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Wilting waypoints

by Gordon West, Posted July 16, 2008
"Starting my engine often wipes out some waypoints in my charting program. My multimeter tells me that the voltage to the charting system drops only .5 volt when the starter is cranking, but that seems to be enough to cause the problem. Everything else still works fine with the lower voltage. Any ideas?"-- Janet Margelli, Marina del Rey, CaliforniaGordon West

Mast lines

by Win Fowler, Posted July 16, 2008
"I’m building a 42-foot cutter that I hope to launch this year, and my present sailplan is a fractional rig with running backstays. I plan to use a carbon-fiber mast, but I want to do away with the runners. Can a rigger redesign the standing rigging—particularly the chainplate locations—or will I have to redo the whole sailplan? And if that’s what’s required, where should I go to get a new

Ground out

by Gordon West, Posted June 26, 2008
"I’ve got my boat well grounded for lightning protection and have a pair of insulators to isolate my backstay. I’m concerned that the grounded rigging will pull down my SSB signal transmissions."-- Jim Wonn, Cashmere, WashingtonGordon West replies: As long as your backstay is insulated so the SSB antenna can radiate, there is no problem. Although the signal

Steady helm

by Win Fowler, Posted June 26, 2008
"My Grampian sloop is fairly heavy, but it performs well in a breeze. However, my arm gets tired holding the tiller to keep the boat sailing in a straight line. Would moving the foot of the mast forward or aft help correct this problem?"   -- Harry Newiger, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada Win Fowler replies: Several things could be causing this problem—it’s

Sulfation surprise

by Nigel Calder, Posted June 23, 2008
"The two group 27 batteries on my boat are both four years old. After charging, all cells have a specific-gravity reading of 1.225 +/- 0.005 and about a 75 percent charge. Hoping to improve the readings, I have been charging at 16 volts and 1 amp. After several days, the cells read 1.260 +/- 0.005. Is this a sign of sulfation?"-- Roger A. Karmes, North East,

Finishing touch

by Don Casey, Posted June 23, 2008
"Our boat was built in the Far East, and the interior has a beautiful lacquer finish. I have a photograph of a worker brushing on the lacquer, and I can see he is using a 1-inch brush. I’ve tried a thick brush, a thin brush, short strokes and long strokes, and I can’t get a finish that looks like the original. Any suggestions?"-- Duane Ericson, Oceanside,

Tanks two

by Don Casey, Posted June 23, 2008
"Our Hunter 34 has a 25-gallon fuel tank. We’d like to add a 20-gallon tank so we won’t have to carry jerry cans on deck. I estimate the two tanks will be about a foot apart. What is the best way to hook up the second tank so air can’t get in the fuel line? I’d like to avoid having to pump fuel from the new tank into the old one when it gets low. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough room to install

Go for the green wire

by Don Casey, Posted June 18, 2008
"I’m rewiring my Cal 2-27 and have reviewed the advice given by Don Casey in his Sailboat Maintenance Manual. He mentions grounding the green wire of an AC system to the engine’s ground terminal, but I’m not sure where to put the green wire on my engine, an outboard with an electric starter and a 6-amp alternator. Do I even need one if I install ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)

Start and stop

by Nigel Calder, Posted June 6, 2008
"The 20-horsepower Yanmar in my Orion 27 has low hours, but last summer it began to stop about a minute after it started. When I tried a restart, it was clear to me that it was being starved for fuel. I bled the fuel line, and, when I saw air bubbles coming out at the secondary filter, I thought I’d fixed the problem. But when I let the engine sit unused for a couple of days, the start/stop

Farm team

by Gordon West, Posted May 27, 2008
"I’m about to install an antenna farm on the horizontal arch behind my boat’s cockpit and am wondering whether the antennas need to be placed on the arch in a particular way. Are there guidelines for proper antenna location?"-- Dave Richardson , Winnetka, IllinoisGordon West replies: You should do several things. First, if possible mount the radar antenna
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