Maintenance

A Head Start

by Don Casey, Posted September 27, 2011
When your boat spends the winter on the hard, relaunching in the spring will go easier, and perhaps happen sooner, if you tackle a few of your pre-launch tasks during the fall and winter months. Some of these are jobs you might otherwise neglect or skip in the rush to launch. And the nice part is you get to mess about doing boat things during the off-season.
For a number of years, I used a piece of 2x4 screwed to the side of the garden shed as a mount for my 3.5hp Tohatsu outboard. It would perch happily thereon while I dangled its nether regions in a cooling tub of fresh water, sputtering and burbling away as the salt got rinsed from its innards.   This year, I decided something more sophisticated was in order for my faithful motor. I wanted a
Among the multitude of things that needed upgrading on our project boat, the cockpit drain seacocks loomed large. The wheels on the 1973-vintage gate valves were frozen open so the valves could not be closed. This is a typical problem with gate valves. The valve stems and the valve body are usually dissimilar metals, and eventually they’ll corrode so that the valve sticks on the position it was

Fenders for your Tender

by Dick Everett, Posted May 5, 2011
A. As you come alongside, it’s often the top of a hard tender’s gunwale that damages the bigger boat’s gelcoat.B. The top edge of the gunwale can be padded with a purpose-made canvas-covered fender strip.C. Some people fit old industrial hose, as shown here; others pad the void and remove the cover if it’s too

A New Cabin Sole

by David Popken, Posted April 14, 2011
The first time I stepped down a sailboat’s companionway I was overwhelmed by the beauty and abundance of the wood I found below. As a result, I knew one thing I wanted for sure when searching for my first sailboat was a teak-and-holly cabin sole. In the end, I found what I wanted, but the teak and holly was veneer over plywood. It was in less than perfect condition, but having

A New Hatch for Keewaydin

by Spencer Howe, Posted March 8, 2011
The forward deck hatch on our project boat, Keewaydin, a 1967 Allied Seabreeze, did not let much light into our dark and dingy forepeak. There was no mechanism to hold the molded fiberglass hatch open, and it was hard to adequately secure from the inside. We decided to replace it with a new waterproof hatch.The Vetus hatch we chose was slightly larger than the original hatch,

Tracking Trickles

by Don Casey, Posted November 23, 2010
Finding a big leak is relatively easy, but a small one can be a major challenge because a boat’s interior is a bit like a room in a funhouse, where water flow often seems to defy gravity. A trickle in the cabin, for example, may be coming from a leak in the deck half a boat length away. Conventional search techniques include 1) flooding the deck by sections with a hose, and 2) building a dike of

Winter's Folly

by Peter Nielsen, Posted October 28, 2010
Do you winterize your own engine, or do you have the yard do it? I take the former approach, for three reasons. As my dad used to say, if you want to be sure a job’s done properly, do it yourself; I’ve seen some pretty sketchy work done by so-called marine professionals over the years.The second reason? It seems silly to pay someone to do a job that’s a) not very time-consuming, b) not at

Snow, Sleet and Storms

by Charles Mason, Posted September 16, 2010
If you live in what some call temperate latitudes, there’s a good chance you are just about to take your last sail of the season and are well along with plans to haul your boat for the winter. This is an inevitable progression for most sailors who live in communities that budget for snow removal. Getting your boat ready for this kind of weather calls for some clear thinking and a well-developed

Prop Wash

by Nigel Calder, Posted May 17, 2010
In the April edition of Ask Sail, Nigel Calder asked readers to share ideas on how best to keep their props clean. The Q and A from the magazine sparked a discussion with readers chiming in from all corners of the country. Here are some of their ideas:Q: What do you recommend for keeping barnacles from growing on my prop, strut and shaft? For years, I've used metal
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