Projects

Spare-Parts Counter

by Sail Staff, Posted August 28, 2008
Carry the spares that keep critical systems runningBy Don CaseyOur multi-year cruise was still mostly in front of us when our Yanmar diesel engine uncharacteristically refused to answer my call for more revolutions. We reached our next port on reduced rpm, and the following morning the engine would start, but not keep running. When an otherwise mechanically sound

GPS system questions

by Peter Nielsen, Posted May 20, 2009
The Government Accountability Office’s report last week on the parlous state of the Global Positioning Satellite system should set alarm bells ringing. When a body like the GAO warns that the GPS system is in crisis, all of us – not just sailors – need to take notice. GPS technology is so omnipresent in modern life that few areas of transportation remain unaffected by it.The GAO report

Repairing Deck Dings

by Sail Staff, Posted May 13, 2010
When someone drops a winch handle, spinnaker pole or outboard shaft on a fiberglass deck, it will sometimes produce a minor ding in the gelcoat and fiberglass. Fortunately, most of these dings are relatively easy to fix. Here’s how.Hole in oneTo repair a minor ding or hairline crack, first use a Dremel tool to smooth the gelcoat
Among the multitude of things that needed upgrading on our project boat, the cockpit drain seacocks loomed large. The wheels on the 1973-vintage gate valves were frozen open so the valves could not be closed. This is a typical problem with gate valves. The valve stems and the valve body are usually dissimilar metals, and eventually they’ll corrode so that the valve sticks on the position it was
When Executive Editor Charlie Doane found sand in his water tanks, he assumed it was the result of extensive tropical cruising. But guess what— the culprit was chlorinated water.

Ask Sail: Straight and True

by Don Casey, Posted December 2, 2012
Before I re-launch the boat should I also have the shop check and true the transmission output shaft to its flange? This is a lot more work, but I’m prepared to do it to get things lined up properly.
One of the most versatile of panel materials, plywood is used for everything from sheathing houses to building boats. It’s not a new concept; laminated wood was used in ancient Egypt and China and commonly in seventeenth-century European furniture.

Honda Engines Ready for 2010 EPA Standards

by Sail Staff, Posted September 9, 2008
Honda Marine’s full line of current production models can meet the rigorous emissions standards set forth by a new EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standard introduced Thursday, according to a company announcement."The EPA's new exhaust standards are based on those currently set forth by California Air Resources Board (CARB) 2008 marine regulations," said John Fulcher, senior manager,

The Price of Power

by Nigel Calder, Posted June 17, 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 desperate need of

Prop Wash

by Nigel Calder, Posted May 17, 2010
In the April edition of Ask Sail, Nigel Calder asked readers to share ideas on how best to keep their props clean. The Q and A from the magazine sparked a discussion with readers chiming in from all corners of the country. Here are some of their ideas:Q: What do you recommend for keeping barnacles from growing on my prop, strut and shaft? For years, I've used metal
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