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

Ask Sail: Another boater we know treated his prop and shaft with a zinc spray paint (93 percent zinc) that he bought at Home Depot for $10. The zinc spray sounds like a good deal, but before using it I want to know if there is any downside?

Slipping and Sliding

by Don Casey, Posted June 13, 2012
Will adding a flattening agent to a glossy two-part topside paint make it much less slippery? I would prefer not to add an abrasive antiskid medium to the paint.

Freshwater Engine Flush

by Don Casey, Posted June 12, 2012
As warm-water sailors, we do not winterize our boat. However, we do store it out of the water for hurricane season, and as part of our decommissioning procedure we run the engine on the hard to pass fresh water through the raw-water circuit and flush out salt and guard against corrosion.
Thanks to a number of maintenance errors made by its previous owner, my sailboat smells of diesel fuel. I have cleaned the bilge and corrected the maintenance issues, but the smell still lingers. What do you recommend to get rid of it?

Know Your Rudder

by Don Casey, Posted April 10, 2012
After hull integrity, rudder integrity is the most vital component of a seaworthy vessel, yet most sailors pay more attention to LED lighting or smartphone apps than they do to their boat’s rudder. Before you shrug off rudder failure as a remote concern, consider that the incidence of mid-ocean rudder failures is close to 1 percent.
I have to replace my depthsounder. The plastic nut that holds the old transducer in place was set in the hull with adhesive. The new transducer will not fit the old nut, which has proven very difficult to remove.

Ask Sail: A Warped Fixer-Upper

by Don Casey, Posted February 1, 2012
A recent survey states that a 41-foot Morgon Out Island I am considering buying has hull deflections.  These were discovered when the boat was hauled.  Should I be concerned?

Flying Free

by Don Casey, Posted November 15, 2011
On our Allied Seawind ketch we fly the national ensign from our mizzen topping lift, rather than flying it from a short staff on the rail under the mizzen boom where it would be at odds with the mizzen sheet.

A Head Start

by Don Casey, Posted September 27, 2011
When your boat spends the winter on the hard, relaunching in the spring will go easier, and perhaps happen sooner, if you tackle a few of your pre-launch tasks during the fall and winter months. Some of these are jobs you might otherwise neglect or skip in the rush to launch. And the nice part is you get to mess about doing boat things during the off-season.

Epoxy in Water Tanks

by Don Casey, Posted August 24, 2011
Bob Meier of Mount Vernon, Ohio, asks:"I need to repair an 80-gal fiberglass water tank that is leaking. What food-grade material would you recommend for this purpose? I’d like to use an inert substance that will seal the tank and reinforce the weak area without contaminating my drinking water."Don Casey replies:There are plenty of food-grade
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