25 Paints Make it Past the 24-month Mark

In July 2009, 61 samples of antifouling paints, including several new formulas, went into the water in Sarasota, Fla., for testing. This report and the tables above offer a 24-month update on our findings on the top paints in that field, which we last reported on in April of 2011. For sailors who value longevity over all other factors, that article, along with this report on paints that rated a Fair or better after 24 months, will serve as your best guide to choosing a long-lasting bottom paint.

Whats the Best Way to Restore Clear Plastic Windows?

Preserving a clear view through clear plastic on dodgers or enclosures is one of the most challenging tasks in boat maintenance. Restoring a vinyl window is almost impossible, but that doesn't stop the tide of products that claim to make this job easy. Practical Sailors eisenglass cleaners test looks at 27 products touted primarily as cleaners or treatments for vinyl windows. The test products were divided into type: cleaners, scratch repairers, polish protectants, and UV protectants. After a week of testing, we found Imar Strataglass Protective Cleaner and Imar Strataglass Protective Polish, distributed by Defender Industries, to be the Best Choice. Collinite No. 845 Insulator Wax and Mer-Maids Plexiglass Plastic Cleaner and Polish were the Budget Buys. The test also included products from the following manufacturers: 303, 3M, Aquatech, Armada, Davies, Marykate, Meguiars. Mothers, Novus, Plexus, Sailors Solutions, Star brite, Turtle Wax, West Marine, and Yacht Brite.

Staying Safe in the Boatyard

My pal Jimmys inflatable dinghy sprung a leak. It was a simple repair. He hoisted the boat aboard, put a wire wheel on his cordless drill and began scuffing the surface in preparation for gluing. Seconds later, a two-inch strand of wire had pierced his cornea and he was on the way to the Northern District Hospital in Luganville, Vanuatu. After battling infection for several weeks and follow up treatment in Australia, he got most of his sight back.

Exploring the Ins and Outs of 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.