Projects

Let there be water

by Peter Nielsen, Posted December 22, 2008
Of all the upgrades you can lavish on an older boat, few will give you more bang for your buck than a complete overhaul of the fresh-water plumbing system. An improvement in water quality should be immediately apparent; any of the new breed of water pumps will be quieter and less power-hungry than their predecessors, and with a little planning, you can make your boat much more user-friendly both

Easy controls

by Peter Nielsen, Posted July 22, 2009
The twin-lever engine control on our Norlin 34, Ostara, had been annoying me for as long as we’d had the boat. The detent was so worn that it was sometimes not possible to tell if you were in neutral or reverse gear. More than once I had been alerted by yells from the neighboring boats as Ostara sidled crablike around her mooring, pulled by the prop walk of

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

Impeller Etiquette

by Peter Nielsen, Posted November 16, 2011
Get to grips with an often over-looked but vital part of an engine cooling system in this step by step procedure
Paul Calder is a blogger on SAILfeed, where he has been sharing the progress of refitting his boat, living in New Orleans and getting a wee bit of guidance from dear ol' dad, Nigel Calder, an author and expert on boat systems. Read on to learn about Paul's hands-on process.
Fifteen years of sailing around the English Channel, North Sea, Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean taught me many things, not the least of which was the importance of good ground tackle and a means to handle it.

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
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