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

Anchor Watch

by Don Casey, Posted August 21, 2008
A serious cruising boat should carry at least three different anchors on board, and one should be better than the other two for a particular type of bottom. I'm not a great fan of anchor-sizing formulas; if your boat is heavier or has more windage than an average boat of similar length, you'll usually need a bigger anchor than the one recommended by any simple formula. Remember, too, that

Big piece or small?

by Don Casey, Posted July 22, 2008
"Many books on fiberglass repair, including one of yours, have drawings showing how to lay up cloth and mat over a tapered repair area, like a hole. The repair always begins with a small piece of cloth at the bottom, and as the layup continues, the pieces get larger. This makes sense to me, because a layup schedule doesn’t depend on just one interface bonding. Going from smaller to larger would

Finishing touch

by Don Casey, Posted June 23, 2008
"Our boat was built in the Far East, and the interior has a beautiful lacquer finish. I have a photograph of a worker brushing on the lacquer, and I can see he is using a 1-inch brush. I’ve tried a thick brush, a thin brush, short strokes and long strokes, and I can’t get a finish that looks like the original. Any suggestions?"-- Duane Ericson, Oceanside,

Tanks two

by Don Casey, Posted June 23, 2008
"Our Hunter 34 has a 25-gallon fuel tank. We’d like to add a 20-gallon tank so we won’t have to carry jerry cans on deck. I estimate the two tanks will be about a foot apart. What is the best way to hook up the second tank so air can’t get in the fuel line? I’d like to avoid having to pump fuel from the new tank into the old one when it gets low. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough room to install

Go for the green wire

by Don Casey, Posted June 18, 2008
"I’m rewiring my Cal 2-27 and have reviewed the advice given by Don Casey in his Sailboat Maintenance Manual. He mentions grounding the green wire of an AC system to the engine’s ground terminal, but I’m not sure where to put the green wire on my engine, an outboard with an electric starter and a 6-amp alternator. Do I even need one if I install ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)

Stanchion safety

by Don Casey, Posted February 7, 2006
Stanchion Safety (January 2006)When 200 pounds of force is applied to the top of a 30-inch stanchion, as much as 3 tons of pull can be exerted on the stanchion's base. That is more than enough to rip poorly mounted bolts up through the deck. Make sure all stanchion bases have oversized metal backing plates (not just shoulder washers), and check all the bases periodically for
This month: Hurricane precautions, anchor handlingHurricane PrepPlanning shoreside precautions Hurricane-force winds (over 64 knots, or 74 mph) and the resulting storm surge are serious business. If your boat is in an area that might see hurricane conditions, you need to know what action to take. If possible, get the boat out of the water and remove
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