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Ask SAIL: Stereo Trouble

by Gordon West, Posted November 7, 2013
I just installed an Aquatic AV AM/FM/MP3 receiver and was careful to keep the stereo speakers from affecting my steering compass. The stereo system works great when we play the FM radio or when the kids play their devices through it, but I can’t pick up my ballgames on the AM radio. I can hear them fine with a portable radio up on deck. Any ideas
I read with great interest Don Casey’s advice (Ask SAIL, August 2013) on painting a bronze propeller with antifouling paint. He stated that it can be done, but not with paint containing copper. Why is this? What about bronze through-hull fittings?

Ask SAIL: Old Boat, New Rig?

by Win Fowler, Posted November 7, 2013
My brother and I own a 1966 Hinckley Pilot sloop that has been in my family for two generations. We love the boat dearly and normally spare no expense maintaining it. However, my brother now wants to install a carbon-fiber mast, and I’m wondering if it’s worth the money. Will it really make much of a difference on a heavy boat with a full keel? He’s talking about fiber rigging, too, which also has me worried.
I heard the Coast Guard will no longer be monitoring distress frequencies for marine SSB radios. How can we get help when beyond VHF range?

Ask SAIL: Staysail Support

by Win Fowler, Posted September 16, 2013
I am retrofitting a removable staysail stay to a 1982 Bristol 40 sloop. The existing standing rig has both forward and aft lower shrouds. Do I need to add more support behind the mast to support the staysail stay when it is set up? I would like not to have to do this. If I do have to do it, what’s the most efficient, least expensive way to go about it?
What’s the latest on LED lighting strips? I’ve noticed a boat in our marina that has a pair of strips mounted in its cockpit, and they look pretty cool!
Every time I transmit on my marine SSB radio, my autopilot goes whacko. The installer says my radio is fine, and I should just “live with it.” Is it time to deep-six the radio and get a satellite phone?
I just read Nigel Calder’s article on the costs of generating energy (“The Cost of Energy,” Dec. 2012) and found it fascinating. I understand there is a high cost for generating energy at anchor by running an engine, but is there an additional cost to generating energy while underway? If my engine is running the alternator to recharge the batteries, as well as moving the boat, surely it must add to the load and increase my fuel consumption. Is the increase significant, miniscule or somewhere in between?

Ask SAIL: In-mast or Full-batten Main

by Sail Staff, Posted September 16, 2013
My sailing buddy and I are thinking about moving to a bigger boat. I now have a 31ft Pearson with a full-batten main. It is a reasonably high-performance boat, and I love to sail it. My buddy wants to go to an in-mast furling mainsail. I would like some information on how much performance is lost when switching from a full-batten to in-mast main.
I'm trying to figure out why my paddlewheel knot log is registering incorrectly. The plug is clean, and the wheel turns freely. Yesterday my GPS showed my speed over the ground was 5 to 7 knots, and the speedo registered 0 to 0.8 knot. It does this periodically to irritate me.  
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