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

Get clear steering

by Don Casey, Posted April 15, 2009
I’ve seen it happen many times. A boat turns in to the channel between two piers at a marina but then begins to veer off line. The skipper makes a small steering adjustment, followed by a larger one, and then he realizes that the wheel is no longer connected to the rudder. What comes next is often not pleasant, and it is why you need to check your steering system at least once a

Stripped for action

by Don Casey, Posted April 15, 2009
Dave Storch, of Long Beach, California, asks:"The former owner of my Ericson 39 installed a teak cabin sole with grooves for holly strips. The strips were never installed, and the sole was never sealed or finished. It remains unfinished, but now has a number of stains in the teak, including engine oil that escaped when the engine was removed to replace the transmission.

Leaking Lexan

by Don Casey, Posted March 11, 2009
Bob Eischen of Toledo, Ohio asks:"The metal and Lexan hatches on our Slocum cutter are leaking. I’ve tried a BoatLife sealant and 3M’s 4200, but without success. What kind of sealant will stop the leaks?"Don Casey replies: BoatLife shouldn’t be used with Lexan because the polysulfide and solvents it contains will leach out the plasticizers

Daisy chain

by Don Casey, Posted January 20, 2009
Howard Lennox of Lexington Park, Maryland, asks:"I'd like to know how to inspect (for corrosion) a chainplate that is encapsulated inside a bulkhead. Are there any nondestructive tests I can perform to determine a chainplate's condition without having to cut into the bulkhead?"Don Casey replies:When a through-the-deck chainplate begins to

Cool Stuff

by Don Casey, Posted December 15, 2008
Henry Reents of Boise, Idaho, asks:"The box of our top-loading refrigerator has a large lower compartment that is separated from the main upper section by a three-piece plastic shelf. We don’t use the lower compartment very much. Would our compressor run less if we put large blocks of foam in that lower space? This would reduce the size of the refrigerator box by about a

Fittings out

by Don Casey, Posted December 4, 2008
Mike Hatch, of Trinidad, West Indies, asks:"My 36-year-old Pearson 390 has bronze through-hull fittings, which are starting to have a lot of surface corrosion. What’s the best way to keep them clean and bright?"Don Casey replies: Normally bronze seacocks and through-hulls turn green because the valves are weeping. If this is the case, you

All Hands on Deck

by Don Casey, Posted December 3, 2008
I’ve been looking to replace the anti-skid decking on my Etap 30, which has panels that are glued into shaped recesses molded into the deck. Anti-skid paint doesn’t work very well. A photo in your article on making handrail covers (December 2007) showed your deck with an interesting looking anti-skid material. It could be the answer to my problem. Could you give me the name of the product and

All Ground Up

by Don Casey, Posted November 21, 2008
"I am repairing an older 19-foot daysailer that has a slow but persistent drip from the bottom of the keel; the drip comes from an area about 6 inches square. The ballast is 400 pounds of iron, encapsulated in the fiberglass shell that is part of the outer hull. When I ground down the laminate, I could see that some of it had delaminated.I ground the surface as smooth as possible and

Cedar Ceiling

by Don Casey, Posted October 20, 2008
"I’ve taken out the cabin liner on my 1984 Beneteau 35 and have wire-brushed the glass surface underneath and painted it with EZPoxy. I now want to line the side walls with cedar paneling. How would you prep the painted glass surface, and what adhesive do you recommend?"-- Charlie Wetherill , Bayfield, WisconsinDon Casey replies : Many lockers that contain

Nets Work

by Don Casey, Posted August 21, 2008
Providing proper stowage for clothing often seems to be way down the priority list on a cruising boat; most cruisers give a higher priority to stowing food, spare parts, and tools. But what happens to your clothes if there is no closet, dresser, or even a single drawer for them to occupy? Often they wind up in a locker with a front-opening door and lie there, loose on the shelf. While you may
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