Systems+Engines

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I was reading “Seeing the Light” (May 2014) about solar power on a budget, and it got me thinking about a similar problem I’ll be facing soon. This summer I will be moving my boat to a dock where there is no shore power for my battery charger.
when first pushing the start button, I sometimes get no response. Releasing and pushing the button a couple of times finally engages the starter.
I own a 1987 Catalina 27 with a Universal M18 diesel engine. I’ve had the boat for just over two years, but because the hour meter is broken, I don’t know how many hours are on the engine.

Ask Sail: Zinc-Air Batteries

by Gordon West, Posted February 14, 2013
I am racing an ultralight sailboat in a three-day regatta. I am counting every ounce that comes on board, and a conventional wet-cell or AGM battery will put me over my weight limit. Is there any new battery technology I can use?
I have a Soverel with a small diesel engine that has sat idle for a couple of years without fuel stabilizer. The engine starts, but runs rough. There is also no discharge from the exhaust line.

Ask Sail: Dueling Sensors

by Gordon West, Posted October 30, 2012
I am an avid weather watcher, and I’ve found some extra uses for my wireless temperature sensors. I’ve got one in the reefer, one near the engine and one to monitor the air conditioning.

Ask Sail: No-Go Engine

by Nigel Calder, Posted October 1, 2012
My Catalina 40 has a Westerbeke 42B diesel engine with less than 800 hours. After a head-gasket repair, the engine was put back into the boat...

Isolated Prop Shaft

by Nigel Calder, Posted August 25, 2012
Ask Sail: I have installed a shaft-saver coupling on the prop shaft on my sailboat and have realized the shaft is now isolated from the ground. Is this a good thing, or should I put a grounding strap on the coupling?

To Freewheel or Not

by Nigel Calder, Posted June 12, 2012
I sail an S2 8.7 with a Yanmar 2GM engine. When sailing, should the prop be locked or should I let it freewheel? If I should lock it, is it better to put the transmission in forward or reverse?

Ask Sail: Voltage Drop

by Nigel Calder, Posted March 14, 2012
When I turned on my recently installed chartplotter, I got a “low voltage” message. Using a digital voltmeter, I measured 9.7 volts at the circuit breaker on the load side. Voltage on the battery side was 12.5 volts. 
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