Maintenance

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.
One day I discovered the romantically named Belt Tension Jack. Suddenly belt tensioning not only lost all its emotional tension, it even acquired a certain elegance.

Mounting Overheads

by Joe Kogan, Posted February 11, 2013
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, many sailboats were finished with foam-backed vinyl headliners glued directly to the underside of the deck and coachroof molding. If you own such a boat, you’re likely to be well acquainted with the problem of the headliner coming adrift as the glue and foam interface breaks down.
Is your boat set to launch? It’s all too easy to overlook things in the spring rush. This checklist should jog your memory.

Project: Tool rack

by Sail Staff, Posted March 11, 2009
When something on board needs to be fixed, one of my secret weapons for getting the job done correctly is having—and being able to locate—the right tools for the job. Over the years I’ve accumulated hundreds of tools appropriate for any conceivable problem. The problem is how to stow them in an organized way. The tools I use most often need to be within easy reach; the rest

A New Cabin Sole

by David Popken, Posted April 14, 2011
The first time I stepped down a sailboat’s companionway I was overwhelmed by the beauty and abundance of the wood I found below. As a result, I knew one thing I wanted for sure when searching for my first sailboat was a teak-and-holly cabin sole. In the end, I found what I wanted, but the teak and holly was veneer over plywood. It was in less than perfect condition, but having

Learning to Do It Yourself

by Dean Abramson, Posted January 10, 2013
I never used to read how-to articles in sailing magazines. They were too daunting. I might want to build a thingie or fix a whatnot, but a few paragraphs in, I would learn that success was possible only if certain conditions were met.
Bilge pumps live in a hostile environment. On most boats they sit in at least a little saltwater and are expected to uncomplainingly pump water that may be contaminated with all sorts of detritus.

Deck makeover

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 12, 2009
As part of the refit of our project boat, Ostara, a 1973 Norlin 34, I decided to scrap its vintage hydraulic system for tensioning the backstay, boomvang, and babystay, along with the control panel in the cockpit. In its new role as a coastal cruiser and occasional racer, the boat had no need for such powerful trimming gear or for hoses full of hydraulic oil leading

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
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