Don't Trash that Old Garmin 48 GPS!

April 13, 2010

I was rummaging around the dead letter office at Practical Sailor and came across this bit of advice tucked away in our old Mailport files. Knowing that many Practical Sailor readers, like me, are quite content with a set of charts and a basic GPS showing position, course and speed data, I thought it would be a good idea to resurrect this handy tip. Hopefully, it reaches you before that ye ol’ Garmin gets chucked out during some overzealous spring cleaning.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 09:40AM Comments (7)

Google Sky Map for Sailors

April 5, 2010

My brother-in-law showed up for an Easter weekend reunion with his new Android phone and a cool little app that I wish I had when we were cruising the Pacific: Google Sky Map. I’m not sure whether a similar product is available for the iPhone, but I imagine it is. Practical Sailor recently profiled a number of navigation apps for the iPhone in our April 2010 issue.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 09:49AM Comments (0)

Tips on Preventing Mildew Growth on Boats and Sails

March 29, 2010

I’ve been growing several interesting varieties of mold and mildew at home. It is glamorous work, I know. While my wife, Theresa, disagrees, I know that you understand. This Practical Sailor project led me to our last test of mildew cleaners, and some helpful tips for keeping mildew at bay.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 10:13AM Comments (3)

Fast Cats on the Horizon

March 24, 2010

In the wake of last year’s article on performance-oriented monohulls, readers requested more coverage of multihulls. That report will be in the May issue, but for those West Coast Florida readers who can’t wait that long, you might want to head down to Bokeelia, Fla. , where Ben Hall of Hall Spars is hosting the Admiral’s Cup, an event for A-Cats, an exciting open class of small catamarans
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 10:50AM Comments (0)

Parker Fuel-Polishing Module

March 16, 2010

This new fuel polishing system from Parker, parent company of the well-known Racor brand fuel filters, is definitely worth looking into if you plan on doing some long-term cruising.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 02:21PM Comments (3)

Traditional Sailboats: Bewitched by Some Sharp-looking Sharpies

March 3, 2010

I was scouting locations for a video Tuesday down at Historic Spanish Point near our offices, when I was magnetically drawn to the hard-chine sharpies gracing the waterfront.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 03:13PM Comments (0)

Gear Graveyard: Expired EPIRB Batteries, Obsolete EPIRBS

February 26, 2010

We received the letter below yesterday from Practical Sailor reader Arnold Rowe. He was kind enough to let us share it (with some minor edits of his well-expressed and understandable ire), with the hopes of raising awareness of the limited service life of 406 EPIRBs. Having had a similar experience years ago with the torpedo-sized RLB23 (which set me back more than a $1,000 in the ’90s) I can sympathize. The now obsolete RLB23 is officially consigned to Practical Sailor’s Gear Graveyard, and I expect a series of other newly obsolete EPIRBs to join it.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 04:18PM Comments (1)

Cobra Handheld VHF with Cell Phone Capabilities

February 16, 2010

Cobra has been coming out with some interesting radio products at fairly affordable prices. We’ve tested several of their products in recent years, and although they didn’t always come out on top, they’ve been very competitively priced. Their $100 submersible HH325, Practical Sailor’s top pick in our test of budget-priced submersible VHFs and fixed mount radios, has held up well in long-term testing. Another Cobra handheld, priced at about $150, compared closely with the higher-end portable VHFs.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 04:46PM Comments (0)

Synthetic Standing Rigging from Colligo

February 15, 2010

Posted by at 12:47PM Comments (0)

Power-Assist Winch Grinding from WinchRite

February 15, 2010

I’ve seen several attempts to convert existing battery-operated power tools into power winches, and readers have suggested a few of them in the Mailport section of Practical Sailor. Not surprisingly, it is a popular topic with our long-term subscribers. Many of you have been with us for more than 30 years (amen!), and the years of winch grinding are inevitably taking their toll on wrists, elbows, and shoulders.
Posted by Admin at 03:29PM Comments (3)

PS First Look: Selden's Code X Furler

February 15, 2010

In Practical Sailor’s last review of Code 0 furlers, in the March 2008 issue, testers found many benefits to incorporating light-air sails in a sailplan and to using a continuous furler rather than a sock to control some of those sails.
Posted by Admin at 10:44AM Comments (0)

First Look at Interlux's latest marine coatings

February 15, 2010

As Practical Sailor reported in the one-year update for our long-term wood finishes test in the December issue, Interlux Yacht Paints recently released three new exterior varnishes: Perfection Plus, a clear two-part polyurethane; Schooner Gold, a high-viscosity, quick-building varnish; and Compass, a fast-drying hybrid of classic tung oil and polyurethane.
Posted by Admin at 04:51PM Comments (0)

Marine Electronics

February 14, 2010

Posted by at 04:28PM Comments (0)

Superwind 350 Wind-gen Upgrades

February 14, 2010

The Superwind 350 was Practical Sailor’s top pick of the five wind-generators we reviewed in the July 2007 issue and it was named to PS’s 2007 Gear of the Year list. Since that test, the Superwind’s manufacturer has made some improvements in the unit’s design and function, including the new carbon-fiber Silent Power Blades.
Posted by Admin at 04:48PM Comments (1)

West Marine's Top Picks for 2010

February 14, 2010

Practical Sailor hasn’t tested any of these products yet, but we’ve evaluated plenty of Harken gear, a variety of gadgets from Blue Sea Systems, and various apparel from West Marine in the past.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 04:34PM Comments (0)

Reader Questionnaire

Which of the following best describes your approach to bottom paint?