SWL vs. WLL in Padeye Search

I am looking to place some folding padeyes on my boat for jacklines and tethers. The price range for stainless-steel padeyes is extreme, and the distinction between safe working load (SWL) and working load limit (WLL) is not easily understood-even though Im an engineer. It would be useful to know the consensus SWL/WLL recommendation for a jackline / tether application.

Mailport: September 2014

In response to your May 2014 editorial on the passing of Hobie Alter, Id like to share a Hobie memory: At the ripe age of 14, my son, Jared, negotiated the purchase of a used Hobie 16, Airhead. On gusty days, I would be invited to take the helm, so he could dance on the wire as the hull flew. Eventually, our small lake became too confining, so we ventured into larger bodies, ultimately taking the Hobie to our favorite cruising ground and home to our 41-foot Sceptre, Penobscot Bay, Maine.

Where Credit Is Due: September 2014

While cruising up in a remote part of Labrador, I had a B&G autopilot failure. I called Jake Marantz at the B&G service center (www.bandg-service.com) on my Sat phone, and over about an hour and a couple calls, he helped me diagnose the problem and fix it. He was tremendously helpful and obviously knowledgeable.

Electrical Panel Upgrade

Editors note: Designing, installing, and wiring a new main circuit panel on a full-fledged cruising boat is an extremely challenging refit project. The writer is a professional engineer who made sure that his installation met or exceeded American Boat and Yacht Council Standard E-11. Failure to adhere to the standard could result in fire, injury, or death. We offer the following article, which outlines the steps involved in constructing a custom panel, as a rough guide. In our opinion, such a project should not be carried out without the consultation of an ABYC-certified electrician.

Mailport: August 2014

In regard to your December 2013 Chandlery article on the Vesper SP160 VHF splitter. After too many near misses with merchant ships, we installed an AIS in 2012, using the Vesper splitter to the masthead antenna. Your article mentioned target reception at 1.5 miles without and 11 miles with the SP160. In our experience, we sometimes see merchant vessels at 80 miles or more, and other cruisers at 30 to 40 miles with the Vesper. When approaching Colon, Panama, the display was maxed out at 50 miles (it only shows the closest 100 contacts).

Steer Clear of Flex-Able-brand Expandable Hose

We were paging through our emails filtered spam folder last summer to make sure we didn't miss anything and came across an ad for a compact, flexible hose that looked ideal for small boats. The incredible expanding Flex-Able hose is made of a tough double-wall construction that is designed to bend and never kink, and included a seven-way spray nozzle with the hose. The hoses ability to shrink down to an extremely compact size when not in use was particularly enticing.

Where Credit Is Due: July 2014

This winter, I completely rebuilt the Edson steering system on my boat. With the kind of monopoly that Edson International (www.edsonintl.com) has, I expected the type of customer service one would have found in a Soviet-era supermarket. Boy, was I wrong!

Mailport: July 2014

I have sailed a Tartan Fantail powered with a Torqeedo Cruise 2.0 a few times. I fell in love with the silence and the power of the engine, and as a result, I have my diesel for sale. I plan to replace it with an inboard, electric 48-volt powerplant. I have investigated quite a few.

Vertical LPG Storage Tanks

My 1979 Tayana Vancouver 42 came with two horizontal propane tanks and one vertical propane tank (all three 20-pound aluminum) when I bought the boat in 2007. I contacted Worthington Industries and learned that horizontal LPG tanks are those with the additional brackets attached for horizontal installation and must be used horizontally; those without brackets are vertical tanks and must be kept vertical, which is the norm from everything Ive read. Im a bit surprised that not more is published about horizontal LPG tanks.

Tefcite Coating Fails Static Panel Test at 1 Year

Our quest for new antifouling paints recently took us into the world of long-life spray-on coatings promoted in the commercial-shipping industry. While the spray-on, thermoplastic composite powder Tefcite may work well on a ship thats moving at 13 knots for most of its working life, it failed surprisingly fast in our static panel tests.

Antifouling Paint Prices Follow Copper Surge

The antifouling coating industry is dominated by copper-based paint, so as copper prices reach their highest levels in recent history, I was curious to...