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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

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
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