Danish company LM (Lunderskov Møbelfabrik) began as a wood furniture maker in 1940. In the 1950s, the company incorporated the newfangled fiberglass into their furniture, and in 1972, the company built its first fiberglass sailboat, the LM27. Over the next 20 years, it built 3,000 boats in five models, ranging from 24 to 32 feet. All LM models share a similar look—canoe-stern hulls with a pilothouse ahead of a sizable cockpit. All are mast-head rigged sloops, and every owner we talked to said that the boats sailed better than they expected—an experience that we shared on our test sail of the LM32.
The LM32 construction is conventional but well done, and the boat lives up to its reputation for high-quality and fine craftsmanship.
Subscribers Only In the past, a snubber was simply a device incorporated into the anchor rode to take the load off the windlass. We recently tested different types of snubber material, including nylon octoplait, rock-climbing rope, and rubber. Our tests were conducted as part of a long-term project on anchor-snubber selection, deployment, and care. Although there are some pre-fabricated snubbers on the market, most cruisers make their own, so this initial comparison was more generic in scope, focusing on common materials and designs.
Subscribers Only As we've learned from past test, there's no chemistry in a bottle that is going to keep mildew at bay like desiccants or dehumidifiers ( PS , June 2013 ). But there are easy to use products, including two inexpensive home-made formulas, that can help keep a boat as fresh as your home. For this report, we tested 13 liquid sprays, gels, and solids formulated to fight mildew, remove mildew stains, and keep crew noses happy. The test field included the experimental Goldshield GS 5, 3M's Marine Mildew Block, Forespar's tea tree oil spray and gel, Henkle Chemical's Renuzit, Siamons Concrobium, Damp Rid Odor Genie, Pur-A-Fy Air gel, and two homemade concoctions based on Borax and TSP.
Subscribers Only It’s been 12 months since testers mounted the 12 nonskid test panels on the roof, subjecting them to south Florida’s semi-tropical weather around the clock, without any cleaning. The test field included the big names in marine maintenance products—AkzoNobel (Interlux and Awlgrip), Pettit, West Marine, and Epifanes—as well as companies specializing in nonskid paint, Pachena (KiwiGrip) and Durabak, and three that make nonskid mats, SeaDek, Tiflex, and Soft Deck. With the service life of nonskid paints and mats ranging from three years to a decade or more, we didn’t expect to see much change in the test panels, but there were a few surprises.
Subscribers Only Revamping a nonskid deck is not a project most boat owners look forward to doing. Here are a few tips to help you get more mileage out of those arduous nonskid restorations.
Looking for a holiday gift for the sailors on your list? Here are some new and gift-worthy products to consider.
Our boat came with an Iota battery charger installed. The cooling fan started squealing three years after we bought the boat, but there’s no telling how old the charger was. Iota’s website (www.iotaengineering.com) has photos and emails for the company president, vice president, sales, and tech-support people. That’s fantastic compared to other companies in the marine industry where it’s like pulling teeth to reach anyone. And they sent me a replacement fan—no charge, no shipping cost.
Great article on navigation software for Macintosh computers (PS, July 2013). I have been having so much difficulty getting a GPS signal into my GPSNavX (via Keyspan HS19) that I rejoiced to read about OpenCPN.
How much does towing the tender slow me down? Also, long or short painter? Outboard down, up, or on the rail? Obviously, there are an infinite number of combinations of sea state, speed, dinghy type, and so on to consider, but I know how you guys love your dynamometers and strain gauges. The towability of tenders should be another aspect to your ratings.
At this year’s U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., last month, I was struck by how the marketing materials sustained the illusion that the cruising life is a luxurious or easy escape. It’s not just boat shows. Books, magazines, and even Hollywood—despite its renewed fascination with realism—can’t seem to escape this romanticized view of sailing. Think of Nicole Kidman at the bow of her ketch in “Dead Calm,” her hair streaming in the wind. Or Kevin Costner gripping a flawlessly varnished tiller in “Message in a Bottle,” while some unseen hand steers from below. Even the classic “Captain Ron” helps perpetuate the ideal (if only my refit went so fast!).
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.