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Ask Sail: Voltage Drop

by Nigel Calder, Posted March 14, 2012
When I turned on my recently installed chartplotter, I got a “low voltage” message. Using a digital voltmeter, I measured 9.7 volts at the circuit breaker on the load side. Voltage on the battery side was 12.5 volts. 

Ask Sail: AIS Antenna

by Gordon West, Posted February 1, 2012
I’m ready to install AIS on my boat. I also need a new VHF radio with digital selective calling (DSC). Will this equipment work with my current Shakespeare masthead VHF antenna?  

Ask Sail: A Warped Fixer-Upper

by Don Casey, Posted February 1, 2012
A recent survey states that a 41-foot Morgon Out Island I am considering buying has hull deflections.  These were discovered when the boat was hauled.  Should I be concerned?

Radar on High

by Gordon West, Posted August 24, 2011
Ron Hall of Aberdeen, Maryland, asks:"My radar antenna is currently on a pedestal at the transom. If I mount it instead way up on the front of my mast, will its range be dramatically improved? Also, will the mast interfere with target detection directly behind the antenna?"Gordon West replies:The radar range horizon for a pedestal-mounted

Epoxy in Water Tanks

by Don Casey, Posted August 24, 2011
Bob Meier of Mount Vernon, Ohio, asks:"I need to repair an 80-gal fiberglass water tank that is leaking. What food-grade material would you recommend for this purpose? I’d like to use an inert substance that will seal the tank and reinforce the weak area without contaminating my drinking water."Don Casey replies:There are plenty of food-grade

Running Hot

by Nigel Calder, Posted August 24, 2011
Steph Lakner of Annapolis, Maryland, asks:"I have a Westerbeke engine (circa 1987) on a Cal 28. The engine overheats (to 210-215 F) after about 20 minutes running at full rpm. The impeller is fine, but water flow is reduced beyond the heat exchanger. I have found no obstructions (broken vanes, etc). I brought the heat exchanger home and cleaned it with vinegar. It was

Asymmetric Ambitions

by Win Fowler, Posted August 24, 2011
Richard Roach of Youngstown, Ohio, asks:   "I have a 1988 Freedom 30 with an unstayed carbon-fiber mast. What risk do I run of harming my mast if I fly a small full-hoist drifter or asymmetric spinnaker? I occasionally attach the tack of my lightweight genoa to the bow pulpit (where the spinnaker pole is normally mounted in a canister designed to hold it) and hoist it

Compost Complexities

by Don Casey, Posted July 22, 2011
Wayne Steinhauser of Hartford, South Dakota, asks:"We sail on an impounded Missouri river lake with only one pump-out station within 100 miles. We find returning to the pump-out station is troublesome when we spend a week or more exploring and sailing. We’re thinking of installing a composting toilet. What is your opinion of these?"Don Casey

Vang Connections

by Win Fowler, Posted July 22, 2011
Jan Warren of Brighton, Michigan, asks:   "I have a 1982 Catalina 30 and have just purchased a 4:1 boom vang. What is the best way to attach the vang to the boom and mast? I have been told to do it different ways and am a little confused. The vang is set up with a snap shackle for the mast attachment. I was thinking of installing a Forespar curved base mast eye and drilling

New Directions

by Gordon West, Posted July 22, 2011
Dave Stillerz of San Francisco, California, asks:"I recently installed some new tanks aboard my older wooden sailboat, and now my automatic pilot won’t keep me on a steady course. Any ideas?"Gordon West replies:Sounds like your new tanks are metal and your pilot’s fluxgate heading sensor is mounted nearby. Reposition the fluxgate compass away
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