Subscribers Only Just about every sailboat owner has at some point mixed up a batch of epoxy to fill a hole, glue parts back together, or tackle an extensive project. Practical Sailor testers evaluated four marine epoxy resins based on their mechanical properties (strength, adhesion, hardness, and flexibility) and key handling attributes such as wet-out, sag, curing, and overall handling. We tested West 105 Epoxy Resin, MAS Flag Resin, Raka UV-inhibited epoxy, and Interluxs Epiglass HT-9000.
Subscribers Only Technical Editor Ralph Naranjo equates spare time with boat projects. His basement shop/test facility has spawned a wide range of boats, boards, and parts for bigger boats. The two latest are test platforms for long-term evaluation of the resins and materials looked at in this round of epoxy evaluation.
Boat buying is an exciting, maddening exercise that can test the tolerance of even the most patient sailor. Most of the maddening part has to do with trying to ferret out a boat’s problems before buying it—and making the problems your own. Hiring a professional marine surveyor can be expensive when you’re looking at multiple boats, so save yourself some money—and potential heartache—by learning how to examine a used sailboat, from stem to stern and mast to bilge. Practical Sailor’s DIY survey how-to details common problem areas (like engines and rigging), what issues are easy to remedy, and what red flags you should walk away from.
Subscribers Only Prompted by several reader queries and our own curiosity, Practical Sailor recently launched a test of an electronic alternative to metal-based bottom paints: the M20, an ultrasonic antifouling device from the Canada-based SmartAntifouling. Electronic antifouling uses ultrasound waves to prevent algae and other organisms from attaching to a boats hull. A transducer, which is mounted on the hull skin inside the boat, emits a high-frequency vibration that creates a micro-thin layer of rapidly moving water blanketing the hull and making it difficult for barnacles and algae to take up residence there. PS installed an M20 on a Florida-based test boat and will be monitoring its performance this season.
In the Practical Sailor August 2010 issues Chandlery, we reported on the installation of a SpeedsealLife kit aboard one of our test boats, a Union 36 sloop powered by a 43-horsepower Beta Marine inboard. An improvement on the original Speedseal (PS, July 15, 2005), the SpeedsealLife is designed to extend the life of a water pump impeller, even in a run-dry situation.
After reading PSs November 2011 report on eco-friendly liquid soaps for onboard bathing, personal-care product maker J.R. Liggett sent us one of his Old-Fashioned Bar Shampoos to try out. Liggett has been making the 3.5-ounce shampoo bar from New Hampshire springwater for 30-plus years. (We reported on his Natural Traveler Kit in the December 2008 issue.)
Subscribers Only The technology behind a marine VHF radio¡¯s basic capabilities has remained relatively stable for the last few years. The primary recent advancements have been in refinements and added features. Purchasing a mid-priced VHF today can get you not only a top-quality transmitter and receiver with Digital Select Calling, but also features ranging from increased radio controls to hailers, auto-fog signals, compass readings, and waypoint navigation. Practical Sailor tested nine mid-price fixed marine VHFs priced between $150 and $270, including radios from Garmin, Icom, Raymarine, Standard Horizon, and West Marine. Testers compared bench-test performance, features, price, and warranty.
Practical Sailor tested and compared the Camet mens Rio sailing shorts to the field of sailing shorts reported on in the March 2012 issue, including the Best Choice Gill mens performance padded shorts. Testers looked at style, price, UV protection, construction, abrasion resistance, dry time, comfort, odor, and pads.
Letters to Practical Sailor, June 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Safety Lessons, USCG Registration Fees, Waterproofing Fabric, and more!
Nine deaths in two separate offshore sailing races originating in California have prompted investigations by US Sailing. The race tragedies follow last summers fatal accident in the 2011 Chicago-Mackinac Race, in which two sailors died, and the near-fatal accident in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet race, which Practical Sailor reported on in the May 2012 issue.
Practical Sailor June 2012 Product Updates
Letters to Practical Sailor, June 2012. This month's letters cover topics such as: Accurate Metalworks Marine and Seldèn
I have been looking at purchasing a Catalina 36 that had an engine oil leak, but first I wanted your opinion. The leaked oil accumulated in the bilge, and, in time, appears to have percolated through the base of the hull on either side of the keel, through the holes in which were mounted the sum/log impeller and the depth transducer. On the underside of the hull, there is a 4-inch dark halo that has impregnated the antifouling around each of these two fittings. I am concerned that the oil will damage the components and bedding seals. Also, the percolating oil has seeped down the keel bolts and darkened the joint where the ballast-keel meets the keel stub.
When PS Technical Editor Ralph Naranjo told me he was interested in doing a report on epoxy, I was thrilled. Ralph ran a boatyard for 10 years on Long Island Sound and is mad about glues and fibers and anything that has to do with building boats. I had one small concern: The project could “spiral.”
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.