Projects

Let there be water

by Peter Nielsen, Posted December 22, 2008
Of all the upgrades you can lavish on an older boat, few will give you more bang for your buck than a complete overhaul of the fresh-water plumbing system. An improvement in water quality should be immediately apparent; any of the new breed of water pumps will be quieter and less power-hungry than their predecessors, and with a little planning, you can make your boat much more user-friendly both

Quiet Connector

by Sail Staff, Posted December 9, 2008
My wife, Gail, and I recently installed a new radar antenna on the keel-stepped mast of our Bristol 38.8. The first part of the installation was easy. We mounted the receiver and then, using a weighted string as a messenger, pulled the cables through a small hole in the mast near the unit all the way down to the bottom, The difficult part—figuring out a way to keep the cables from slapping

Gravity Theory

by Peter Nielsen, Posted December 9, 2008
Smell. Pong. Effluvium. Whichever way you describe it, the airborne essence emanating from Ostara’s aged sanitation system was highly unpleasant. More than just an odor but thankfully short of a full-blown stench, it permeated the forepeak and almost caused a spousal mutiny during our first weekend aboard. No doubt about it – something had to be done.The sanitation system comprised a
My brother was hanging upside down, peering through a 9-inch square cutout in a bulkhead at the raw-water pump housing on his 3-cylinder Yanmar marine diesel. “How the heck do you get the impeller out of there?” he asked me.This is a very good question. Removing an impeller is something that should be done on a regular basis; Yanmar recommends replacing the impeller on this particular

Honda Engines Ready for 2010 EPA Standards

by Sail Staff, Posted September 9, 2008
Honda Marine’s full line of current production models can meet the rigorous emissions standards set forth by a new EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standard introduced Thursday, according to a company announcement."The EPA's new exhaust standards are based on those currently set forth by California Air Resources Board (CARB) 2008 marine regulations," said John Fulcher, senior manager,

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

Ready for Sea

by Sail Staff, Posted August 25, 2008
Simply hoping that your rig is trouble free is not a good strategy, says Chris LabYou need to keep up to date on the condition of your standing and running rigging, both before you launch in the spring and continually throughout the season. Your rig is an integrated system, and anything that happens to any part of it can quickly turn your sailboat into a slow-moving

Geezer Think Smart

by Chip Lawson, Posted August 25, 2008
Making sailboats easier to handle (“Sailing for Geezers,” September 2007) apparently touched a responsive chord. Here are more improvements I’ve made on my 30-year-old Pearson 40 to make it easier and safer for me to handle. Since I’m approaching 60 years of age, easier also equals fun. The Geezer mainsail reefStaying in the cockpit when the wind is building is a

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
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