Subscribers Only The quality of onboard living suffers when each flush of the head becomes public knowledge within minutes, and a boat that smells bad wont be a part of your family for long. Practical Sailor tested three vent filters for holding tanks, from makers Big Orange, Vetus, and Dometic, and tested one homemade vent filter. When sanitary wastes are allowed to biodegrade in a closed tank, particularly with poor mixing and inadequate oxygen, anaerobic bacteria dominate. These bacteria particles can make a boat unpleasant or unlivable unless they are eliminated or contained. Carbon filters are one solution to the odor problem; they are simple, dependable and absorb a wide variety of odors.
Subscribers Only To create a real-world test, we assembled a series of miniature holding tanks containing sanitary waste generously supplied by a 20-pound, 5-foot pet iguana named Ziggy. This was supplemented with other sanitary waste as needed. Seawater flush was used because saltwater is known to contribute to odor.
The effectiveness of activated carbon comes both from surface activity (a result of activation by partial combustion of coal or woody products) and the vast pore structure formed during this partial combustion. Anything that clogs the pores will dramatically reduce carbon life, potentially ruining it within minutes.
Subscribers Only Although none of the test tanks or the test boats holding tank accumulated solids sufficient to restrict pump-out, we observed significant differences. While vent filters did not increase tank solids beyond what is normal in a poorly ventilated and un-treated tank, some of the subject tanks did better than others.
Subscribers Only When we last reported on bottom paint, several manufacturers were introducing new copper-free paints in response to increased pressure from environmental groups and regulatory agencies. Another key trend is a move toward water-based paints with a low VOC. At this point in our tests, results are mixed with many of our newest paints. A full Value Guide detailing the performance of almost 30 new paints at four months; over 50 hard and ablative paints at 14 months; and close to 20 hard and ablative paints at 30 months is included in this months report. Paints from Blue Water, Epaints, Pettit, Interlux, and Sea Hawk continue to do well. Find out which ones are top rated for racing sailboats, aluminum hulls, cruising boats, and environmental friendliness.
This is the first in a two-part series that examines extensive reports on three sailing accidents. Each capsule summary of the reports is followed by a brief analysis of the US Sailing reports, and our recommendations for sailors. Fourteen-year-old Olivia Constants died last summer when her harness was accidentally hooked in the trapeze and she could not surface after the boat turned turtle. US Sailing made recommendations regarding capsize and recovery training; life jackets; trapeze gear and training; entrapment; electronic communication; language; and crisis, incident, and disaster plans.
The US Sailing report makes seven specific recommendations, several calling for important research into ways to prevent future accidents such as the one that took the life of Olivia Constants.
The galley may be the last place youd expect to see new technologies, but our tour last year aboard the custom Fastwater 52 cat Ice Wars (Inside Practical Sailor, June 2011) introduced us to a new way of onboard cooking. Rather than a standard oven, Ice Wars was outfitted with only an infrared oven that was small enough to stow in a galley cupboard. Intriguedand a little skepticalwe decided to have a go at using one of these new-age cookers to see whether it was a functional and practical galley tool.
This article is the second part of three-part series on marine-related iPad applications. Our first part covered the high-end nav apps, while this one looks at relatively inexpensive or free apps. Over the course of three years in the Great Lakes and Florida, sailors put to the test a dozen applications that convert iPads into portablealthough less robustchartplotters. Testers used each one to carry out a series of navigation tasks, evaluating performance and available features. The third part of the series, which will be in next months issue, will look at weather, tide, and other sailing-relative apps.
Subscribers Only No matter whether aboard a racing dinghy or an ocean-romping supermaxi, repeatedly scooching across a nonskid deck or sitting for long periods on the rail will take its toll on your backside and thighs. Padded, quick-dry sailing shorts can significantly reduce the discomfort. Practical Sailor tested eight pairs of sailing shorts from top sailing-apparel makers, including Camet, Gill, Harken, Helly Hansen, Henri Lloyd, Sailing Angles, and Zhik. We looked at fit, price, construction, abrasion resistance, drying time, features, comfort, and padding.
Letters to Practical Sailor, March 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Durabak Feedback, Inflatable Bottom Paint, US Sailing Reports, and More!
Letters to Practical Sailor, March 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Smart Plug and Forespar.
Do try this at home: Don your favorite inflatable-PFD/ harness and inflate it. Donít waste a gas cartridge; use the oral inflation tube. Wade into the water. A pool is fineómake sure it is still shallow enough to stand. Now, imagine you are underneath an overturned hull and are trying to escape. Try to swim beneath the surface as you might do to get out from under the turtled boat. You donít have to dive deep, the imaginary overturned boat could be as small as a dinghy.
We generally recommend high-grade, three-strand nylon for anchor rodes because of its cost effectiveness and elasticityessential under surging loads. Certainly there are more chafe-resistant lines, but using chafe gear is a more sensible way to prevent rode chafe
Inside Practical Sailor Blog
by Darrell Nicholson with Jonathan Neeves on November 17, 2014
Surprisingly, one of the best chains in our most recent test was one of the generic Chinese chains. This chain showed good strength, and had a thick galvanized coating that showed a high resistance flaking and abrasion. However, the other generic Chinese chain in our test showed appalling performance, so bad, that we believe it is unconscionable for any marine chandler to sell it. And here is the quandary. Weve identified a promising, economically-priced chain, but it is virtually impossible for the average boater to distinguish it from junk.