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Mailport & PS Advisor

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…

Simplifying Your Cleaning Chemicals Kit

Instead of requiring 30 random cleaning products, you would need only four or five with carefully targeted chemistry. Thats it-no more than five cleaners to serve most purposes. Here are the basics to building your own kit.

Mailport: Iron Keels, Clothes for Cold, Anchor Roll Bars

It would be useful for PS to list which manufacturers use iron encapsulated in their keel. I am surprised to learn that many old sailboats have iron instead of lead as encapsulated ballast.Edward Addeo via PS Online

PS Advisor: Cure for the Ventilating Rudder

Got a really fast boat? Zipping along at over 10 knots there are any number of ways air can suck down the leeward side of the blade, spoiling the coanda effect. When planing there are often some air bubbles under boat. If the boat assumes a bow-down attitude under the pressure of the spinnaker or as waves pass, the transom can come a few inches out of the water. Above 15 knots theres enough suction…

Mailport: Propellers, Cockpit vise, Seacocks, Rewiring

Regarding your report on props, (Folding and Feathering Props,February 2018), I installed a Gori propeller on my Beneteau 393 before setting sail from the Great Lakes to the Caribbean for a year.

A Handy Cockpit Vise Is Ready in a Pinch

Most times when I need a third hand, I can secure whatever Im working on by jamming it in the groove between dock boards, or against a piling and placing a knee on it, or some combination. Work surfaces can incorporate cleats or holes for this purpose, but sometimes more specific clamping measures are required.

Mailport: DSD; PFD Testing; Water Purification; Rewiring; Air Conditioning at Anchor

Like Tom Taylor and Joseph DiMatteo (see Mailport PS August 2019), Ive stopped using inflatable PFDs and instead wear inherently buoyant foam versions. I found that ones designed for dinghy sailing are often very comfortable and have convenient pockets for knives, whistles, flashlights, and even handheld VHFs (I keep one with GPS and DSC on myself, especially when single-handing).

Try a Barber Hauler for Better Sail Trim

If you cant position the jib clew exactly where you want it on all courses and in all weather, a barber hauler should be in your future, for even the most laid-back sailor. Here are some options.

Mailport: oil filters, cabin fans, Catalina 22, Hunter 30, watermakers

With regards to your recent marine oil filter tests (see PS July 2019, Marine Oil Filter Comparison Test), having spent my career in the aeronautical engine technical field specializing in maintenance I must state my allegiance to non-encapsulated filters and independent housings. This trend towards spin-on filter assemblies prevents in my opinion the most important aspect of filter maintenance which is particle inspection. Filters are not removed so you can inspect or replace them, they are removed so you can ascertain your engines condition. This practice seems to have been set aside to make way to quick and easy maintenance using spin-on filters. Oil analysis is fine but it should start with a simple sediment inspection after a low cost electro- sonic cleaning in a 60 Hz bath (jewelry cleaner bath).

Years Later, Mast Mate Still Riding High

Mast steps are a great help when going aloft, but they add weight where it hurts most (aloft), and halyards love to get stuck behind them. One alternative is the Mast Mate webbing ladder, which hoists on your mainsail track.

Too Many Layers of Bottom Paint?

So, a couple of years back, you acquired a good old boat at a pretty good price-thanks to the market-but now youre wondering how many coats of bottom paint it has. And what kind? Youve put on a few coats of ablative antifouling since youve owned the boat. It has adhered well and has done its job. But each year, the bottom looks rougher and rougher-with big recesses where paint has flaked off. You sweated out some extra prep-work this season, and thought you had a nice, durable subsurface for painting, but each pass of the roller pulls up more paint. Whats going on here?