Mailport: January 2012

Letters to Practical Sailor, January 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Flare disposal, Chainplate failures, MOB Pole storage and more!

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

PS Advisor: GPS Accuracy and Signal Strength

I recently installed an 80-watt solar panel on my bimini. I am concerned that this may have reduced the positional accuracy of my GPS, a Standard Horizon 180i, which has an internal antenna mounted directly below the solar panel. Do solar panels cause interference with GPS signals?

Twist Your Way Back to Safe Harbor

Last month we looked at some get home “kludges” if your rigging fails. Here I’ll share some other quick fixes to get you home...

Mailport: More Trimarans Please

Please include more and more articles on smaller trimarans as time goes on such as reviews on Corsair 24s, Ostac Tramps, etc. Since I sold my monohull (ODay 26) I find myself searching for good articles on multihulls and I certainly see more and more of them out on the water than before. Used ones are becoming affordable as the Corsair fleet ages.

Mailport: May 2015

In regard to your March 23, 2015 blog on bird deterrents: I moved to Florida a few years ago and was the only sailboat in a 20-slip location. Little black birds infested it right away. I tried flying owls, kites, balloons, sitting owls, snakes, etc., and nothing worked for long. Those little black birds would sit on top of my Windex and spin around, and poop all over the boat.

Mailport: 11/08

Thanks to everyone who responded to our call for suggested DIY boatyards for an upcoming article. There is still time to participate: Send your picks to the editors e-mail at If you didn't hear from us on this topic, its probably because youre not getting the editors e-newsletter, which represents his very best efforts at 3 a.m. the night before deadline. To sign up, go to: and select "Change My E-mail Address."

Safety Gear Recalls

As you gear up for another summer of sailing, it is also a good time to double check that none of your essential safety equipment is subject to a recall. Two helpful websites track recalls that can impact sailors. the Consumer Protection Safety Commission ( focuses primarily on mainstream consumer goods like the Kidde fire-extinguisher (see below). There is also a U.S. Coast Guard site ( Here are a couple recalls you should be aware of.

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.