Subscribers Only In April 2012, we launched a long-term test of SmartAntifoulings M20, an electronic antifouling solution that the maker claims uses ultrasonic waves to prevent algae and barnacle growth on boat hulls. The M20 transducer emits a high-frequency vibration that creates a thin layer of moving water around the hull, making it difficult for organisms to attach to the hull. The evaluation was set to run for a few seasons. However, after just three months of testing, disappointing results prompted testers to put the experiment on hold until the test boats bottom is re-painted later this year.
Subscribers Only The U.S. Coast Guard Academy recently received its newest sail training boat: the Leadership 44. Built by Morris Yachts, a company best known for high-end, custom sailboats, the Leadership 44 was designed by David Pedrick, whose resume includes Americas Cup boats and many capable cruisers. The Leadership 44 has all the necessary features of a 24/7 underway workboatoffshore sleeping berths, ventilation in rough weather, a galley and head that work well underway, and a sail plan thats efficient and easy to handle. With a displacement of 26,000 pounds, the L44 is strong and stiff, yet reasonably lightweight for a boat of that size. Civilian versions of the design will be making their way to the market soon and would be worth considering for bluewater cruising duty.
Subscribers Only The Leadership 44 is built in Morris Yachts factory on Mt. Desert Isle, Maine, using advanced building materials and construction. Known for its precision semi-custom boat building, the company was launched in 1972 by the late Tom Morris. His son, Cuyler, is now the president and chief development officer.
Subscribers Only Practical Sailors original goal with this evaluation was to run a long-term test of fuel additives. Instead of adding heat or oxygen or excessive corrosive materials, we would substitute time. After six months of testing additives in E-10 gasoline, we found no measurable corrosion, so we elected to add a small amount of seawater and compare fuel samples after one month. The results were surprising to even our testers. The additives we tested were: Hammonds Biobor Ethanol Buster, CRCs Phase Guard 4, Mercury Marines Quickstor, PRI-G, Sea Foam Engine Treatment, Sta-bil Ethanol, Star Tron Ethanol, and ValvTect Ethanol.
Subscribers Only If you really must know how we compared the fuel additives, here are the particulars.
Subscribers Only Additives cant solve real gasoline-quality problems. At best, consider additives to be only a final tweaking opportunity, something to supplement the following fuel management practices.
Subscribers Only When it comes to onboard stereos, most small and mid-size boat owners want a simple, affordable sound system with a decent audio that can withstand life in the marine environment. To find out what the options are for the cruisers who just want a basic stereo system, Practical Sailor took a look at marine stereo-speaker kits priced under $200. Testers evaluated four budget-friendly audio packages: two kits from Dual Electronics, the AMCP400W and the MXCP43; the CDX-M20 from Sony Corp.; and the ME-52 amplifier from Poly-Planar.
Subscribers Only When shopping for a new stereo system, be sure to evaluate the following closely to be sure the package meets your needs.
Subscribers Only Weve seen a slew of new shorepower cords, plugs, and accessories coming onto the market in recent years, and with good reason. The majority of AC-related onboard electrical fires occur at the vessels shorepower inlet. The twist-lock connector used in shorepower cords and at the boat outlet has been around since the 1930s, and the design has seen little updating to make it better suited for use in the marine environment. The electrical contacts are small, exposed to the elements, and often required to support the plug and cord, all factors that beget corrosion and loose connectors, which can lead to electrical arcing, overheating, and fire.
Subscribers Only Sometime around 1:30 a.m. April 28, while participating in the Newport-to-Ensenada Race, the Hunter 437 Aegean sailed directly onto the rocky cliffs of North Coronado Island off Mexicos Pacific coast. Fellow racers came upon pieces of the boat and reported their findings to the U.S. Coast Guard. The bodies of three crew were discovered with the wreckage. The body of the captain was recovered 16 days later. Contrary to news reports stating there was no sign of distress aboard Aegean, an SOS distress call went out from one of the crewbut by the time the Coast Guard learned of it, it was too late. Someone sent a distress alert form the captains personal SPOT Connect, a portable satellite emergency notification device (SEND) that delivers SOS messages and vital informationships position and user identityvia Globalstar satellites to a third-party emergency call center.
Letters to Practical Sailor, August 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Anchor Rhodes, Ultrasonic Antifouling, Inflatable PFDs, and more
One of the first things we research when designing a new product test are industry standards already in place. Frequently, there are none, or those that exist have little to do with the real world.
I want to varnish my companionway hatch boards, but I need to remove the old finish. Is there a varnish remover that works well and doesnt ruin the wood?
Inside Practical Sailor Blog
May 21, 2013
Before you fire up ye ol iron genny for the first smoke-belching run out to the mooring, to the dock, or to the fuel station (I sure hope its not to the pumpout station), you might want to think about your alternator belt. It's another one of those inexpensive engine parts that often gets overlooked until it's too late.