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My pre-sail checklist is pretty basic. Bilge sump empty? Phew. Mainsail cover off, halyard on? Yep. Battery switched on? Check. Engine intake seacock open? Check. Engine starts? Yippee. 

Fix a Misleading Sonar

by Gordon West, Posted July 1, 2013
We just returned from cruising the Bahamas and were intrigued to see that our new Si-Tex CBS-128 color sounder/sonar unit regularly showed a thin orange blanket of fish hanging above a sandy bottom about 50 feet down. My kids kept trying, but couldn’t catch a thing! This happened regularly throughout our trip.

DIY Storm Damage Repairs

by Don Casey, Posted July 1, 2013
The after effects of Hurricane Sandy are still being felt here in the Northeast in that competent fiberglass repairmen are all booked up with jobs through the upcoming boating season. Many boatowners have therefore been forced to contemplate repairing their storm-damaged boats themselves.

Ask SAIL: Frayed Mic Cables

by Sail Staff, Posted June 24, 2013
Dozens of us cruising sailors have experienced problems with the black cable jackets on VHF and SSB radio microphones from ICOM. I, along with many other cruisers, have discovered our cables are mysteriously disintegrating!
 I’m planning on replacing all the running rigging on my 1978 Tartan 37 this spring for the first time since I bought the boat over 10 years ago. 
One thing I need to install is a liferaft, and I may want to put it on the coachroof right behind the mast, but the solid boom vang prevents this.
when first pushing the start button, I sometimes get no response. Releasing and pushing the button a couple of times finally engages the starter.
The drawers have never been painted before and are made of plywood. What kind of paint should we use?
This past summer I purchased a used Valiant 40 with rod rigging. Though the rigging is about 20 years old, the seller assured me he recently had it reheaded and that it should last several more years.
I own a 1987 Catalina 27 with a Universal M18 diesel engine. I’ve had the boat for just over two years, but because the hour meter is broken, I don’t know how many hours are on the engine.
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