Upgrades

Bilge Pump Renewal

by Peter Nielsen, Posted January 27, 2010
Before I laid the boat up, I had to replace a bilge pump that had mysteriously stopped working. This was a secondary pump, serving to keep the water out of a poorly drained part of the hull forward of the mast step. It was a good opportunity for a quick photo tutorial on connecting 12-volt wires together. Yes, this sounds remedial, but I have seen enough botched jobs on boats to know that you
As part of the gradual replacement of outdated systems on our Norlin 34 project boat, it was time to look at communications. As any radio manufacturer will tell you, the problem with VHF radios is twofold: they are inherently reliable, thus tend to be a long way down the list of essential upgrades for owners of older boats. As long as you can use Channel 16 in an emergency or call your launch

Backstay Tensioner

by Peter Nielsen, Posted January 27, 2010
Easy Upgrades: #1 of a seriesEvery fractionally rigged boat will have (or should have) a means of adjusting backstay tension. Its main purpose is to flatten and depower the mainsail in stronger winds, putting off the time at which a reef will be required. Because very few masthead-rigged boats are provided with backstay adjusters, cruising sailors regard them with the

Power from the Sun

by Ralph Naranjo, Posted August 24, 2011
In 1982, I mounted four ARCO Solar M-55 monocrystalline panels to a stainless steel frame above the dodger on my Ericson 41 sloop, Wind Shadow. On sunny days during the hours closest to noon, my amp meter indicated an 8 to 10 amp charge. Before and after the midday feast, the flow tapered to 2 to 6 amps.

Keeping the Sea Out

by Peter Nielsen, Posted January 28, 2010
Out of sight, out of mind…That adage is so old it creaks, but that doesn’t make it any less true. It was especially true of the cockpit drain hoses and gate valves on our 34ft project boat. Back when we acquired the boat, the surveyor looked at the ancient hoses and corroded gate valves in horror and suggested that we replace them “before long.” Three years later, “before long” still hadn’t

Take the Load Off

by Peter Nielsen, Posted September 27, 2011
For several years we sailed our 34ft sloop without feeling the need for a windlass. The weight of the ground tackle—a 22-pound Delta anchor, 70 feet of 5/16in hi-test chain and 200 feet of nylon rode—was seldom an issue in the shallow anchorages we tend to frequent. But I’ve been involved in enough anchoring dramas to know that for more ambitious cruising, an electric windlass

Cockpit Makeover

by Roger Marshall, Posted May 13, 2010
When my oldest son, David, told me about the J/24 he had just bought I had a pretty good idea what was coming next. “Dad, I’ve bought a J/24. It needs a lot of work, but the price was right.”“What are you going to do with it?” I asked.“Race it, eventually. Here’s what needs to be done,” he said and pulled out a two-page list of repairs and upgrades he wanted to make on the boat.

Warm and Snug

by David Schmidt, Posted December 2, 2011
A look at onboard heating options for every sailor, and every budget

Shedding Light on LEDs

by Sail Staff, Posted March 28, 2007
More stories on LED lights from BoatWorks magazine. Let There Be LightThink you need a bigger battery to run the lights on your boat? Changing to LEDs could lower your power consumption and mean that you never have to buy another light bulb.LED Lowdown

Cockpit Control

by Peter Nielsen, Posted July 29, 2010
If you are one of the many thousands of sailors who own a boat built before lines-led-aft became ubiquitous, and you want to be able to sail your boat without leaving the cockpit, leading halyards and reefing lines aft can be a relatively easy upgrade
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