by Don Casey

Contributing editor Don Casey is the author of several books on boat maintenance, including This Old Boat, published by International Marine/McGraw-Hill

I'm trying to figure out why my paddlewheel knot log is registering incorrectly. The plug is clean, and the wheel turns freely. Yesterday my GPS showed my speed over the ground was 5 to 7 knots, and the speedo registered 0 to 0.8 knot. It does this periodically to irritate me.  
I have a 2006 Najad 440 center-cockpit sloop with a 75hp Volvo saildrive. Last summer I kept the boat at a marina in Harpswell, Maine, and as the season progressed, I noticed it was slower under power. When I hauled her in the fall, the bottom was clean as a whistle (thanks to Sea Hawk AF-33 paint), but the bronze propeller blades and hub were completely covered with barnacles. I would like to put antifouling paint on the propeller. I’ve researched the topic, but have found no definitive answers as to whether it’s a good idea.

DIY Storm Damage Repairs

by Don Casey, Posted July 1, 2013
The after effects of Hurricane Sandy are still being felt here in the Northeast in that competent fiberglass repairmen are all booked up with jobs through the upcoming boating season. Many boatowners have therefore been forced to contemplate repairing their storm-damaged boats themselves.
We thought it would be interesting to poll a number of SAIL’s writers to see what marine electronics they actually own and use. Their boats should be bristling with the latest and fanciest gear, right? Well, yes—and no…

Replacing Fixed Portlights

by Don Casey, Posted April 29, 2013
Let’s start with a tip. Kits sold in auto stores for polishing headlamps can also restore the clarity to portlights. If your plastic portlights are cloudy, not crazed, this is where you should start.
The drawers have never been painted before and are made of plywood. What kind of paint should we use?

Ask Sail: Seeing Green

by Don Casey, Posted March 15, 2013
One of the stainless steel chainplates on my Olson 911S is tinted green both above and below deck. The fasteners that bolt the plate to the internal bulkhead do not show the same condition.
Anchoring involves more than dropping a chunk of metal overboard and fastening your boat to it. The best way to improve your technique is through practice, but this can be hard to come by if your boat is often on a mooring or dock.

Boatyard Zen

by Don Casey, Posted February 28, 2013
Waiting for the spring as your boat sits on the hard may not seem the best time to improve your seamanship, but a boat truly at rest does provide an ideal environment for enlightenment through contemplation.
Can Pump N Seal be used to suck air out of a varnish can to stop it from skimming over?
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