A survey of the boat in question immediately after an electrician—and I use the term advisedly—had installed a battery charger, I got to the battery compartment and was faced with the snake’s nest you see here...

Smart Regulators and Happy Engines

by Sail Staff, Posted August 16, 2011
A smart regulator can boost your alternator’s charging performance, which means you don’t need to run your engine as long to keep your batteries happy. Sterling Marine Power’s ProRegD digital alternator regulator can be tailored to your battery type—flooded, gel, or AGM—to ensure the most efficient four-step charging schedule. It assesses battery bank size, state of charge and current output, and

Hybrid Power Keeps Going

by Joseph Huberman, Posted March 20, 2006
The diesel-electric hybrid as an auxiliary power source for sailboats has moved from the laboratory into the water. Though still in early development, it has advantages including fuel efficiency, ease of handling, responsive motor control, low sound levels, immediate-use capability, and, on some systems, power regeneration.I have a Solomon Technologies motor and a Glacier

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
"Can you give me some ideas on what might cause excessive white smoke in the exhaust of a 2-year-old Yanmar diesel?" Nigel Calder replies.

Tank Math: Full or Empty?

by Steve Henkind, Posted February 21, 2008
In the "Know-How" section of the March issue, Steven J. Henkind wrote about how fuel gauges operate and how you can prevent fuel-gauge errors. Here's the mathematical formula he discussed in the story.   You can also calculate the amount of fuel in a tank mathematically. For a rectangular tank, the calculation is easy: the overall volume of the tank = Length x Width x Height; if the

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
Fifteen years of sailing around the English Channel, North Sea, Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean taught me many things, not the least of which was the importance of good ground tackle and a means to handle it.

Make A Portable Pump

by Paul Esterle, Posted August 20, 2008
The cockpit lockers on my 20-foot trailersailer leak because the lid destroys any seal that is attached to it. I’ve resigned myself to needing a waterproof container for anything I store there, but I still have to deal with the water that has leaked in. My solution was to attach a small electric bilgepump (with a hose) to a handle. I used 1/8" by 1" aluminum bar stock, which is easy to

Easy controls

by Peter Nielsen, Posted July 22, 2009
The twin-lever engine control on our Norlin 34, Ostara, had been annoying me for as long as we’d had the boat. The detent was so worn that it was sometimes not possible to tell if you were in neutral or reverse gear. More than once I had been alerted by yells from the neighboring boats as Ostara sidled crablike around her mooring, pulled by the prop walk of
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