Hose Fitting Tips

Pulling hoses is generally low on the fun list. They are in bad places, jammed onto crusty hose-fitting barbs, and have stiffened over the years. As part of our 2016 update on long-term tests, we needed to wiggle loose a few of the sanitation hoses were testing to see how they were looking on the inside-a job much less pleasant than new installation.

Getting a Grip on Velcro

We think of all stick-and-rip, hook-and-loop fasteners as Velcro-just as we ask for Kleenex after a sneeze-and most tend to have uniformly low performance expectations of these velcro products, assuming that they will have limited holding power from the beginning. These assumptions are not totally unwarranted. Velcro will inevitably be the first component of a canvas project to fail, with ultraviolet rays degrading the fine threads and holding strength dropping to zero within two to four years. When used to mount even the lightest equipment, the velcro fasteners vibrate loose without warning. The Velcros adhesive can slowly ooze off in heat, buckle in humidity, or simply turn to dust. So do any of them actually work? PS testers decided to find out.

Dustless Sanding

Responsible boatyard work requires dust collection. Whether its toxic bottom paint or ordinary sanding dust, it still makes a mess and can ruin a neighbors paint job-in-progress. Dustless sanders have hose connections leading to vacuum cleaners, but unless it is a sophisticated vacuum with multi-stage dust separation, those filters clog and dust flies.

Adhesives Test

Once upon a time in Tasmania, a skipper faced a daunting task: install a three-bladed, folding propeller without hauling out the boat. The underwater job would require an adhesive to secure some of the bolts, but which adhesives that were already on board would work best under water? To find out, PS contributor Jonathan Neeves decided to run a little adhesives test of the three products he had on hand-all commonly found at chandlers worldwide under the same or a similar brand.

Spiffy Teak Tips for the Penny Pincher

Most teak cleaners don't just clean; they also remove weathered woods surface fibers and expose new wood. As much as 0.010 inches of surface teak can be removed in a single cleaning when using some common teak-cleaning products. Regularly cleaning with these products will shorten a teak decks life. Some also contain strong alkalis that can harm paint, caulk, and aluminum.

Fitting a Roller Furling Line

Replacing the roller-furling control line is an easy do-it-yourself job for the boat owner. Inexpensive, double-braid Dacron is a fine choice for furling lines on most boats shorter than 40 feet. On longer boats, you can opt for a furling-line material of more esoteric double-braids with less stretch. However, any line smaller than 3/8-inch diameter is too difficult to grip.

Treating Vinyl for Long Life

Vinyl protection is about the long run. In the Practical Sailor January 2014 issue, we reported on the performance of a host of clear-vinyl waxes and cleaners, as well as several different clear-vinyl window materials, after testing them for four months on panels. This report is the two-year update on the long-term test of those products, and already the first failures have appeared.

Long-term Testing Clear Vinyl

Our long-term test of clear vinyl and clear-vinyl treatments includes environmental outdoor tests with controls, as well as some real-world testing on one of our test boats.

Bringing an Old Boat Trailer Back to Life

Over the years, weve stressed the importance of keeping a close eye on stainless-steel sailboat hardware and why pitting, crevice-corrosion, and galvanic action are the enemies. But we may have downplayed the need to be aware of how plain old ferrous-metal oxidation comes into the picture. Mild steel and high-carbon steel are even more prone to corrosion, and despite the fact that the oxidation is far easier to spot on these metals, this ticking timebomb somehow gets ignored.

Freeing Seized Hardware

Simple ferrous-metal oxidation is a process in which iron, oxygen, and water chemically react, and it can cause rust to seemingly weld fasteners together. This unyielding grip often turns disassembly into much more of an ordeal, but with a few, regularly available products and a good set of wrenches, the big battle becomes a minor squabble.

The Pros and Cons of Leaving Your Mast Up for Winter

If you are like us, you may feel strangely guilty about leaving a mast up during winter storage. In our case, it is probably those old wooden spar days calling. Ideally, wooden spars need to come down and be sheltered and coddled at regular intervals. Aluminum masts really don't, and the sky is actually a decent place to store them.