Maintenance

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.

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

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.

Blister repair

by Rosie Burr, Posted April 15, 2009
We know that every other year our annual haulout will involve a little more than just sanding and painting the bottom of Alianna, our 1983 Corbin 39. While some might call our problem osmosis, we like to say that we just have a few blisters. Simeon and I knew there might be blister problems when we bought the boat five years ago, but we didn’t have time to wait for the hull to dry out so we could
For a number of years, I used a piece of 2x4 screwed to the side of the garden shed as a mount for my 3.5hp Tohatsu outboard. It would perch happily thereon while I dangled its nether regions in a cooling tub of fresh water, sputtering and burbling away as the salt got rinsed from its innards.   This year, I decided something more sophisticated was in order for my faithful motor. I wanted a

Boatyard Zen

by Don Casey, Posted February 28, 2013
Waiting for the spring as your boat sits on the hard may not seem the best time to improve your seamanship, but a boat truly at rest does provide an ideal environment for enlightenment through contemplation.

Get clear steering

by Don Casey, Posted April 15, 2009
I’ve seen it happen many times. A boat turns in to the channel between two piers at a marina but then begins to veer off line. The skipper makes a small steering adjustment, followed by a larger one, and then he realizes that the wheel is no longer connected to the rudder. What comes next is often not pleasant, and it is why you need to check your steering system at least once a
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