Subscribers Only Beneteaus new Oceanis 41 features a unique hull shape and a new cruising perspective, with a design that focuses on style, comfort, and ease of operation. After sailing the boat, Practical Sailor editors walked away impressed with the wide-body sloop. French naval architects Finot-Conq skillfully distributed the boats volume, placed the rig and foils exactly where they belong and revised the deck layout. A chine-like edge affectionately known as the kinkinterrupts the smooth curve of the topsides. Other new features on the Oceanis 41 include a transformable transom-swim platform and convertible cabin furniture.
Subscribers Only The building process that gives rise to the Beneteau Oceanis 41 begins in France, where digital design files stir a five-axis cutter to life, and 3D foam patterns begin to take shape. These robotically cut male plugs are used to fabricate female molds, often referred to as tools. The hull and deck are the major molds, but there are often 20 or more smaller tools created that are used to mold other interior and exterior componentsranging from locker lids to a plinth for the marine head. All of the tooling for each Beneteau is made in the prototype shop in France and is shipped to factories around the world.
With many of the 38-million-sold iPads winding up on board boats, its no wonder there are hundreds of iPad apps that are well suited for the sailing life. This begins Practical Sailors three-part series on those apps. Part 1 of the series reports on PSs field tests of multiple navigation appsusing raster and vector chartsto see how well they perform and how they compare to traditional navigation software. They review looks at the top performers: iNavX, iPad Navionics, and Charts & Tides.
Subscribers Only Practical Sailor testers looked at a large field of holding tank additives and found that chemical treatments that rely on disinfection, surfactants, and deodorants are better than nothing, but they still left that distinctive public-restroom smell. We also compared eight top-performing additives from a new generation of tank treatments that use enzymes and bacteria cultures to reduce odors. Tests showed that these bio-augmenting treatmentsincluding Odorlos, SeaLand Max Control, Camcos TST Citrus, Thetford Eco-Smart, Nature-Zyme, and Aqua-Kemreduced odors and reduced solids in the tanks, without the port-a-potty smell. We look at the pros and cons of these newer tank treatments, and examine the importance of tank ventilation in reducing odors.
Subscribers Only For a real-world test, we created a series of small but real-world holding tanks containing real sanitary waste. The sanitary waste was supplied by a 20-pound iguana. Ziggy already poops in a tray of water and we know this mixture to be plenty foul. This was supplemented with additional sanitary waste during the start-up period each spring. Seawater flush was used, as the odor problems associated with seawater are known to be more severe, the result of bacteria-reducing sulfate into more odorous sulfide chemicals. Tank tests were supplemented with field testing aboard a test boat on the Chesapeake Bay.
Subscribers Only Before beginning a series of tests, we always involve the manufacturers. They have a wealth of information they are happy to share, in the interest of reducing problems with their products. In general, their advice forms a consensus.
Subscribers Only In our 2002 holding tank test, SeaLand emerged as the winner. The material of choice for holding tanks continues to be rotationally molded linear polyethylene, which is light in weight, doesnt corrode, allows for seamless tank construction, is relatively inexpensive, and wont allow odors to permeate. This new test compares a pre-2009 model SeaLand tank to a new holding tank from Trionic Corp. The holding tank test looked at the tanks construction materials, price, size, valves, inlets, outlets, leaks, inspection ports, vent size, warranty, and performance-based panel deflection. Preventing threaded fittings from leaking was the hardest part of the test.
Subscribers Only A few months ago, we noticed that our dock neighbors were cleaning their decks with spongy-looking nanofiber pads. Ditching a multitude of cleaners for one re-usable sponge was quite appealing, so a test was in order. We pitted the original Mr. Clean Magic Eraser from Proctor & Gamble against the WipeOut Eraser made by Ralph Perez. These rectangular, nanofiber pads resemble sponges but they dont require added cleaner, and both use a unique cleaning action to lift and trap dirt. We used them to clean dirty gelcoat and nonskid, and to tackle the waterline, rust stains, and scuffs on our test boat.
Practical Sailor Chandlery: February 2012. This month reviews include: Sailor Gloves, Plumbers Putty, and more!
Determining how much faster a boat can sail with one paint versus another would be difficult as the prep and application of both paints would have to be identical, as would test conditions, in order to have a fair trial. None of the antifouling manufacturers we spoke with are aware of any documented head-to-head speed tests of paints.
Letters to Practical Sailor, February 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Engine-Free, Titanium, Sabre Solace Twin, and More!
Letters to Practical Sailor, January 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: West Marine/Navico Reps, Raymarine, Garhauer Marine, and More!
Ordinarily, we donít enlist animal subjects for our testing at Practical Sailor, but our report of odor-eating chemicals this month called for special measures. Ziggy the iguana stepped up to the plate, and I can assure you he was well treated throughout the process. I had hoped to feature his photo here so that you might admire his healthy green complexion, but he was a bit camera shy, and I couldnít bring myself to use a photo of just any old iguana.
Inside Practical Sailor Blog
by Darrell Nicholson on October 21, 2014
Based on US Coast Guard statistics, surprisingly few boaters enable the Digital Selective Calling (DSC) function on their VHF radio, or have it operating correctly. From what we are hearing from some marine manufacturers like ICOM, the numbers for marine single-sideband (SSB) marine radiosthe topic of our ongoing series of testsare just as discouraging. It doesn't have to be that way. With a few simple tools and maybe a trip to a Radio Shack, getting your radio (VHF or SSB) DSC-ready can be carried in a single weekend.