Overheating in Docklines and Rodes

With hurricane season ramping up, many of us are going over our rope inventory, making sure we have more than enough lines to secure the boat. Chafe gear fights external friction on our lines, but how do we combat internal heat build-up? Dock lines are particularly susceptible to overheating. If the boat is exposed to short-period chop from the side, the frequency can be high and the force can exceed the 10:1 safe working limit, and even with rain or spray to cool the rope there may be significant weakening due to internal friction.

Painting Your Boat Like a Pro

In a few months, we'll be publishing what will likely be our final update on our ongoing test of marine topside finishes - a project now in its fifth year. It will be interesting to see which hull paints have stood the test of time. If you can't wait until this spring to get your paint project rolling (and tipping), here is a rundown of free articles that will offer expert guidance on getting a good do-it-yourself finish for your sailboat.

International Sailing During COVID-19

The Valiant 40 on the cover of the September issue is named Brick House and belongs to longtime contributor the late Patrick Childress and...

Don’t Kill That New AGM Battery

Battery manufacturers want their batteries recharged to 100-percent state of charge after each discharge. In reality, few cruising boats (or any boats kept on a mooring) return their batteries to 100-percent state of charge after each cycle. If this partial state of charge operation continues, your very expensive AGM battery will soon perform no better, if not worse, than a common deep-cycle flooded battery bank. To keep that from happening, we have a few tips.

Epoxy Versus Polyester Resin for Fiberglass Boat Repair Projects

If you’re contemplating some major build or repair projects involving fiberglass this summer, then you are probably trying to decide whether it is worth...
marine toilet test

Marine Toilet Maintenance Tips

Early in the sailing season, the things we overlooked during winter storage can come back to haunt us. And with regard to our boat's...

Sailboat Do-it-Yourself Rig Survey

Several subscribers who read my recent blog post regarding stainless steel corrosion, “Detecting and Dealing with Stainless Steel Corrosion” asked if we had any...

Detecting and Dealing with Stainless-steel Corrosion

Our upcoming report on lifelines, stanchions, and stanchion bases brought to mind several past articles we've run on stainless steel failures. Although high-quality stainless can provide years of reliable service, sailors need to be aware of its limitations. Owners of used boats with hardware of an unknown age should be particularly scrupulous when carrying out routine inspection of stainless-steel rigging and hardware.

Stop Boat Mattress Cushion Mildew

If you have a damp interior—as frequently happens in tropical locations or during long runs of humid weather—the bottoms of your boat mattresses may...

Quick and Easy Gelcoat Repair

When making gelcoat repairs, the Preval Sprayer combines the best of the Badger 250 and the paint brush. It's quick to set up and clean, and provides adequate coverage in a single application. Best of all, it's available in auto supply and hardware stores for just $7, so when you are done with it, you can just throw it away.

The Tragedy of the Driverless Dinghy

In the wake of a terrible tragedy that struck a few days before Thanksgiving in Sarasota, Florida, home of the Sarasota Youth Sailing Program...