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Practical Sailor

Fortifying Marine Fabrics Against the Elements

We had a cold and chilly front blow through Florida last week, which gave us an opportunity to look at something we haven't paid much attention to in a few years: waterproofing coatings for fabrics. Textile technology has seen some significant new developments since our last complete test of waterproof coatings. Chemical engineers have found new ways to impregnate fibers with coatings that can last through dozens of wash cycles. Some new after-market spray protectants have emerged as well. The end result is clothing that -- if you choose right and don't put on too many pounds -- you won't have to think about replacing for 10-15 years, or even more.  
Practical Sailor

Jackline Installation Tips

One of the most startling conclusions from our jackline test was that despite the International Sailing Federations (ISAF) generalized approach to jackline standards, the ideal material for a jackline changes as boat length increases. But material selection is just one of many details regarding jacklines that deserves careful thought. If you are re-installing your jacklines or installing for them for the first time, be sure to read our complete test report online. In the meantime, here are some other details to consider.
Practical Sailor

Simple Tips on Servicing Your Sailboat Winches

This week we're moving onto hardware, winches in particular. If you haven't serviced your winches in a couple years, or you notice squeaks, groans or slips as you grind, it is high time to tackle this project. We like to inspect our jib-sheet winches every year, but we sail our boats hard and they are exposed to some pretty harsh freeze and thaw cycles. Fortunately, winch servicing is a pretty easy, and for the wanna-be watchmaker who marvels at moving parts, it's fun—until you start dropping parts overboard. Thus, our first bit of advice: make sure you have the right winch servicing kit, including pawls and springs, before you start pulling your winches apart.
Practical Sailor

Epoxy Versus Polyester Resin for Fiberglass Boat Repair Projects

If you’re contemplating some major build or repair projects involving fiberglass this winter, then you are probably trying to decide whether it is worth...
Practical Sailor

Mailport: Carl Alberg, Tinned Wire, Fiberglass Durability

HIGH PRAISE FOR CARL ALBERG Regarding your report “Small-boat Dreams and Carl Alberg’s Classic Daysailers,” my first sailboat, 25 years ago, was a Pearson Electra....