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Belowdecks & Amenities

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.

Keeping Your Cool With A/C

Part 2—What’s new with refrigerants and controls.

Mailport: November 2010

Letters to Practical Sailor from our readers. November 2010's topics include cleaning products, sail hardware, galley stoves and anti-fouling paints.

Escape with a Good Sailing Book

Weve compiled a list of books fit for summer reading, whether youre relaxing in the cockpit, hanging in a hammock on the bow, or parked on the beach. The list includes page-turning tales of adventure and survival, and lively accounts of maritime history.

Combatting Weevils

Most rice and grain sold in western countries is fumigated, generally with phosphine. However, this often kills only the live insects, leaving the eggs able to germinate. Surely there are other ways available to the cruisers to extend the life of rice and grains.

Adhesives: Making a Successful Selection

Almost from the dawn of man, this unique creature has used his ingenuity to make different materials stick together. In fact, this may well have been the first technology, whether used in the making of tools or other necessities.

The DIY Hanger Hook

It was a given that anything added to the cockpit locker of our F-24 test boat had to be quickly removable. All of the bolts for cockpit gear, fuel lines, and half of the wiring is accessed by worming through this narrow locker into the space under the cockpit, and any obstruction would render it inaccessible. Because the backside is the hull, through-bolting was not an option. The previous owner had epoxied on a few hooks, but gluing plastic to fiberglass is pretty hopeless and only the scars remained.

Deck Vents: Nicros Water Trap and Plastimos Cool n Dry are Clever and Effective

Among mushroom-types, the Nicro PowerVent with interchangeable fans for intake and exhaust gives 24-hour operation.

Stove-top Baking: How Sweet It Is

Theres nothing like the smell of fresh-baked treats wafting from the galley, and thanks to the Omnia Oven, the crew of any boat with a cooktop, grill, or hotplate can enjoy fresh baked goods onboard. The Omnia Oven, a new take on the old Dutch oven, can bake anything from cookies to meatloaf without the need for a conventional oven.

Top Cruising Guides for the Bahamas

The Bahamas are often viewed as the Holy Grail of East Coast cruising due to their beauty and proximity to the Florida coast. Although they appear tantalizingly close (particularly when viewed on those nautical chart-themed placemats down at the Oyster Shack), make no mistake about it: A cruise to the Bahamas is an open-water passage that demands both attention to detail and proper safety precautions. Planning and executing a successful cruise to the Bahamas can be an extremely rewarding experience, one that provides ample opportunity to test preparedness of both boat and crew, while offering a reasonably do-able taste of bluewater cruising.

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.