Projects

When my flexible solar panel gave up the ghost early last summer, I was surprised at how much motoring it took to replenish our Norlin 34’s two Group 27 house batteries after they’d been run down by a week of sporadic bilge-pumping (caused by a slow leak around the keelbolts, ahem).
If you own an older boat and are worried about osmosis problems, there are a number of cures and they do not need to be expensive. The first step is to get your boat's bottom clean of old paint. 

Geezer Think Smart

by Chip Lawson, Posted August 25, 2008
Making sailboats easier to handle (“Sailing for Geezers,” September 2007) apparently touched a responsive chord. Here are more improvements I’ve made on my 30-year-old Pearson 40 to make it easier and safer for me to handle. Since I’m approaching 60 years of age, easier also equals fun. The Geezer mainsail reefStaying in the cockpit when the wind is building is a

AIS for Sailors

by Peter Nielsen, Posted May 7, 2009
Any sailor who has made extended passages along coastlines or across oceans has had at least a few close callswith big ships whose course and intentions can be difficult to discern until the last minute. The introduction of AIS (Automatic Identification System) has taken a lot of the guesswork (not to mention terror) out of these close-quarters situations. For just a

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

Fenders for your Tender

by Dick Everett, Posted May 5, 2011
A. As you come alongside, it’s often the top of a hard tender’s gunwale that damages the bigger boat’s gelcoat.B. The top edge of the gunwale can be padded with a purpose-made canvas-covered fender strip.C. Some people fit old industrial hose, as shown here; others pad the void and remove the cover if it’s too
The cost of hiring a yard to repaint a 30- to 40-foot sailboat is likely to be over $10,000, which is uneconomical given the actual value of most older boats. The alternative, if you’re willing to put in long hours with a rotary sander, is doing it yourself.

Soda Blast your Boat

by Roger Marshall, Posted November 13, 2012
You have a thick layer of antifouling paint on the bottom of your boat. It’s rough and worn around the edges, so you’d like to get rid of it and have a nice smooth bottom that will help you sail faster. The options are quite simple.

Install a New Boom

by Andy Howe, Posted June 11, 2013
After purchasing new sails last year and installing a Tides Marine mainsail track, we decided it was time to upgrade the 45-year-old roller-reefing boom on our Allied Seabreeze 35 project boat Keewaydin
Along with a watertight hull and robust steering gear, there’s a third prerequisite for seaworthy sailboats: strong standing rigging. Before the round-Atlantic voyage we’re now partway through, I worked hard to ensure our Valiant 40 Moon River was up to speed in the first two departments.
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