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

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.

Two speed propeller

by Nigel Calder, Posted May 18, 2009
Black clouds bearing cold rain showers are racing across the sky. The VHF radio is broadcasting gale warnings. This is not the day to be testing propellers, but nevertheless we are headed out of a marina near Aarhus, in Denmark, on a Bavaria 42 equipped with a Gori three-bladed folding propeller.The three- and four-bladed Goris are unique in the propeller world. They look much like any

Ask Sail: Straight and True

by Don Casey, Posted December 2, 2012
Before I re-launch the boat should I also have the shop check and true the transmission output shaft to its flange? This is a lot more work, but I’m prepared to do it to get things lined up properly.

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
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