Hull Restorer Test

At some point in the life of a cruising sailboat, hull wax or fiberglass polish is no longer an option and restoring gel coat requires more serious commitment. Hull restorers contain water-based emulsions of acrylic or acrylic/urethane resins. The resins are tiny droplets suspended in water. When applied the water evaporates, and the resins flow together to form clear films. The process is similar to what happens with many fiberglass or gel-coat finishes. For this Practical Sailor test, surface preparation was critical. If you miss a streak of dirt or grease, that blemish will become trapped under the hull restorer.

Mailport: 12/06

MARINE INSURANCE REDUXI have been reading with much interest your articles about marine insurance this year (April and May 2006).

2017 Top Sailing Gear

Each year, just prior to the fall boat show season, Practical Sailor editors consult with our testers to come up with a select list of Gear of the Year from the previous 12 months of testing. For most of the 2016-2017 testing season we focused on essential everyday products that owners of boats of all sizes-with a few exceptions-rely on. While our testers appreciate new technology, they recognize that a safe passage often depends on the reliability of the weakest link, and that weakest link is often a seemingly minor component that gets little attention. In short, our Editors Choice list is not the sexiest product roundup, but if youre serious about keeping your electrical connections corrosion free, making professional repairs on a blue-collar budget, maintaining a safe speed in a steep following sea, or looking for a way to manage a big genoa without upgrading to an electric winch, youll appreciate it.

Marine Handheld GPS Test Update

The Delorme Earthmate PN-40 is one of the newest additions to the handheld marine electronics market. Practical Sailor evaluated the rugged, palm-sized Earthmate using the same tests used in past GPS evaluations to see how it matched up against the Garmin GPSMap 76CSx, our top performer in past tests. Testers used the unit for multiple days and rated key functions, battery life, lighting, waterproof quality, cold starts in multiple locations, and visibility under different conditions.

Simple Tips for Maintaining Stainless Steel

When applying a paste cleaner, a toothbrush is useful for buffing tight spots and working into the pores of welds; follow by buffing with a cotton cloth. A green 3M scrubby pad helps for removing more aggressive stains. Continued rusting in welded areas might indicate a developing failure, requiring replacement. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and mild soap when done buffing.