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VHF Echoes

by Gordon West, Posted December 22, 2008
Warren Updike of Towson, Maryland, asks:"My Simrad RS8300 VHF has two full-function handsets. The VHF is a black-box type with a DSC class-C transceiver that is about 15 years old; it’s mounted behind a panel in the main saloon. The receiver is very sensitive and very easy to use. The transceiver interfaces with my Raymarine ST-50 GPS, which is mounted nearby. My AM/FM

Power packs

by Nigel Calder, Posted December 15, 2008
Jim Taylor, CMR 435, U.S. Army, Germany, asks:"I’ve purchased a 15-year-old Nauticat 38 that is being overhauled in the Caribbean. I have a long list of items I plan to replace and have a specific question about power generation. I need a new 12/110-volt inverter and am considering a Xantrex Prosine 2000 inverter-charger. Is that unit compatible with a wind-powered

Dirty deck lines

by Win Fowler, Posted December 15, 2008
Warren Beverung, of Cary, North Carolina, asks:   "I’ve been getting my Sabre 38 back in shape after it weathered some recent hurricanes, and I’ve noticed a lot of mold on the running rigging, particularly on the lines that go across the deck. What’s the best way to clean the lines and minimize the chance that they will grow mildew in the future? I don’t want to put them in

Cool Stuff

by Don Casey, Posted December 15, 2008
Henry Reents of Boise, Idaho, asks:"The box of our top-loading refrigerator has a large lower compartment that is separated from the main upper section by a three-piece plastic shelf. We don’t use the lower compartment very much. Would our compressor run less if we put large blocks of foam in that lower space? This would reduce the size of the refrigerator box by about a

Fittings out

by Don Casey, Posted December 4, 2008
Mike Hatch, of Trinidad, West Indies, asks:"My 36-year-old Pearson 390 has bronze through-hull fittings, which are starting to have a lot of surface corrosion. What’s the best way to keep them clean and bright?"Don Casey replies: Normally bronze seacocks and through-hulls turn green because the valves are weeping. If this is the case, you

Oil and Water

by Nigel Calder, Posted December 3, 2008
Ralph Halstead of Marmet, West Virginia, asks:"My Perkins 4-236 is a great engine and has an external cooling system. Recently I’ve noticed some drops of water on the dipstick after use. What do you think might be causing this condition?"Nigel Calder replies: It could be a number of things. I would first check whether water is siphoning in

Somewhere Over There

by Gordon West, Posted December 3, 2008
Bernard Hall of San Diego, California, asks:"This past summer I routinely heard U.S. Coast Guard VHF transmissions made from hundreds of miles away. Is there something peculiar about my VHF installation, or is the reception the result of something else?"Gordon West replies: It’s clear that your installation was done very well, but chances are

Rake and bag

by Win Fowler, Posted December 3, 2008
Pat Connolly, of Chatham, Massachusetts, asks:   "My 23-foot sloop has weather helm. I replaced the hanked-on jib with a furling headsail, but after the furler was installed I had to tighten the backstay to get the sag out of the furling system even though the new forestay was cut to the same length as the old one. The owner’s manual says there should be a mast rake of about

Surging Power

by Nigel Calder, Posted December 3, 2008
"I have two 12-volt lead-acid batteries in my boat, a starting battery and a house battery. The positive leads from both batteries are connected to a conventional battery switch with the standard 1, 2, Both, and Off positions. My two negative battery terminals are connected, and the one closest to the battery switch is grounded to the engine. A Guest battery charger is connected to the number 1

All Hands on Deck

by Don Casey, Posted December 3, 2008
I’ve been looking to replace the anti-skid decking on my Etap 30, which has panels that are glued into shaped recesses molded into the deck. Anti-skid paint doesn’t work very well. A photo in your article on making handrail covers (December 2007) showed your deck with an interesting looking anti-skid material. It could be the answer to my problem. Could you give me the name of the product and
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