In this LED cabin light test, Practical Sailor looks at 17 light bulbs from seven manufacturers. The LEDs were tested to see which was the most worthy replacement for a 20-watt xenon bulb in a bulkhead-mounted reading light. Testers measure LED beam angles and intensity, LED power consumption, LED color temperature, LED radio frequency interference, and LED reading and cabin illumination. The LED lights tested include: Alpenglow TR LED complete brass fixture; three lights from Cruising Solutions; three lights from Doctor LED; four from Imtra; two from Opto Technology, two from Daniel R. Smith & Associates (DRSA) manufactured by Mast Products; two of Scad Technologies (Sailors Solutions) Sensibulbs; and one LED light from West Marine.
Insulation is a greater energy-saving expedient; if our heater or air conditioner is undersized, fixing drafts, shading or insulating windows, and insulating non-cored laminate are all ways to reduce the thermal load. For boaters, however, that is only half of the equation.
In our search for stowable, seaworthy seating, we rounded up six padded chairs with self-supporting backrests and compared them to the reigning favorite, the Paradise Sport-a-Seat. The chairs have weatherproof covers and multiple reclining settings with self-supporting, padded backrests. The test field was: the Paradise Sport-a-Seat; Picnic Times Oniva and Ventura designs; G2 Products ComfortSeat; and retail giant West Marines Go-Anywhere Seat 2 and High-back Go-Anywhere Seat 2.
One of the great joys of sailing is the state of near nakedness (literal and figurative) to the wind, air, and sea-and the wisdom that comes with it. From that perspective, climate control seems antithetical to the sailors art. But being Practical Sailor (not Philosophical Sailor) we recognize that even the hardiest round-the-world racers seek temporary refuge dampness, cold, and heat. And for one looking to make the transition from the landlubbers life in temperate climates to full-time cruiser in the tropics, the idea of air-conditioning-despite its huge power demands-is alluring.
Another consideration is that many day sailors avoid using the boats head at all, often going for many months at a time without needing it. When it is used, once in a blue moon, is it worth the hassle of hauling it home to clean it out, knowing that most likely it will not be used for another 3 months? When Katrina hit New Orleans, the Red Cross handed out WAG (waste alleviation and gel) bags by the thousands to provide an emergency option. Weve been living with these too, evaluating them as an option for small boats.
Navigator Stoves, based on Orcas Island in Washington state, produces three classic wood-burning stoves for use onboard boats and in cabins, RVs, and other small structures. The Little Cod and Sardine stove models are produced using the patterns originally made at the Lunenberg Foundry in Nova Scotia. The Halibut stove model is based on an old favorite, the Shipmate stove. The cast-iron custom-made stoves and can be ordered in the original stove polish or one of six porcelain enamels. They can burn wood and charcoal. The Halibut stove model can also burn coal. For use in warmer months, Navigator has designed denatured-alcohol drop-in burners for cooking.
While permeation of waste gases through flexible sanitation hose is a major source of odors in the head, it is not the only one. This article looks at the possible sources one by one.