Mailport: Which Anchor Shackle?, Cleaning Sails, FRP Boat Lifespan And More!
Which Anchor Shackle?
I am in the process of having my boatyard install 250 feet of anchor chain and new anchor shackles. Seeing a top star rating on the Peerless Peer-lift blue pin shackles. I told my boatyard to order and install two of them only to read in the December issue that you had just finished testing the Peerless Peer-lift shackles and no longer recommend them. What’s up?
Snuffy, Kadey Krogen 38 Cutter
New Orleans, LA
Check out the January 2017 issue of Practical Sailor online for a full explanation of the revised rating for the Peerless Peer-lift blue pin shackles.
Regarding your recent Waypoints article on cleaning sails, one of the easiest ways to clean Dacron sails is to toss them in the pool, 4 or 5 hours after shocking. Tie them off, so they can’t get sucked into the filter system, and let them soak for a few hours. The water circulation is all that is needed for mechanical agitation, and is very gentle on the sails. Haul them out, rinse them off with freshwater, and hang them until just dry (in very light wind). Nice clean sails, with little effort, or risk of damage.
FRP Boat Lifespan
Regarding the recent discussion on the lifespan of fiberglass boats, my wife and I sail a 1965 Cheoy Lee Bermuda 30 ketch out of the Benjamin River in Sedgwick, Maine. I understand that was the first year they offered a fiberglass hull. It is still in excellent condition, with no blistering or other apparent issues. The deck is teak sandwiched between layers of fiberglass and is leak-fee. Prior to 2002, her sailing grounds were the southwest coast of Florida, so she’s experienced some pretty different marine environments.
1965 Cheoy Lee Bermuda 30
Amsoil as Winch Grease?
At the conclusion of your winch grease review in the October 2016 issue you asked about favorite grease suggestions. I’m an Amsoil convert. Skepticism has given way to full-fledged fanaticism. (Full disclosure: I am technically a “dealer,” which anyone can become by paying $30 year—this saves 30 percent off of retail, only useful if you have multiple vehicles, and small engines like me.) I’ve rebuilt my six winches with the Amsoil water-resistant grease, and have had no problems with smooth operation. That being said, I can’t help but be curious about how a proper winch grease would compare. Even with the multilevel marketing uprate of the Amsoil grease, it is still cheaper at MSRP than the three winch greases you reviewed. Maybe you can enter this Amsoil grease in the upcoming Practical Sailor grease face off? Runners up would be any generic waterproof grease, axle grease, and Mobile 1 waterproof grease. My Max-Prop calls for Lubriplate 130AA so naturally it gets added to the list as well.
S/V Sea Hawk
1989 C&C 37+
Check out the comparison of generic greases this month. Although the test has come and gone, we’ll add it to the list for the next round.
Regarding your recent outboard review (see PS January 2016 online “New Options in Small Outboards”). The lack of service centers mentioned in the article, also applies to the Torqeedo electric motor. I’ve not found one in the West Indies. My Torqeedo 1003T handle, battery and motor have all been replaced once. A friend drove the motor to Richmond, Va. for reprogramming once. West Marine in Southwest Harbor, Maine helped us replace part of the motor even though we did not purchase the motor at West Marine. There are other issues. Since the short shaft is 20 inches as opposed to the normal 15 inches, the prop hits bottom with some frequency. The tilt lock design failed. I have a custom block of wood that locks the motor up for towing in protected water. (I use a wood block for our Tohatsu 9.8 also.) The plastic tabs that keep the battery attached to the motor have been mangled. A stronger material would be preferable. The electrical jack/plug between the tiller and the battery need to be stronger and more obviously keyed if the motor is to be used by friends or family members who are not aware of their delicate nature. The engine is light as a whole and even easier to handle when dissembled. We now use it only to go places where we feel comfortable rowing back home. We found good service near our home in the Midwest.
via PS online
The January outboard test focused on auxiliaries for trailer sailers, and after two years ours has been extremely reliable, though it is clearly less rugged than other types. In our view, a Torqeedo 1003T is a fine choice for small sailboats and even dinghies with some of the caveats mentioned in the article. For dinghy engines on a cruising boat, gasoline outboard is preferable for many of the reasons you mention.
NASA Marine Monitor
It’s too bad that you did not review the NASA Marine BM-1 battery monitor. I had one for a number of years and loved it. Nary a problem. Perhaps it is because it is not from the U.S.?
Craig T. Hill
via PS online
We test products from around the world. Our test of the NASA AIS (see PS March 2007 online). We’ll try to track down a BM-1 for testing.
What about the Arbrux deicer ?
You did not include the Arbrux Deicer which is the unit I have chosen for dock protection at DYC in Dunkirk NY. I upgraded the support lines to 3/16-inch galvanized steel wire/cable, which is worth considering.
John F. Gaasch
via PS online
PS does not have experience, pro or con, with Arbrux deicers. They look solid and we like the steel cage. Regarding oil-filled vs. oil-less. The text of the article did not make the testers’ concerns clear. Because a vacuum does not form in an oil-filled unit (the can and the oil contract together), water is not drawn in through the seals. Additionally, the seal itself is oil lubricated. In our experience, the oil-filled units tend to last longer; this is based on thousands of hours of 24/7 operation in brine ponds.