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Mailport: Noise control, outboard maintenance, fuel tanks, powerline safety

A RESOUNDING CLARIFICATION Regarding the blog post, “Reducing Boat Noise,” I wonder if this is correct: “The actual noise level in the cabin will depend on the distance between the engine box and the cabin; sound levels drop by 6 decibels each time you double the distance from the source.” Isn’t that the noise drop […]

Bungee Lanyards Take the Shock Out of Tools Dropped from the Mast

Iput a nice dent in the deck several decades ago when I dropped a wrench from the masthead. It scared the crew too. I haven’t dropped anything since. I’m more safety conscious, my toolbags are more secure, and all of my essential tools are connected to me with bungees. Even when there’s no one below […]

Shock Cord Hardware for Sailors

Every rope we have on board has its quirks when you’re trying to form a knot that won’t slip or come untied. Dyneema is a dicey proposition. All but a few knots slip and it’s hard to cram enough stitching in to match the incredible strength of the fiber. Polyester is easy to sew or […]

It’s Hard to Beat Needle and Palm for Hand Stitching

Torn canvas is no fun for the sailor, but there is something uniquely satisfying about making repairs or hand-stitching new creations using needle and thread. Whether you want to whip the ends on your jib sheets, sew-in new tell-tales, or stitch an eye in rope that doesn’t like splices, basic marlinspike skills are essential for […]

Stitching Awl vs. Leather Palm for Sail Repair

Got a small sail or canvas repair? “Get a Speedy Stitcher!” is common advice, though rarely from someone experienced in sail repair. Sure, it seems like a great solution. Every chandlery sells them. They can push through heavy cloth, doing work a common hand sewing needle and thread can’t touch. But sail making or sail […]

The Best Gloves for the Boatyard

We choose our sailing gloves and deck shoes with great care, because they are our interface with the boat. The same goes for work gloves, and choosing the right pair for the job is a tricky balance. In addition to dexterity, we demand physical and chemical protection, durability, and comfort. There is no perfect work […]

Mailport: Sealant advice, sandblasting warning, tool bags

MORE 4000UV FAILURES With regard to your recent report on the sudden failure of 3M 4000UV, I like the product for its resistance to UV (see Inside PS blog post, “PS Seeking Reports of 3M 4000UV Failure”), I have noticed that it has a very definite shelf life. I’m a former boatyard operator, and what […]

Boat Repair in the Age of Plexus

Historically, fiberglass boat hulls and decks were molded separately, and then bonded at the deck seam. Bulkheads were added either with polyester or epoxy putty, and then taped into place with fiberglass tape. The putty should hold, if well done, but it could crack if twisted hard or subject to impact, and the extra taping […]

Choosing the Right Boat Glue

Any time I start researching glues, I can hear the voice of Old Man Parker from the classic film “A Christmas Story,” ringing in my head:“You used up all the glue on purpose!” And each time, the chemical engineer inside me wants to ask, “What kind of glue would fix Mr. Parker’s treasured stocking-leg lamp?” […]

Clean and Shine Surprises

An entire category of cleaning agents has sprung up to deal with waterline stains, so we’re always curious about new products (see “Practical Sailor Tests 22 Hull Cleaners on Scummy, Brown Waterline Stains to Find the Best Remedy to the ICW Mustache,” PS February 2010). Boat Goat claims to be waterline and “ICW-mustache” cleaner, but […]