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Cedar Ceiling

by Don Casey, Posted October 20, 2008
"I’ve taken out the cabin liner on my 1984 Beneteau 35 and have wire-brushed the glass surface underneath and painted it with EZPoxy. I now want to line the side walls with cedar paneling. How would you prep the painted glass surface, and what adhesive do you recommend?"-- Charlie Wetherill , Bayfield, WisconsinDon Casey replies : Many lockers that contain

Curious Zincs

by Nigel Calder, Posted September 22, 2008
"I’ve had my boat, which has a Volvo Penta saildrive engine, for eight years. For the first six years, when I hauled the boat for annual maintenance I found the zinc anode on the saildrive was slightly eroded but was still firmly attached. I changed the zinc annually.However, when I hauled the boat two years ago, I found the anode was loose and the erosion had occurred primarily around the

Charge It Up

by Nigel Calder, Posted August 18, 2008
Gray R. Riddick of Chocowinity, North Carolina, asks:"I know you have discussed using a multimeter to check a battery’s voltage. What does the reading mean? Will it tell me whether or not a battery should be replaced? My two house batteries, for example, read 12.82 and 12.36 volts."Nigel Calder replies: A specific voltage reading won’t tell

Big piece or small?

by Don Casey, Posted July 22, 2008
"Many books on fiberglass repair, including one of yours, have drawings showing how to lay up cloth and mat over a tapered repair area, like a hole. The repair always begins with a small piece of cloth at the bottom, and as the layup continues, the pieces get larger. This makes sense to me, because a layup schedule doesn’t depend on just one interface bonding. Going from smaller to larger would

Better to be seen

by Gordon West, Posted July 20, 2008
"I have a 28-foot boat with a fractional rig. I’m thinking about mounting a radar reflector on the leading edge of the mast between the forestay and the masthead. Is this a good idea?"-- Dave Adams, Newington, ConnecticutGordon West replies: Having a radar reflector is always a good idea; it can increase your boat’s target visibility by up to 6 miles.

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,
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