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

Window Goop

by Don Casey, Posted April 14, 2011
Tobby Litaker of Charleston, South Carolina, asks:"What’s the best sealant to use when reinstalling windows?"Don Casey replies:If you are talking about plastic windows, do not use polysulfide sealants, because the solvents they contain will cause the plastic to harden and crack. The adhesion of polyurethane sealants is compromised by the

To Varnish or Not?

by Don Casey, Posted April 13, 2011
Dorothy Parker once famously remarked: “I hate writing; I love having written.” I feel the same way about varnishing. Nothing flatters a boat more than the glow of well-varnished wood, but to bask in that glow, someone must suffer through the process of preparing the wood and applying the varnish.Almost all woods other than teak will weather and eventually rot if not

A Dented Hull

by Don Casey, Posted March 8, 2011
Mark Neinast of Plano, Texas, asks:"I am restoring a 1970 Santana 21 and have noticed that the starboard side of the hull is indented around the trailer bunk. Can I jack up the boat, push out the hull (hoping it springs back into place), then strengthen the inside of the hull with epoxy?"Don Casey replies: You need to know if the hull is

Soggy Screw-Hole Saga

by Don Casey, Posted January 25, 2011
Harold Simpson of Dallas, Texas, asks:"I was replacing the solar fan mounted in the front hatch of my 1987 Hunter 23, and when I removed the hinge screws, I found clear water in the screw holes in the cabintop. I also recently developed a leak in the cabin roof, which appears to be coming through the mounting screws of a block on the port side of the mast. The water is

Keel Bolt Anxiety

by Don Casey, Posted January 25, 2011
Doug Nicholson of Seattle, Washington, asks:"My 5-year-old, 37-foot sailboat has mild steel keel bolts, nuts, washers and channel spacers securing a cast iron keel. The bolts, nuts, etc. are all quite rusted. The shallow bilge has not been kept dry, and they’ve been sitting in water for some time. How worried should I be? My surveyor suggested I just “knock off all the

Ground Round

by Don Casey, Posted December 14, 2010
Lee Andrews of East Hampton, New York, asks: "I’ve had electrolysis issues on my Tartan 3800, so I’ve installed a galvanic isolator, I deploy a zinc grouper whenever I’m in a slip, and I use shore power only when I have to. When I hauled out last fall I could see my shaft zincs were far less corroded than in previous years, but paint continues to pop off my lead keel in

Rusty Water

by Don Casey, Posted December 13, 2010
Rick Conner of Panama City, Florida, asks:"I made the mistake of filling my water tanks without first filtering the water. Normally I put a filter on the end of the hose, but this time I didn’t. Because the town water pipes are fairly old, I’m thinking perhaps some rust might have gotten into my tanks. Is there a way to get rid of the orange-colored water now coming out of

Tracking Trickles

by Don Casey, Posted November 23, 2010
Finding a big leak is relatively easy, but a small one can be a major challenge because a boat’s interior is a bit like a room in a funhouse, where water flow often seems to defy gravity. A trickle in the cabin, for example, may be coming from a leak in the deck half a boat length away. Conventional search techniques include 1) flooding the deck by sections with a hose, and 2) building a dike of

GroupThink

by Don Casey, Posted October 21, 2010
John Green of Kemah, Texas, asks:"Many sailboats in my marina have “grouper” or “guppy” anodes that dangle in the water on a wire clamped to a shroud or backstay. I’ve asked a number of owners why they are doing this, and their answers range from grounding the standing rigging, to preventing galvanic corrosion of the rigging, to helping lightning find a route to the water

Chain Gang

by Don Casey, Posted September 21, 2010
Mark Gagyi of Vermilion, Ohio, asks:"Last year I converted from a manual to an electric windlass and replaced the rode. Now I wish I had more chain. Is it is safe to weld some more chain on to what I now have?"Don Casey replies:The answer is no and the reason is that the welds in every link of an anchor chain must be stronger than the rod
  • facebook
  • twitter