The Multipurpose Core

Solid fiberglass is strong and durable, but it weighs a ton. Even boats with solid hulls generally have cored decks, cabins, stringers, and bulkheads....

Foam Filters Make Little Sense for Air Intake

Probably the biggest takeaway from our report is the surprising prevalence of deteriorating foam oil filters on...

In Search of Better Filters

Presumably, air cleaners are about dusty environments, and dust is a rare thing on the water. But...

Highway Ride Tests Coating Adhesion

Paint will stick to anything-for a while. But the real test comes over time. Fabric, because it is a flexible surface that can absorb water, presents multiple challenges for a coating. Our biggest concern was flogging. If we can't prevent the varnish on our grab rail from cracking after eighteen months, how can we expect any coating to adhere to a stretchy, pliable surface that is exposed to the elements-storms, high summer temperatures, freezing cold-year in and year out? To answer this question, we fit the test rack to the top of our vehicle and drove at highway speeds for 20 minutes.

Adhesion and Opacity Varies Widely

Ahesion was a key characteristics we sought in a sail paint, but we were also interested in opacity.

A Few Tips on Patching or Masking with Tape

Tape seems like simple thing to manage. How complicated can it get? But as webe found in multiple past tests at Practical Sailor, the type of tape you choose, and how you use it determines the quality and durability of your work.

Test Boats Painted Jib Draws Zero Attention

What's that they say about the 10-foot paint job? Sure, if you look closely, it is clear that something is different with the genoa aboard Tech Editor Drew Frye's F-24 Corsair. Battleship gray is not a common color for the suncover on a recreational sailboat, and the sheen is more reflective than normal. But unless you are aboard the boat, the laminate sail looks like any other genoa with a stitched on suncover. The original suncover exists, only now it is painted.

Bird repellants, solvent safety, GPS antennas

[IMGCAP(3)] Anti-Bird StrategyFlorida is hard on boats from sun damage, mildew, bottom blisters and birds. I keep the ospreys from perching on my tricolor light by fitting a clear plastic container over it with tacks on its bottom. I have sunbrella deck covers that keep poo from the smaller birds off the deck and also shade the boat to keep it cooler, the paint protected and mildew free. Then, for the pelicans that pooped on my…

Simplifying Your Cleaning Chemicals Kit

Instead of requiring 30 random cleaning products, you would need only four or five with carefully targeted chemistry. Thats it-no more than five cleaners to serve most purposes. Here are the basics to building your own kit.

Winter Maintenance

For many of us, the falling of leaves marks the end of the sailing season. The boat is winterized for the season and our minds shift gears, away from sailing. As the new year comes, we catalog the winter projects we had intended to tackle. Bottom paint, of course. Fresh varnish may be needed inside and out. Deck fittings need re-bedding.

Caring For Your Marine Diesel Engine

Expecting calms for most of the passage, we set out in a flat calm with 70 gallons of fuel. Six hours later, around mid-day, the engine wailed, screeched, clanged, and died. Hardly a ripple stirred the Gulf of Panama.