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Mailport & PS Advisor

The Many Tales a Stanchion Can Tell

This month’s article on Dyneema lifelines sent us diving into the archives for advice on our own little lifeline project. We didn’t have to dig too deep to realize we had more than a simple lifeline replacement on our hands. BRONZE SUPPORT BRACKET The green patina on the cast silicone bronze stanchion bracket is a […]

Mailport: September 2021

MULTIHULL MADNESS Regarding your report on the rising popularity of multihulls (see PS March 2017, “Multihull Madness”), when the wind speed doubles, the force and heeling moment on the sails quadruples. It does not go up by a factor of 100. Anyone with a knowledge of aerodynamics could confirm this. Secondly, while some multis do […]

Tips on Rolling and Tipping with Awlgrip

Boat restorer and broker Glen Simmons took time out from painting a 2004 Catalina 36 to share some tips with PS. Simmons has perfected a roll-and-tip technique with Awlgrip that will also work with more DIY-friendly products. For more detailed guidance and results of our own paint tests, follow the links in the Inside PS […]

Mailport: August 2021

SHOUT OUT FOR THE AIRMAR TLM100 Regarding your recent blog post on PFD inspection (see Inside PS, “Check Expiration Dates on Autoinflate PFDs”), when sailing solo on my Cape Dory 32 I feel much more comfortable with my kayak PFD Kokatat MsFit Tour ($165) rather than an auto-inflatable. The Kokatat has a pocket for a […]

Don’t Be Stung by O-Ring Sticker Shock

O-rings are smart to replace during service, but often OEM parts are not at hand when you need them and priced at the specialty level, even though most are quite generic. SIZE Careful measurement is required. The wrong major dimensions and they won’t fit the groove. Try to force it and it will either slide […]

Mailport: July 2021

NEVER-SEEZ With regards to your recent blog post, “More Boat Tips: Unsticking Stuck Nuts and Bolts,” it makes a mess, but I always use Bostik Never-Seez when ever I put something back together on my 20-year-old boat. I can attest that even stainless bolts through aluminum threads exposed to the salt water environment always free […]

Mailport: June 2021

WINCH GREASE FALSE SAVINGS? With regards to your report on winch grease (see PS February 2017, “Budget Priced Winch Grease,”), price is a small consideration compared with my labor. One thing you didn’t mention is how hard it is to clean the old grease off. Winches should be serviced regularly and cleaning last year’s grease […]

Don’t Confuse AIS Beacons with PLBs

Lots of confusion has arisen over the use and functionality of personal locator beacons (PLB) and automatic identification system (AIS) devices. Both can increase your odds of survival but do so in very different ways. The PLB is a diminutive EPIRB and functions in exactly the same manner as its big brother, the EPIRB. Details […]

Mailport: May 2021

Bottom Paint Removal Tips I removed 40-plus years of bottom paint from half of my Catalina 27 hull over the weekend. We laid down poly dropcloths, peeled off as much as possible with stiff narrow putty knives (sharpened with a file every few minutes) then sanded…and sanded. I may use a stripper for the trickiest […]

PS Advisor: Trucking Your Boat Home for Storage

If COVID-19 has delayed your fitout, and yard costs are exceeding your original budget, storing your boat on your own property while you complete your work might be a practical option. When you use boatyard facilities for hauling and launching when the boat is trucked elsewhere for storage, there are a number of special factors […]

Winterizing Your Boat’s Water System

Much of your winterizing success will depend on the initial condition of your existing water system. If it is nearly sterile (effectively chlorinated water), there may be too few bacteria and fungus present for infection to start. However, if you use less than 20 percent alcohol or glycol (after dilution with water left in the system) you are at risk of biological growth; the lower the concentration the greater the risk. This is the reason why vodka and other alcohol-based winterizing fluids should be avoided. In our testing these solutions acted like an invitation to a microbial feast.