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See Dog

by Gordon West, Posted May 20, 2009
Jack Hammond of North Carolina, asks:"Reception was good on my analog TV using a Shakespeare SeaWatch 2025 amplified omni-directional masthead antenna. But I’ve been told the new digital converter box won’t work with this antenna and that I should get a new TV. Is this right?"Gordon West replies:The antenna is fine but make sure the converter

Reefing rules

by Win Fowler, Posted May 19, 2009
Henry Buckminster, of Seattle, Washington, asks:   "My 35-foot 7⁄8 rig sloop has a 135 percent roller-furling jib, and once the wind starts blowing over about 12–14 knots I want to take a reef. But I’m not sure whether I should reef the mainsail or the headsail first. Are there any reefing rules when going to windward, and does the protocol stay the same when I am running off

Analog to digital

by Sail Staff, Posted May 19, 2009
"Reception was good on my analog TV using a Shakespeare SeaWatch 2025 amplified omni-directional masthead antenna. But I’ve been told the new digital converter box won’t work with this antenna and that I should get a new TV. Is this right?"-- Jack Hammond, North CarolinaGordon West replies: The antenna is fine but make sure the converter box is on the TV

All Decked Out

by Don Casey, Posted May 19, 2009
David Worden of Kemah, Texas, asks:"I’m thinking of buying an older Cheoy Lee pilothouse 32-footer with sections of teak deck on either side of the pilothouse that flexes when I walk on them. I can see signs of water damage when I look up from below. Do you have an opinion on the best way to repair the deck?Could I cut the fiberglass skin out from belowdecks and

Green machines

by Nigel Calder, Posted May 19, 2009
Michel Bouffard, of Sept-Iles, Quebec, Canada, asks:"I’m installing a 75-Watt solar panel and an AirBreeze 200 wind generator on my Hunter Legend 35.5. I have two 12-volt deep-cycle batteries, one starting battery, one combiner and a Perko (Off-1-Both-2) battery switch. I’m planning to use the solar panel and wind generator when I am sailing, but I also want my starting

Rig pumper

by Win Fowler, Posted April 15, 2009
"Whenever I’m motoring with the wind about 10 degrees off the starboard bow, the mast starts pumping so badly that it shakes the whole boat. The same thing happens at anchor. The mast is deck-stepped, and I’ve beefed up the compression post under the deck to make it rock solid. I’ve also checked the mast with a plumb bob and found that the column is straight but has a slight rake aft. All the

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
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