Know-How

A Tale of Two Props

by Peter Nielsen, Posted October 24, 2013
Although I have sailed boats fitted with every conceivable make of folding or feathering propeller, I have long-term experience of only three. When we acquired our 1973 Norlin 34, it was equipped with a vintage two-bladed Martec Geartec folding propeller. 

Why Low-Drag Propellers

by Duncan Kent, Posted October 24, 2013
Would you buy an automobile whose rear brakes locked up and dragged along the road when going downhill? Not likely. So why do so many sailboat owners do much the same thing by dragging the blades of a propeller through the water behind them when the engine’s off?
When you inspect your inflatable lifejackets, hope you don’t find any surprises. They say you should never take anything for granted in life, and I reckon that applies to lifejackets too. While exhuming my inflatable lifejackets— one manually actuated, one auto-inflating—from their basement crypt last spring, it struck me that I had never once inspected them or serviced them since they were new—and that, I realized guiltily, was many years ago.

Grey-Beard Pumps

by Adam Cort, Posted June 5, 2013
Oil changes are vital to keeping your engine running its best but oil transfer pumps can be tough to use. Grey Beard Pumps utilizes medical device technology to create a pump that claims to be trouble-free

Down to the Bone

by Pip Hurn, Posted April 21, 2013
Often the hardest part of refinishing wood on a boat is getting the old finish off. Unfortunately, there is no magic solution. It usually takes a combination of methods, all involving a large tub of elbow grease and a bucket of patience.
If you didn’t learn knots when you were young, you can still master them quickly. The key is to learn what a given knot should look like when completed, then practice tying it until you can do it with your eyes closed.
A dinosaur of an engine that is over 70 years old can push a much larger boat than ours, weighing eight times as much, at similar speeds with more-or-less the same fuel consumption!
Most boats today have a single permanently hoisted headsail with a roller-reefing unit on the headstay. This arrangement works well, but becomes problematic when there is more wind than the sail on the furler can handle.

Sails and Sailhandling Systems

by Sail Staff, Posted January 11, 2013
Six experts weigh in on the best ways to improve a boat’s sails and sailhandling systems.
Not so long ago, boat owners would recoil in horror at the mention of Cetol. It was a product used by amateurs who didn’t know any better and the result was an orange coating that dulled quickly and did nothing to enhance the grain of any wood.
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