Sailboat DIY And Repair Tips

There’s a never-ending list of projects to be done on any sailboat, and SAIL’s experts can show you the best way to go about completing them: whether it’s applying new antifouling, re-rigging your boat, servicing a winch, upgrading your electronics or overhauling your auxiliary engine and plumbing.

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Engines

Boaters University’s Marine Diesel Maintenance Course Series

Soundings magazine and Active Interest Media are launching the first in a series of online boating education courses. Beginning in July, Boaters University will launch its first course “Maintaining and Troubleshooting Marine Diesel Engines.” Early-bird registration is available now for the course, offering a $50 discount now through July 15. Use the special coupon code Read More

Ask Sail

Ask Sail

Ask Sail: Stove Troubles

STOVE TROUBLES Q: I have a Broadwater two-burner propane stove with an oven and broiler. It’s from 2003 but still looks new. When I acquired the boat in 2015 all four burners worked. But after I had the boat transported to Wisconsin and then back to Florida, it went from four working burners to one Read More

Keel

Ask Sail

Ask SAIL: A Crack in the Keel

Q: I am the owner of a 1985 Cal 22 sailboat that is moored during the season in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The boat is in very good condition; however, when I pulled it out of the water at the end of the season in early October this year I noticed a slight crack in the Read More

The new genoa lead in action—a successful upgrade (left); The low-friction ring sheet lead in action (middle); Two new genoa cars had to be purchased (right)

Sails

Sail Trim: Rigging Adjustable Sheet Leads

I’ve always been less than enthusiastic about changing my genoa sheet leads on different points of sail. I know I should move the lead forward to improve its shape when I’m reefing or sailing off the wind. However, when I’m sailing singlehanded it is a bind to release the genoa sheet, go forward, kneel on Read More

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Engine-driven refrigeration

Systems

How to Keep Your Engine-driven Reefer at Peak Performance

Over the last 25 years, there has been a dramatic shift in the types of refrigeration systems carried aboard cruising boats. Today, 12-volt systems prevail, but the systems most often installed up to the late ‘90s were driven by the main engine. Engine-driven refrigerators function just like the air-conditioner in your car, with a belt-driven Read More

lighting combinations

Systems

Know How: Switching From Incandescent Bulbs to LEDs

From the first time I switched on the lights on board our new project boat, one thing was certain: they would have to go. The 1987 Pearson 39-2 had been updated in some ways, but not in others—and it was obvious that interior lighting had been way down the previous owner’s priority list. Every light Read More

The low-friction cars on this sail allow it to flake down nicely

Sails

Know How: All About Mainsails

It used to be simple. In the old days, your sailmaker offered you one kind of mainsail, and sailors were generally happy with the result. You got a sail with a moderate roach, four battens to support that roach, a few reefs and some sail-trim devices, like a cunningham or a flattening reef. Today, however, Read More

fuel filtering system

Systems

How to Put Together a Homegrown Fuel Filtering System

Keeping your diesel fuel clean should be one of your highest priorities, and you can avoid a lot of trouble by adding extra filtration. During the 2015-16 winter aboard Eclipse, our Tayana Vancouver 42, we pulled out our old Perkins 4-108 for a rebuild. With the engine out of the way, I also took the opportunity Read More

Downwind sailing is hard on mainsails

Sails

Know how: Sail Care

Look after your sails, and they’ll look after you Dacron sailcloth has two natural enemies—sunlight and chafe, both of which are found in abundance on the typical sailboat. There is not much you can do to stave off damage from ultraviolet light except to keep the mainsail covered between excursions and make sure the sacrificial Read More

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