Projects

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

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

Repairing Deck Dings

by Sail Staff, Posted May 13, 2010
When someone drops a winch handle, spinnaker pole or outboard shaft on a fiberglass deck, it will sometimes produce a minor ding in the gelcoat and fiberglass. Fortunately, most of these dings are relatively easy to fix. Here’s how.Hole in oneTo repair a minor ding or hairline crack, first use a Dremel tool to smooth the gelcoat

Get the Shine On

by Charles Mason, Posted March 23, 2010
Photos by Mark CorkeSimply removing accumulated dust and grit on your hull with a garden hose before the spring launch might make it a little cleaner, but to get a sparkle on your topsides you’ll have to spend a bit more time and effort. Fortunately, getting a spit-and-polish shine is neither difficult nor complicated. “I know some sailors honestly believe that they can pour

Epoxy in a tube

by Sail Staff, Posted March 23, 2010
Or two tubes, actually. One of the most useful items I used while prepping our project boat for a deck and cockpit makeover was a product called Flexpoxy, made by Pettit Paint. Flexpoxy comes in a double-tube package—one tube for resin, one for hardener. You insert them into the pump, squeeze some out, mix it together, and it’s ready to go.Flexpoxy will bond just about

Old-Boat Nightmares #2

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 23, 2010
I was watching our surveyor friend Norm Leblanc inspecting a 1970s Pearson. He was tapping the topsides with his trusty rubber-tipped hammer, sounding for all the world like a giant woodpecker. Suddenly, the sharp rap-rap-rap of the hammer changed to a hollow thud-thud-thud. “Uh-oh,” said Norm.He had been working along the bow sections, and when we looked closely, we could see a network of

Mildew removal made easy

by Charles Mason, Posted August 24, 2009
If your sails are made from laminated materials there’s a good chance that you’ve struggled with ways to keep mildew from getting a toehold in the fabric."Many of the sails made today are constructed with laminated materials," says Jeff Andersen, President of the New Hampshire-based Sailmaking Support Systems. "Although a laminated sail will be lighter and potentially faster than a woven

Manual bilge pump

by Dick Everett, Posted August 19, 2009
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