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.

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

Boatworks:The Dodger Project

by Andrew Howe, Posted January 21, 2015
Arguably, there are few items on a cruising boat more oriented to your sailing comfort than a dodger, especially in Maine, where cold water rules. Bashing to windward, pushing to get somewhere in a cold downpour or just keeping the crew happy, the dodger plays a major role.

The forgotten details

by Nigel Calder, Posted April 15, 2009
I often hear from people who, after years of preparation, have set out on their first ocean crossing with a high degree of confidence in their boats. Then something really disconcerting happens—say, the propeller shaft disappears out of the back of the boat. It’s quite a confidence shaker. I’ve heard enough of these stories to be able to identify several easily prevented but potentially
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
After replacing our cadet-gray Sunbrella twice and replacing zippers and restitching countless times in our first six years cruising, we decided there had to be a better, more cost-effective way to maintain our cockpit canvas.
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