Projects

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
High-quality, long-lasting impellers from JMP are manufactured from a mix of different rubbers and include a surface coating that decreases wear and tear for longer use.Tested by the U.S. Navy, the impellers help keep marine engines working at their highest efficiency, even in harsh operating conditions, by ensuring that their pumps are operating correctly.JMP offers flexible

Beat the Wrap

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 12, 2011
The last thing you want from your furling gear is for it to jam up in a rising breeze—or ever. I must be some kind of roller-reefing Jonah, because it’s happened a few times on boats I’ve been sailing aboard. On two of those occasions, halyard wrap was to blame.Halyard wrap sounds like something you’d tear off a new piece of rope, but it’s actually the most common cause of

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

Corrosion Stopper

by Peter Nielsen, Posted November 23, 2010
If the green grounding cable on your boat’s AC inlet is connected to the DC ground as the American Boat and Yacht Council recommends, you may be asking for trouble.As soon as you plug into shorepower, you’re connecting the underwater metal on your boat—stainless steel propeller shaft, bronze prop and through-hulls, zinc anodes, aluminum saildrive—to the underwater metal on all the other

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

Filter Your Fuel Off-line

by Chuck Husick, Posted June 15, 2010
It’s essentially true that if you give a marine diesel engine clean oil, clean air and clean fuel, it will run, if not forever, then certainly for longer than you are likely to own your boat. Using good-quality diesel oil and changing out the oil and oil filter at the manufacturer-recommended time intervals—typically every 200 hours—is a good first step. Similarly, if the air intake is correctly

Energy Control

by Nigel Calder, Posted June 15, 2010
Recently, as part of my work on hybrid propulsion systems, I attended a demonstration where a large-scale lithium battery pack was deliberately pushed past the boundaries of existing experience. The intention was to run the system at 20 kW of output and 160 volts, creating a current flow of around 130 amps. Owing to a miscalculation, when we threw the switch and brought everything on line we
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