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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

Nuts over terminals

by Nigel Calder, Posted November 24, 2008
"I am curious why electrical connections that hold a terminal on a threaded post use a stainless-steel post, a nut, and a washer. If you assume that the post can’t be changed—because it comes with the equipment—wouldn’t it be better to use a bronze or brass nut and a copper washer? I’m asking because stainless steel is less conductive than bronze, brass, or copper. If there is room to do so, why

Silent Night

by Gordon West, Posted November 24, 2008
"My boat is the only one in the fleet that can’t hear Herb Hilgenberg’s Atlantic weather report on SSB. Even though I turn off my circuit breakers before I tune in, I still get noises that affect my reception. I had a technician come aboard, and when he disconnected my batteries from the circuit he could hear Herb’s transmissions loud and clear on his portable SSB. But when he reattached the DC

All Ground Up

by Don Casey, Posted November 21, 2008
"I am repairing an older 19-foot daysailer that has a slow but persistent drip from the bottom of the keel; the drip comes from an area about 6 inches square. The ballast is 400 pounds of iron, encapsulated in the fiberglass shell that is part of the outer hull. When I ground down the laminate, I could see that some of it had delaminated.I ground the surface as smooth as possible and

Snuff or Furl

by Win Fowler, Posted November 20, 2008
I usually sail with one other person, and I’m wondering how to choose between a continuous-line furler and a spinnaker sleeve for my asymmetric spinnaker. Which is easier to deploy, and is one better than the other for singlehanding?   -- Mark Trainor , Norwalk, Connecticut Win Fowler replies : Both a furler and a sleeve are effective ways to set and douse an

Powering Up

by Win Fowler, Posted October 20, 2008
"The mainsheet traveler on my boat is mounted on a bridgedeck at the forward end of the cockpit with the mainsheet itself running through a six-part tackle from the traveler up to the end of the boom. The mainsail is about 350 square feet. I’d like to run the mainsheet back to a winch near the helm. How should I proceed?"   -- Robert Elder , New York, New York Win

Loud and clear

by Gordon West, Posted October 20, 2008
How much VHF signal strength will I lose if I put a coaxial cable disconnect assembly at the base of my mast? I want to eliminate the hassle of having to pull out the cable every time I step or unstep the mast, and this seems like a good solution.-- Dennis Thompson , Annapolis, MarylandGordon West replies : If you can be sure the coax disconnect assembly
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