Systems+Engines

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

Let there be water

by Peter Nielsen, Posted December 22, 2008
Of all the upgrades you can lavish on an older boat, few will give you more bang for your buck than a complete overhaul of the fresh-water plumbing system. An improvement in water quality should be immediately apparent; any of the new breed of water pumps will be quieter and less power-hungry than their predecessors, and with a little planning, you can make your boat much more user-friendly both
As a marine electrician I’ve found that in-line fuse holders are the most common cause of problems I encounter with modern electronics equipment. Quality marine electronics are generally very reliable, as long as their electrical connections are sound and there is no voltage drop in the ship’s power supply. Unfortunately, all electronic devices come from the factory with in-line fuse holders on

In hot water

by Peter Nielsen, Posted February 16, 2009
ChecklistTools
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches
  • Cordless drill
  • Tube cutter
  • Materials
  • Water heater
  • 5/8" heavy-duty water hose
  • NPT fittings
  • Fasteners, as needed
  • After upgrading the mostly original fresh-water plumbing system on our 1973 Norlin 34 project boat with new hoses,

    Outboard rebuild

    by Sail Staff, Posted February 16, 2009
    ChecklistTools
  • Basic tool kit
  • Wrenches and sockets (metric if you’re working on a European or Japanese engine)
  • Screwdrivers
  • Propane blowtorch
  • Rubber mallet
  • Hammer
  • Razor blade
  • Pliers
  • Vise-Grips
  • Vise
  • 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • Brush for applying grease and lubricating
  • Impeller Etiquette

    by Peter Nielsen, Posted November 16, 2011
    Get to grips with an often over-looked but vital part of an engine cooling system in this step by step procedure

    AIS for Sailors

    by Peter Nielsen, Posted May 7, 2009
    Any sailor who has made extended passages along coastlines or across oceans has had at least a few close callswith big ships whose course and intentions can be difficult to discern until the last minute. The introduction of AIS (Automatic Identification System) has taken a lot of the guesswork (not to mention terror) out of these close-quarters situations. For just a
    Of all the things that scare boat owners the most, sinking is probably at the top of the list. But fire is no less of a threat. Indeed, a fire, even if you manage to put it out, can easily lead to a sinking.

    Wi-Fi for Sailors

    by David W. Shaw, Posted May 8, 2009
    The term Wi-Fi gets bandied about plenty these days. After all, you probably use it to obtain high-speed Internet access at work, in airports and hotels, or at home, and you’ve probably used it on your boat, likely with varying degrees of success. Built-in Wi-Fi hardware in laptops, or PC Wi-Fi-card adapters (802.11 cards), such as those from Linksys, work fine if you’re close
    Installing a bow thruster is not an inexpensive upgrade, so it pays to do your homework before deciding on a type and make. The problem is that there are so many types of thrusters to choose from.
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