A Simple DIY Project for Laptop Navigators

Looking for an alternative to installing an on-deck chartplotter? PS reader Bill Boyeson came up with a creative way to use his laptop for navigation, rather than a multi-function display in the cockpit of his J/42. The Kirkland, Wash., sailor designed an enclosure that protects the setup from the elements and that can be easily removed and stowed belowdecks when not in use. Here are the details that Boyeson shared with Practical Sailor.

PS Advisor: Rotten to the Core

Do you have any suggestions on a book or manual that explains how to replace a cored deck where most of it is soaking wet? I replaced a 1.5-square-foot area and was surprised to see that it was so wet and rotten that I could grab the wood core and squeeze it like a sponge.

Mailport: March 2010

The March 2010 issue of Practical Sailor features letters from readers on such subjects as: household adhesives, Union 36s, foggy electronics, digital freezer controls and converting a boat from gas to electric.

PS Advisor: 05/15/05

C-Flex ConstructionI ran across a an owner who said his boat was built with C-flex construction. What do you think of this method, and...

Mailport: 11/01

Ralph KershawOur sport, the marine industry, and many of us personally lost a man ofhonesty, integrity, professionalism, and deep knowledge on September11, 2001. Less...

PS Advisor: 07/01/03

Data, Displays, and the NMEAI currently own navigation equipment from three different companies, primarily because I felt they were the best value or provided...

Testing EZ Splice Finds a Knot is a Better Choice

Rope splicing is a sailorly art form that has many boaters scared skinny. They haven't learned the skill, and they fear that using a knot instead displays their ignorance and is perhaps less secure. The EZ Splice (www.ezspliceusa.com) promises a means of splicing a rope in minutes without any special skill. The lines are trimmed to length, inserted into the EZ Splices tough plastic housing with just a little tail sticking out, and 12 stainless pins are pounded in with a hammer. We found it to be fast and easy, and the result was a consistently neat splice. But the million-dollar question remained: How secure was it?

Mailport: September 2010

Letters to Practical Sailor from our readers. September 2010's topics include barnacles, teak finish, knots for a bosun chair and LEDs.

Mailport: February 2012

Letters to Practical Sailor, February 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Engine-Free, Titanium, Sabre Solace Twin, and More!

PS Advisor: Resurrecting a Windlass

I’ve got an old manual anchor windlass with a badly corroded gypsy that needs to be replaced. There is a 1:1 bronze "cross" on the outside of the gypsy—where the lever fits to turn it when not using the geared mechanism. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to get the bronze cross off, which needs to happen in order to replace the gypsy. There’s a grease zirk/fender washer on the outside of the cross, but unscrewing it still doesn’t get the cross off.

Overheating in Docklines and Rodes

With hurricane season hitting full stride, many of us are going over our rope inventory, making sure we have more than enough lines to secure the boat. Chafe gear fights external friction on our lines, but how do we combat internal heat build-up? Dock lines are particularly susceptible to overheating. If the boat is exposed to short-period chop from the side, the frequency can be high and the force can exceed the 10:1 safe working limit, and even with rain or spray to cool the rope there may be significant weakening due to internal friction.