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

Can Pump N Seal be used to suck air out of a varnish can to stop it from skimming over?

Ask Sail: Wax-on Poly Paint

by Don Casey, Posted December 17, 2012
I have built a 33ft Kelsall-designed catamaran with vacuum-bagged cored composite panels. I finished the exterior with International’s two-part Perfection polyurethane paint (in white)...

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.

Ask Sail: Deck Freshener

by Don Casey, Posted November 1, 2012
My yacht is 20 years old, and the antiskid is looking poor. Is there anything wrong with cleaning the deck, wiping it down with acetone and brushing flowcoat (waxed gelcoat) on to the antiskid?

Ask Sail: Centerboard Corrosion

by Don Casey, Posted September 27, 2012
After I fix the pin and remove the rust, what product do you recommend to protect the steel before I reinstall the board? The boat is sailed in both fresh and salt water, and is stored on its trailer.
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.
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