Projects

Replacing Fixed Portlights

by Don Casey, Posted April 29, 2013
Let’s start with a tip. Kits sold in auto stores for polishing headlamps can also restore the clarity to portlights. If your plastic portlights are cloudy, not crazed, this is where you should start.
If you’ve decided to live on your boat, or if you spend a lot of time in marinas where shore power is readily available, you probably either have a battery charger on board or are thinking seriously about installing one.
Is your boat set to launch? It’s all too easy to overlook things in the spring rush. This checklist should jog your memory.

Smart Regulators and Happy Engines

by Sail Staff, Posted August 16, 2011
A smart regulator can boost your alternator’s charging performance, which means you don’t need to run your engine as long to keep your batteries happy. Sterling Marine Power’s ProRegD digital alternator regulator can be tailored to your battery type—flooded, gel, or AGM—to ensure the most efficient four-step charging schedule. It assesses battery bank size, state of charge and current output, and

Make the Switch to Electric Winches

by Steve Dublin, Posted September 16, 2013
I’ve always liked the shape of the fully battened mainsail on Caretta, my tall rig Catalina 380 sloop. But my aging north-of-65 body no longer enjoys cranking it all the way to the top of the mast. Here’s how I upgraded my Lewmar winch for push-button operation.

Staying Put: Dock Line Inspection

by Charles Mason, Posted April 22, 2008
With boats going back in the water in the northern parts of the country and marinas further south beginning to fill up with the summer regulars, it’s time to make sure the dock lines you’ll be using are going to keep your boat in its designated spot. Carefully inspect the condition of all these lines, and if any show signs of chafe or abrasion, replace them. Once the wind has

In hot water

by Peter Nielsen, Posted February 16, 2009
ChecklistTools
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches
  • Cordless drill
  • Tube cutter
  • Materials
  • Water heater
  • 5/8" heavy-duty water hose
  • NPT fittings
  • Fasteners, as needed
  • After upgrading the mostly original fresh-water plumbing system on our 1973 Norlin 34 project boat with new hoses,

    Silence on the hook

    by Nigel Calder, Posted August 3, 2009
    As part of my hybrid-propulsion research I have been looking carefully at large-capacity Litihum-Ion batteries as a possible energy source on modern cruising sailboats. Lithium-ion batteries are common in cell phones and laptops, but they are rarely used in higher capacity applications. This may rapidly change, because the hybrid automotive and electric vehicle markets are in

    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

    Snow, Sleet and Storms

    by Charles Mason, Posted December 12, 2011
    Make no joke about it: winter is here. Luckily SAIL editor Charles Mason is luckily here to show you how to winterize your boat easily and efficiently.
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