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Mailport: February 2010

The February 2010 issue of Practical Sailor has letters on the following topics: requests for more used boat reviews, foggy electronics, hard varnishes, propane fridges and Iphone apps.

Tow or Salvage?

If your disabled boat requires assistance, you’d better know the difference, because the consequences can cost you big bucks.

Entering and Exiting the Bahamas by Boat

When cruising the Bahamas, youll need three flags: a yellow quarantine flag, your home countrys flag, and a Bahamian courtesy flag. When nearing your port of entry, hoist the yellow quarantine flag and report to a Customs and Immigration facility as soon as possible after entering Bahamian waters.

New One-Burner Alcohol Stoves Meet Their Market

Cookmates two new small alcohol stoves are a good fit for daysailers and boats with limited galley space. Unlike propane stoves, these non-pressurized alcohol systems require no valves, hoses, fuel tanks, or fuel lockers. The alcohol is easily poured into a stainless steel drum. Opening the burner allows for easy lighting of the stove. Methane, ethanol, and denatured alcohol can be used as a fuel source. The Cookmate 2100 drop-in model is made of stainless steel and puts out 7000 BTUs. It is well made and easy to use, but because it cannot be gimbaled, its use may be limited in rough seas. The CookMate 1600, designed as a portable countertop model, is also small and well made, and it can be gimbaled. It is made of stainless steel and puts out 7000 BTUs. Both Cookmate alcohol stoves beat the Origo alcohol stoves Practical Sailor tested in July 2006, and they gave the Force 10 Seacook seaswing style propane stove and Kenyon Appliances Kenyon Express II butane stove a run for their money.

Fridge-Free Food Follow-Up

PS readers offer up a smrgasbord of ideas about food that isn't picky about temperature.

Next Best Thing

While world leaders and presumed financial wizards set to work trying to right the global economy with some very expensive bailers and sponges, Practical Sailor has taken the time this month to dig through our recent collection of Chandlery submissions to see if we can find anything more useful. Given sailors capacities for innovation (aka "jury rigging"), were holding out hope that the next great invention-the ultimate stimulus package-lies somewhere in our growing stockpile of Chandlery items.

Pint-Sized Propane Locker

Explosive and heavier than air, propane is not the sort of thing you want beneath your bunk. The grills we tested this month (See...

PS Asks Who Would Even Consider G7 Chain?

The value of catenary varies with the depth of the water. In shallower waters, bottom friction replaces gravity as a force of resistance against shock loading.

Dirt-cheap Winter Insulation for Liveaboards

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.

Controlling The Flow of Water

Subtle difference in which valves and pipes are used to fill and flush the bowl can add up to less odor, reduced water use, and less energy use over the long run.

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.