Maintenance

Free a Line from a Prop

by Andy Schell, Posted August 21, 2013
Eventually everyone wraps a line around a prop. I was told this on my first-ever job as a captain—leading teenagers on liveaboard dive-training trips in the Leeward Islands—and bragged about being the only skipper not to have done so.

Miracle Stain Removal

by Stuart Attwood, Posted March 18, 2013
Often when cleaning our boat, we have to remove stubborn stains and marks from the fiberglass. My girlfriend has discovered that Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will remove the toughest marks with little or no scrubbing.

Drain your Rudder

by Bill Bleyer, Posted December 11, 2012
When I bought my first cruising sailboat, I falsely assumed the rudder was watertight. I later learned otherwise when I began seeing rust streaks at the seams.

Servicing Dinghy Valves

by Charles J. Doane, Posted October 11, 2012
A well-built Hypalon inflatable dinghy can last well over 10 years if properly cared for. In many cases, the first thing to fail isn’t the fabric but the fiddly little spring-loaded valves used to keep the boat inflated.

Tennis Ball Grommets

by Bill Bleyer, Posted September 19, 2012
When covering my boat for the winter, I like to use heavy gray-green poly tarps, as they are inexpensive and last several years if they are protected against chafe and are properly secured.

No More Cotter Pins

by Connie McBride, Posted June 18, 2012
Standing at the bow of Eurisko, our Creekmore 34, my heel always scrapes the turnbuckle for the cutter stay when I operate the windlass. For many years I inevitably returned to the cockpit after setting the anchor with a bloody foot where the cotter pin had gouged me.

Freshwater Engine Flush

by Don Casey, Posted June 12, 2012
As warm-water sailors, we do not winterize our boat. However, we do store it out of the water for hurricane season, and as part of our decommissioning procedure we run the engine on the hard to pass fresh water through the raw-water circuit and flush out salt and guard against corrosion.

Sail Cover Tactics

by Charles J. Doane, Posted March 14, 2012
Getting a sail cover on and off a mainsail is often harder than it should be. Once it’s off the sail, it can be hard to tell which end goes where, and when you spread it out to check, the wind will wrestle you for control of it.

File Your Sandpaper

by Zuzana Prochazka, Posted March 14, 2012
If there’s one thing I hate more than varnishing it’s not having all the tools at hand to do the job right. Besides brushes, old cans of varnish, new cans of varnish and thinners, there is the sandpaper.
When Mark Edwards, a rigger from Auckland, New Zealand, molded the deck for his 50-footer Relapse, he deliberately included raised toerails that trap water on deck for most of the length of the boat: as in, all the way back to the fill-point for the water tanks.
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