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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

Spar spares

by Win Fowler, Posted May 19, 2008
"Many experts recommend that cruisers carry extra shrouds and stays. To save space, I’m thinking about carrying Spectra line as a backup. Does the idea have any merit?"   -- Kim Barr , San Francisco, California Win Fowler replies: In theory, Spectra or Dyneema line—both are high-modulus polyethylene—will work fine as standing rigging in terms of breaking

Sail on the Cheap

by Sail Staff, Posted June 2, 2006
By Leah WelchI am a novice sailor. I took one sailing course in college and earned an Ohio Division of Watercraft license (the equivalent of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's America's Boating Course). It was only recently that I decided to make sailing my lifestyle and began researching ASA (American Sailing Association) and U.S. Sailing schools. Like most working Joes, I had

Endless Possibilities Under Sail

by Sail Staff, Posted November 4, 2005
People with disabilities are leaving their limitations at the dock. Organizations like Newport, Rhode Island's Shake-A-Leg, the first to offer adaptive sailing, are helping them access sailing. You don’t need sailing experience, gear, or even money. All you need is a desire to sail. For an interview with John Ross-Duggan, click here

The best from the past

by Sail Staff, Posted April 28, 2003
Harry Sweica on engine maintenance and repair Harry Swieca has run a boatyard, and he is a registered marine surveyor. He's certified in the repair of all marine engines. ONE TACH TOO MANY: I have a 2QM20 Yanmar engine that's great. But after the ignition switch and starter motor started acting up, I installed a new switch, and
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