Where Credit is Due: February 2013

This winter, we needed to fix a keel bladder valve on our 25-year-old Avon inflatable dinghy. A Web search revealed it was a Honeywell A8 type and that Honeywell Leafield is now Leafield Marine (www.leafieldmarine.co.uk). A retail source could not be found, but an email to Leafield was answered overnight by Sue Reynolds, letting us know the valve was still available, along with a request for our address since we needed just one.

Attack of the Zebra Mussel

For 20-plus years, I have removed my mooring buoy from the water at the end of the sailing season on Lake Champlain. This year, however, I was surprised to find that my mooring chain was totally covered by zebra mussels. The 3/8-inch chain was about 3 inches thick with mussels when I hauled it up! Do the zebra mussels affect the chain strength or its life expectancy?

Mailport: January 2013

I recently saw the October 2012 Chandlery review of the Bubi bottle (www.bubibottle.com) and ordered one. Despite problems ordering through Pay Pal (I ultimately went through Amazon.com), I got one of the bottles, and can tell you that it works great. When youre finished using it, you can roll it up and stick it in your pocket. It made a great crew holiday stocking stuffer!

Holding Tank Vent Fittings

As I plumb the archives for holding tank replacement info, I find excellent related articles (PS, February 2012, March 2012, and April 2012); all remind me to build in good ventilation. However, I am unable to find guidance on the merits of ventilation fittings. These stand at the interface of tank gasses and other contents trying to get out, and the marine environment trying to get in. Issues such as shape, location, mounting, and materials concern me. Can you bring some fresh air to vent fitting merits?

Mailport: December 2012

We got a half-taste of your Florida hurricanes here in New Jersey. I had my boat hauled out a few days before super-storm Sandy arrived. The yard blocked her with just four jack stands and a bow jack stand. I asked for four more for the hurricane, and they said no, so I built my own midship stands for $16! I wanted to share the how-to since they worked so well.

Goo vs. Gaskets for Bedding

I am wondering why boat manufacturers use bedding compound instead of gaskets to seal deck hardware and fittings. It seems, at least on my boat, that the bedding compound dries up within a few years, and then the fittings no longer keep out water. Sure, bedding compound is much less expensive, but wouldn't gaskets a better solution requiring less maintenance?

Mailport: November 2012

Letters to Practical Sailor, November 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Ideal Galley, Spilled Cetol, Power Plug Search, and More!

The Custom Winter Cover

We now have a boat-an Allied Seabreeze 35 sloop, hull number 23, from 1965-and overall, its a well-kept and sea-kindly boat. Winter is coming, and a winter cover seems in order. The conduit-frame-and-tarp that you published (www.practical-sailor.com/marine/do_it_yourself_winter_frame-10593-1.html) is an option, but a fitted canvas (Sunbrella or better) cover is another, which will perhaps pay for itself in about three seasons. What is your view on this?

Mailport: October 2012

Letters to Practical Sailor, October 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Remote Mic Feedback, Bottom Paint Empathy, Lightning Protection, and more!

Laying the Ground Rules

In the excellent article on DIY boat surveys on page 19 of your June 2012 issue, PS suggests that AC outlets located in the galley and head (among other places) should be ground-fault protected. BoatUS requires this as well, for those of us insured with them, and the National Marine Manufacturers’ Association (NMMA) also requires it. I wish someone could explain to me why this is the case.

Antifouling Paint Prices Follow Copper Surge

The antifouling coating industry is dominated by copper-based paint, so as copper prices reach their highest levels in recent history, I was curious to...