Subscribers Only The first in a two-part series, this article takes a look at the latest furling systems for nylon and other lightweight, off-the-wind sails dubbed A-sails, gennakers, asymmetric spinnakers, and other appellations referring to light-air, curved-luff sails. We compare the basic features of five systems: the Colligo CN3s; Selden GX15; Karver KSF2; Profurl Spinex 2.5; and Ronstan 120. In part two of the feature, we will report the test results and final ratings.
Subscribers Only Through lab tests and years of field testing, we’ve found that silica-gel vent filters reduce tank corrosion and improve gasoline stability. But is the same true for diesel fuel and tanks? That’s what this test sought to find out. Testers put two silica-gel diesel tank vent filters through their paces: Pindell Engineering’s AVD2 (for tanks up to 60 gallons) and AVD3 (for tanks up to 200 gallons). The results were compared to setups with a free vent and those with a sealed tank.
Subscribers Only The Coast Guard and the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) have worked together to develop general installation guidelines for the carbon canisters required under the EPA's evaporative emission regulations. While the standards (AYBC H-24) don't specifically apply to the H2Out AVD unit when installed in diesel fuel systems, they represent good basic commonsense and should be followed with any fuel tank vent adsorbent product. We have added a few tips and precautions learned during our testing.
Subscribers Only Don’t look to tank vent filters and fuel additives to solve real fuel-system problems. They are only ancillaries to regular fuel system-management and maintenance, improving reliability even further. Here are some fuel-system management best practices that we recommend.
Subscribers Only The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Yacht and Boat Council (AYBC) are requiring devices that prevent foam and splash during fueling and operation from reaching the carbon canister. If sea water did reach the fuel filter, it could destroy filter effectiveness and compromise venting capacity.
What’s the best way to keep your dodger or bimini’s clear-vinyl windows looking new? We tested sprays, creams, and pastes to find the best way to clean and protect clear vinyl products like Strataglass, Regalite, and O’Sea. This report is an early look at the long-term test, which will be running for three years and includes cleaners and protectants from Imar, 303 Products, Star brite, AquaTech Marine, 3M, Meguiar’s, and Novus.
After several months of testing the panels, we established some preliminary findings regarding different vinyl brands. The untreated Strataglass, O’Sea, and Regalite panels were equally clear; there was a slight difference in their coloring, but this is typical and in use, it would never be noticed.
Subscribers Only The Strataglass user’s maintenance guide states the following: “We recommend using only Imar Products. Imar Strataglass Protective Polish, Imar Strataglass Protective Cleaner, and mild soap (preferably Imar Yacht Soap Concentrate) on Strataglass. We no longer recommend the use of any other products, regardless of the manufacturer’s claims. Use of harsh cleaners like Simple Green and/or pine will dull the curtains quickly. Using any other product(s) void the factory warranty.” The guide further warns: “Use of RAINEX, Pledge, or Plexus on Strataglass appears to work for a short time but then dulls the surface and presents an “Orange Peel” effect. Do not use any of these products.”
We compared four popular, portable coffee-making methods in search of the best java-brewing method for the galley. The test evaluated French presses, percolators, drip-cone coffeemakers, and various instant coffees. Testers tried out a handful of products using each method, including the BonJour, Nissan Thermos, and Bodum French presses, as well as the Aerobie AeroPress, the Melitta Perfect Brew, the Clever Dripper, Bialetti Moka Express, and the Farberware Yosemite and Medelco stovetop percolators.
Subscribers Only Looking to add GPS functions to WiFi Apple devices or increase the GPS accuracy of a Bluetooth device? U.S. company Bad Elf created the GPS Pro, an external Bluetooth wireless GPS receiver and data logger, to simultaneously share GPS data with Bluetooth-capable i-devices, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. It also can serve as a standalone data logger that allows you to record up to 100 hours of trip location data.
Do your 2014 New Year’s resolutions include quitting your job to sail around the world? Brushing up on maritime history? Learning new knots? Or how about just setting aside more time to enjoy a good book? Then, our winter reading recommendations will certainly fit the bill. The list also includes the memoirs of former cruising kids, an epic survival story, and tales of solo sailing.
I was re-reading your review of in-boom furlers ( PS , October 2001 ) in which you compared five different manufacturers’ products. You did not review the unit made by Southern Spars, which is a spinoff of the Leisure Furl system by Forespar, but I wonder whether you have ever reviewed and compared the Southern Spars in-boom roller furling system?
Your mention of dissimilar metals and also chlorinated water rang a bell with me. The pressure-relief valves on many water heaters are made of bronze or another metal. One year, on the advice of a friend, I removed my water heater’s valve for cleaning and found some of the most foul hydrogen-sulfide odor imaginable, along with some black gooey substance. It’s a powerful smell. Since then, I’ve been removing, cleaning, and flushing that valve at the start and in the middle of each season; 95 percent of my water odor problems disappeared.
I have a 6-year-old Garhauer traveller ( www.garhauer.com ). The sheaves came loose and lost their bearings. At the recent Annapolis boat show, I asked the Garhauer Marine reps how to get replacement bearings. They had me send the carriers back, and they replaced the sheaves for free.
I don’t believe the village of Warapu exists anymore. The ocean carried it away. The school . . . the district government building . . . most of the houses . . . all gone . . . washed out to sea by a tsunami that crashed ashore in Papua New Guinea in 1998. …
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.