham radio are outdated and that I should use a satellite phone. What do you think?"Gordon West replies: There’s no question that a sat phone is a very handy device. But the advantage of radio is that since SSB signals bounce off the

Shine and show

by Win Fowler, Posted March 11, 2009
David Meyers of Kaysville, Utah, asks:   "I’m refurbishing my Ericson 30 this winter and am about to remove a light layer of rust that has accumulated on the boat’s stainless-steel rigging. What do you recommend for this sort of rust removal? Most of the rigging is in good shape, but it has lost its shine. I’ve heard of using an electrolytic process, but I don’t want to

Leaking Lexan

by Don Casey, Posted March 11, 2009
Bob Eischen of Toledo, Ohio asks:"The metal and Lexan hatches on our Slocum cutter are leaking. I’ve tried a BoatLife sealant and 3M’s 4200, but without success. What kind of sealant will stop the leaks?"Don Casey replies: BoatLife shouldn’t be used with Lexan because the polysulfide and solvents it contains will leach out the plasticizers

Double Shaft

by Nigel Calder, Posted March 11, 2009
Alan Therrien of Boxford, Massachusetts, asks:"The two zincs on my prop shaft were eroding quickly last summer, so I hung a zinc guppy over the side and attached it to the backstay. I measured the current between the backstay and the guppy with my multimeter, which read between .04 and .07 amp of current with all battery connections removed. Where is this current coming

Wireless Mousetrap

by Gordon West, Posted January 20, 2009
Tom Gilbert of Jensen Beach, Florida, asks:"I'm about to install Wi-Fi on my boat so I can use my laptop when I'm in the harbor. I think a 14-element YAGI, such as the RL/WAVRVMAR or the RL/14ele2.4wp, would be good units I can aim, set, and receive. However, other people tell me that an omnidirectional antenna is the answer. Which is the better

Daisy chain

by Don Casey, Posted January 20, 2009
Howard Lennox of Lexington Park, Maryland, asks:"I'd like to know how to inspect (for corrosion) a chainplate that is encapsulated inside a bulkhead. Are there any nondestructive tests I can perform to determine a chainplate's condition without having to cut into the bulkhead?"Don Casey replies:When a through-the-deck chainplate begins to

Strike out

by Nigel Calder, Posted January 12, 2009
Bob Graveline of Bismarck, North Dakota, asks:"Last summer my 34-footer was hit by lightning when it was sitting unattended in my marina slip. The boat was plugged into shore power when it was hit, but it was not drawing power. Do you think that having a boat plugged into shore power increases, decreases, or has no effect on the chance of damage from a
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