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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

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
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