A Boat Buyer’s Recourse

The AC pump passed inspection, but it never turned on again. Then there was the leaking diesel fuel. The previous owner had added see-through, 30-micron filters where the fuel exited the tank because the metal ones at the engine are hard to reach and inspect. I have since learned that this type of filter is sure to leak, as diesel will soften the plastic housing. I am told that the Coast Guard will hammer you if they find them installed.

A Boat Buyer’s Recourse

The AC pump passed inspection, but it never turned on again. Then there was the leaking diesel fuel. The previous owner had added see-through, 30-micron filters where the fuel exited the tank because the metal ones at the engine are hard to reach and inspect. I have since learned that this type of filter is sure to leak, as diesel will soften the plastic housing. I am told that the Coast Guard will hammer you if they find them installed.

Mailport: August 2012

Letters to Practical Sailor, August 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Anchor Rhodes, Ultrasonic Antifouling, Inflatable PFDs, and more

Chemical Varnish Strippers

I want to varnish my companionway hatch boards, but I need to remove the old finish. Is there a varnish remover that works well and doesn’t ruin the wood?

Mailport: July 2012

Letters to Practical Sailor, July 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Dinghy Launcher, iPad Glare, Racor, and more!

Companionway Hatch Fix

I did some research on gluing plastics and came away more confused than when I started. My research revealed that some plastics cannot be glued, while others can be, as long as the right glue is utilized. I don't even know what the smoke-colored, half-inch-thick hatch cover material is: acrylic, poly-carbonate, Lexan? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Mailport: June 2012

Letters to Practical Sailor, June 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Safety Lessons, USCG Registration Fees, Waterproofing Fabric, and more!

US Sailing Investigating California Sailing Deaths

Nine deaths in two separate offshore sailing races originating in California have prompted investigations by US Sailing. The race tragedies follow last summer’s fatal accident in the 2011 Chicago-Mackinac Race, in which two sailors died, and the near-fatal accident in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet race, which Practical Sailor reported on in the May 2012 issue.

Bilge Oil and Keel Worries

I have been looking at purchasing a Catalina 36 that had an engine oil leak, but first I wanted your opinion. The leaked oil accumulated in the bilge, and, in time, appears to have percolated through the base of the hull on either side of the keel, through the holes in which were mounted the sum/log impeller and the depth transducer. On the underside of the hull, there is a 4-inch dark halo that has impregnated the antifouling around each of these two fittings. I am concerned that the oil will damage the components and bedding seals. Also, the percolating oil has seeped down the keel bolts and darkened the joint where the ballast-keel meets the keel stub.

Mailport: May 2012

Letters to Practical Sailor, May 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: US Sailing Report, Tether/PFD Designs, Safety Snap Shackles and More!

Caring For Your Marine Diesel Engine

Expecting calms for most of the passage, we set out in a flat calm with 70 gallons of fuel. Six hours later, around mid-day, the engine wailed, screeched, clanged, and died. Hardly a ripple stirred the Gulf of Panama.