Home Belowdecks & Amenities

Belowdecks & Amenities

A Little PS Winter Reading

With winter upon us, and boats sitting on the hard in many places, its a good time to troubleshoot or update systems, and to make a to-do list for the off-season and pre-season.

Liveaboard Sailors Laundry Hacks

At home, laundry is about removing grease, grass, and coffee stains without damaging the fabric of the clothing. Energy and water efficiency only matter in a secondary sense. Rinse water is plentiful, and the only water quality consideration is that it is sufficiently soft to avoid interference with the detergent and calcium build-up in the clothes.

Measure, Cut, Glue and Repeat

Generally, a deep locker will have a recessed lid. Some modification may be needed to fit locker bags.

Bottomless Lockers Be Gone

Storage is a challenge on small boats, and my new-to-me Corsair Marine F-24 trimaran was particularly Spartan this regard. The skinny hulls provided minimum volume and the race-focused designer intentionally omitted proper lockers. A performance-oriented boat such as this must be kept light if she is to sail to her potential. But even day sailers and racers attract a certain amount of necessary clutter, sure as honey attracts flies. Something had to be done, and yet, as a new owner its tough to know what will best suit your needs and what the boat needs. Its even harder to cut the first hole. This project was 100 percent non-invasive.

Mailport: oil filters, cabin fans, Catalina 22, Hunter 30, watermakers

With regards to your recent marine oil filter tests (see PS July 2019, Marine Oil Filter Comparison Test), having spent my career in the aeronautical engine technical field specializing in maintenance I must state my allegiance to non-encapsulated filters and independent housings. This trend towards spin-on filter assemblies prevents in my opinion the most important aspect of filter maintenance which is particle inspection. Filters are not removed so you can inspect or replace them, they are removed so you can ascertain your engines condition. This practice seems to have been set aside to make way to quick and easy maintenance using spin-on filters. Oil analysis is fine but it should start with a simple sediment inspection after a low cost electro- sonic cleaning in a 60 Hz bath (jewelry cleaner bath).

Sailing into the Golden Age of Hook-and-Loop Fasteners

Hook and loop fasteners are familiar from jacket cuffs and companionway bug screens, but during our many years of fiddling around boats, weve come up with a few applications that even a Velcro-lover havent yet tried. Lets look at some new tricks.

Ultraflex Debuts Variable Speed AC

In the June 2018 article Air Conditioning for Sailboats, we compared several options for 12-volt air conditioning on boats, and more recently we looked at the power requirements for running our air conditioner without being tethered to shorepower, see Air Conditioning at Anchor, PS June 2019). Since that article was published, we were told about the new i-Line VSD Series of compact air conditioners from Velair-an Italian company that is part of the Ultraflex Group.

Giving Bugs the Big Goodbye

Were not naturally bug phobic, but when they eat our food, clothes, or boat, something needs to be done. Since we don't like heavy doses of pesticides in a space as small as a boat, lets first look at low impact approaches that focus on specific pests. After that, well look at the more potent approaches

Calculating the Right Air Conditioner Size

Estimating size has always been tricky, because it depends on the insulation value of the boat, climate, and how quick you want the boat to cool down. It also depends on window covers and awnings and how much window space you have. Houses, on the other hand, tend to have similar insulation values, and the rate at which they cool is not important because people leave the AC on all summer.

Sailboat Accessory Hooks

Boats are always challenged by limited storage space. Many production boats share two common features: they have lockers that are either bottomless or wet at the bottom, and those lockers contained broken storage hooks installed by the previous owner. Over the years weve been on the lookout for storage hooks that wont fail and reconsidered the places where they can best meet our needs.

The Pros and Cons of Leaving Your Mast Up for Winter

If you are like us, you may feel strangely guilty about leaving a mast up during winter storage. In our case, it is probably those old wooden spar days calling. Ideally, wooden spars need to come down and be sheltered and coddled at regular intervals. Aluminum masts really don't, and the sky is actually a decent place to store them.