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Mailport & PS Advisor

Is Your Dinghy Ready for the Unexpected?

Ever since my own brush with a breezy day that turned an afternoon dinghy sail into an arduous struggle to get back to shore, I’ve kept my dinghy stocked with a few essentials. • Legal requirements. PFDs and a sound making device. Obvious, but also smart. My daughter once ran out of fuel in the […]

Passivating Stainless on Sails and Gear

Often stainless steel hardware on our sails will begin to rust under the cloth webbing, not only staining the fabric and webbing, but inviting crevice corrosion. The cause is a lack of oxygen under that tightly fitted bit of webbing, and the fabric holds moisture and salt that breeds corrosion. If left alone, the stainless […]

Mailport: March 2022

NAVIGATION ADVICE Regarding your recent blog post on navigating in poorly chartered waters, all of your tips, plus make use of the masses of very useful info available online. Like downloading satellite images as an addition to charts where nautical charts are unreliable or don’t exist. Search on youtube “How to Download Free Satellite Images,” […]

Must I Remove Mast Hardware to Paint?

Refinishing hulls, decks and masts has been revolutionized by epoxy primers and two part polyurethane top coat material. Their adhesive quality, durability, longevity and like-new gleam make their cost and/or your DIY commitment justifiable. However, there is a difference in how these coatings behave on different substrates. And when applied over aluminum, steel or wood […]

Mailport: February 2022

SPLIT MAINSHEET Regarding your recent report on split mainsheets (see PS November 2020, “Do Twin Mainsheets Better Control the Mainsail?”), if you attach the preventers/ sheets to the toe-rail just aft of the side chain plates and attach/ use two boom bails to separate load on the boom, you will have control of the mainsail […]

The Orion 357 Electric Flare After 1 Year

In our report on the new electronic visual distress signalling devices (eVDSD) we mentioned in passing that a U.S. Coast Guard approved eVDSD might serve double duty on smaller boats as a man overboard marking device (see “Distress Flares Go Electric,” PS June 2021). Several readers posed the same question. After all, these devices float, […]

Mailport: January 2022

GORILLA GLUE AND UV Regarding your report on repairing damaged core panels, “Can Glue Injection Fix Rotten Core?” The problem I have found is that Gorilla Glue becomes brittle and degrades within a year or so. I fixed a badly delaminated cockpit sole using Don Casey’s “This Old Boat” suggestion of cutting several parallel long […]

Playing the Wind Shifts for Fun or Sport

When high-pressure dominates, it is normal for the wind direction to oscillate 15-20 degrees every 5-20 minutes. In theory, hitting the shifts correctly will increase the distance made good to windward by 20-30 percent. Racers obsess over hitting these shifts and new technology allows them to do it better than ever, but if your boat […]

Mailport: December 2021

IN PRAISE OF KOVER KLAMPS Thanks for this great article on winter covers (see Inside PS blog, “What to Look for in a Winter Cover”), I wrestled with this decision after buying my first sailboat in the summer of 2020. I realized that I had to make a decision as winter approached and some leaky […]

File Away Your Pipe Thread Problems

Thread restoring files cannot restore stripped or severely corroded threads, but they can work wonders on threads that have been distorted by impact, clogged with corrosion products or adhesives and paint, or where the first few threads have been torn off or mangled. Common Unified National Fine (UNF), Unified National Coarse (UNC), National Pipe Tapered […]