Update: Honey Teak Has Staying Power

Last March, we reported the initial results of a new long-term varnish exposure test. What a difference a year makes!

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…

That Old Nasty Problem Caused by Dissimilar Metals

A lot of boats depend on a large Edson diaphragm pump as a last ditch emergency pump. Pumps are either permanently mounted or bolted...

Spare Parts 03/01/98

Renault PartsReader Wayne Oastler of New Hartford, New York, wrote to say that he found parts for his Renault RC8D 8-hp. diesel from Renault...

The Great Stickup: Practical Sailor Tests Marine Adhesives, Caulks, and Sealants

Practical Sailor rounded up seven readily available marine sealants and adhesives, including products from 3M, West Marine, BoatLife, and Sika Corp. The test included four polyurethane-based products, one silicone product, one polysulfide caulk, and one polyether caulk. Testers found that not all caulks will work for all applications. For example, the versatile polyurethane 3M 4200 was fast drying but didn't adhere well to wood, and all polyurethane products have to be kept away from acrylics and Lexan surfaces. Products tested were: 3M 5200 Fast Cure, 3M 4200 Fast Cure, West Marine 8200, Sikaflex 291 Lot, 3M Silicone, BoatLife Life-Caulk, and West Marine Multi-caulk.

Practical Sailor Sheds Some Light on LED Flashlights

Testers evaluated 25 different flashlights. Among these were products from Inova, Underwater Kinetics, Tektite, Sea Fit, Streamlight, Garrity, Pelican, Dr. LED, and IQ Lights. The goal of this test was to find a flashlight that was compact, light, and provided superior spotlight and wide angle illumination for objects in close range. Unfortunately, no light we tested answered all of these requirements. The winners proved to be units that excelled at one. We also discovered that size still matters, and more batteries means more power, more light, and more life. The best marine flashlight is one that suits your needs. A well-equipped sailor needs a few different flashlights to cover all the bases: one thats a dedicated spotlight, one that lights up the lockers, one that serves the needs of bright, wide angle floodlight, and lastly a tiny pocket light used for in-the-cockpit chart reading or other instances when you need a quick light but want to preserve your night vision.

PS Advisor: July 2001

Lexan vs. PlexiIm planning to replace my wooden companionway boards with translucent plastic. Is there a difference between Lexan and plexiglass? Can both be...

Hard-to-Find Mercedes Parts – Knotmeter Fouling

Given the number of Mercedes diesels you see on the highway, its amazingly difficult to find parts for the marinized versions of these engines. Part of the difficulty is the origin of the marine versions of the various Mercedes engines. Mercedes, like several other engine manufacturers, doesn't make marine diesels. They do, however, license other companies to do marine conversions using their engine blocks.

Bottom Paints 2003

It's baaack... Micron Optima earns the overall best rating. Interlux and the Kop-Coat companies take 10 of 13 'excellent' ratings, Sea Hawk gets two, and E-Paint one. Pettit Ultima SR looks good long-term.û

Great Maintenance Products: 2006

Fill your bucket with these favorites for a boat that shines from the bilge to the bow.

The Ins and Outs of Aftermarket 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.