Systems+Engines

Spare-Parts Counter

by Sail Staff, Posted August 28, 2008
Carry the spares that keep critical systems runningBy Don CaseyOur multi-year cruise was still mostly in front of us when our Yanmar diesel engine uncharacteristically refused to answer my call for more revolutions. We reached our next port on reduced rpm, and the following morning the engine would start, but not keep running. When an otherwise mechanically sound

Fuel and Water Don't Mix

by Sail Staff, Posted August 27, 2008
This wasn’t the first VHF call I had taken from someone seeking advice for an onboard problem, and the caller was clearly distraught. He had accidentally filled his diesel tank with fresh water. To make matters worse, when he tried to start the engine, fresh water had been sucked through the fuel system. Always interested in a challenge, I went over to his boat. Together we fixed the problem

Charging Into the Future

by Nigel Calder, Posted August 22, 2008
For the past 30 years, lead-acid batteries have always been the principal limiting factor in the design of high-capacity DC systems for sailboats. Over the years a number of technologies have been developed that attempt to circumvent this roadblock—NiCad, nickel metal hydride (NiMH), lithium ion (LiI), fuel cells—but none has had sufficient life expectancy at a price affordable enough to be

Make A Portable Pump

by Paul Esterle, Posted August 20, 2008
The cockpit lockers on my 20-foot trailersailer leak because the lid destroys any seal that is attached to it. I’ve resigned myself to needing a waterproof container for anything I store there, but I still have to deal with the water that has leaked in. My solution was to attach a small electric bilgepump (with a hose) to a handle. I used 1/8" by 1" aluminum bar stock, which is easy to

Tank Math: Full or Empty?

by Steve Henkind, Posted February 21, 2008
In the "Know-How" section of the March issue, Steven J. Henkind wrote about how fuel gauges operate and how you can prevent fuel-gauge errors. Here's the mathematical formula he discussed in the story.   You can also calculate the amount of fuel in a tank mathematically. For a rectangular tank, the calculation is easy: the overall volume of the tank = Length x Width x Height; if the

Hybrid Power Keeps Going

by Joseph Huberman, Posted March 20, 2006
The diesel-electric hybrid as an auxiliary power source for sailboats has moved from the laboratory into the water. Though still in early development, it has advantages including fuel efficiency, ease of handling, responsive motor control, low sound levels, immediate-use capability, and, on some systems, power regeneration.I have a Solomon Technologies motor and a Glacier
  • facebook
  • twitter