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Belowdecks & Amenities

Cabin Fan Test: Hella, Caframo Blow Best Breeze for the Buck

Oscillating models fail early in long-term testing.

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.

Design for… A Portable Galley

I’ve always loved small boats: day sailors, trailer sailors, runabouts, and skiffs. In many ways they give the most joy for the limited time most of us can spend on the water. While not cruisers in the usual sense of the term, it’s often pleasant to spend a night or weekend aboard a small boat, especially if you are young, flexible and unarthritic. A couple of sleeping bags and air mattresses, a tent over the cockpit, and a galley add up to happiness and freedom for the young and young at heart.

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).

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.

Making Ice Last

Does block or bottled ice last longer than cube ice? What about dry ice? Will wrapping a blanket around the ice chest really help? What about moving the ice into a smaller cooler?

The Ins and Outs of Aftermarket Bowsprits for Light-air Sails

A salty Kiwi named Ross Norgrove once said that the most important tool for the owner of a wooden yawl adorned with a bowsprit is a sharp ax. To some degree, his witty comment holds true for contemporary sailors contemplating a mini-bowsprit.