Subscribers Only Sanitation hoses are specifically designed to contain odorous gases. They are made of very different materials than the many similar-looking hoses used for fuel, coolant, and potable waterand they are not interchangeable. In a home, sewage is contained by rigid metal and PVC pipes, materials that are not practical on a boat. So what are the best hoses to use in an onboard waste system? Practical Sailor tested hoses made of butyl rubber, white vinyl, and polyurethane from Raritan, SeaLand, Shields Marine, and Trident to find. This report covers the test results at the one-year mark.
Subscribers Only While model holding-tank testing allows side-by-side comparisons, theres nothing like on-the-boat testing to sort out practical differences. Our test boat, a PDQ 32, had been plumbed with a mix of low-end vinyl sanitation hose and water exhaust hose; the rubber hose was permeated, cracked, and discolored, and the sanitation hose was permeated to the point of having a thin film of sticky goo that had condensed on the external surface. A textbook case of time showing the weaknesses of poor material selection.
Subscribers Only Before starting most tests, we like to interview the participating manufacturers. Below is a rundown of some advice we gleaned from the waste hose manufacturers.
A sailboat cockpit’s design and layout can determine the process of boat-handling tasks, including everything from steering and sail trimming to what goes on when it’s time to reef. We’ve found that many cockpits are optimized for at-anchor enjoyment instead of underway usability, so boat shopping should include close scrutiny of how essential sailing and boat-handling tasks will be accomplished. Make sure that the cockpit of the boat you are about to buy is in keeping with the mission of the rest of the boat—whether you’re a marina hopper, a club racer, or an offshore cruiser. Our recent survey of cockpits covers the highs and lows of cockpit design for various types of sailboats, and also includes a DIY guide to rating cockpit ergonomics to help your boat-shopping process.
There are two primary reasons why U.S. boat owners are required by law to display the familiar Discharge of Oil Prohibited placards aboard. For one, it serves as a reminder that we all must do our part to help protect the environment. Secondly, it helps enforcement officials because those carrying the placard cant plead ignorance of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
This is the second article in a Practical Sailor series that takes a close look at US Sailing’s recent reports on three tragic sailing accidents last summer. The first article covered US Sailing’s report on the Severn Sailing Association accident involving the drowning death of 14-year-old Olivia Constants in Annapolis, Md. This report focuses on US Sailing’s investigation of the tragedy involving the light-displacement sloop WingNuts, which capsized during the Chicago Yacht Club’s Chicago to Mackinac race. The US Sailing report focused on four key elements that might have been factors in the accident: crew experience, weather, boat design, and safety equipment. Practical Sailor’s own investigation and reporting fills in some gaps in the US Sailing report, particularly regarding safety gear—tethers, harnesses, and PFDS—and its role in the event.
Subscribers Only In 2010, West Marine voluntarily recalled two tether models (SKU #9553512 and #9553504), the same model tethers worn by Mark Morley and Suzanne Bickel the night they died. According to West Marines recall notice on its website: West Marine has discovered that under heavy load, the shackle end may not release.
Subscribers Only The US Sailing report makes several specific recommendations to prevent future accidents such as the one that involved WingNuts, among them:
In the February and March 2012 issues, we looked at navigation software that allows sailors to use the Apple iPad as a functional chartplotting device. With more than 140,000 apps available, there are hundreds more apps suitable for onboard use. Testers tried out more than 400 weather apps, knot-tying apps, several just-for-fun appslike Trip Lingo Pirate Editionand apps for document storage. This report covers more than two dozen of our most used and favorite sailing-related iPad apps.
Subscribers Only Practical Sailor recently tested an updated version of the SeaLand 20 HTS-VRT holding tank reviewed in our November 2011 test, which found the Trionic SP-2020 super premium holding tank to be the Best Choice. For this test followup, SeaLand sent us a tank with the inlet and outlet fittings firmly installed and sealed with pipe sealant, as the maker recommends. (Aftermarket tanks are typically shipped with fittings separate.) The re-test found the revised SeaLand to be leak free, but the Trionic is less expensive and showed less deflection.
Letters to Practical Sailor, April 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Engine Free, Climbers' Tether Fix, Waterproof Fabric, and More!
If you dont have any plans for the last weekend of March and beginning of April, you can still register and attend the Annapolis Safety at Sea seminar, presented by the Marine Trades Association of Maryland and the U.S. Naval Academy. The seminar runs March 31-April 1 and will be held in Alumni Hall at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
Letters to Practical Sailor, April 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: ACR, Raymarine, and LCBS.
In the December 2011 article, Maintaining Stainless Steel, you mention that there are hose-clamp makers that get the stainless-steel combination right, but never shared who those manufacturers might be. Id love to know whos your pick!
There are so many things wrong with this photo, I am not sure where to begin. Theresa, my wife, was steering our weathered 61-year-old ketch toward a tricky pass in the Solomon Islands. The photo is now more than 16 years old, well past the statute of limitation on the offenses described below, so I’m hoping I can fess up without too much shame. (The biggest wrong, I suppose, was that everything seemed just fine to me.)
Inside Practical Sailor Blog
by Darrell Nicholson on July 29, 2014
When going aloft, you can save yourself a lot of worry and hassle by taking a few simple steps: Harnesses: Although not as comfortable as traditional chairs, harnesses bring you closer to the top of the mast and are more secure. Wear long pants and good shoes. Halyards: Use two halyardsone primary, one safety. One should be an external halyard on a ratchet block leading from your harness back to you, so that you can have control over your own safety and ascent/descent. Shackles and winches: Dont rely on snap shackles or self-tailing jaws on winches. To attach the halyard to the harness, use locking screw-pin shackles or a buntline knot, which brings you closer to the masthead sheave than a bowline.