Mailport 05/15/00

Foss Foam RuddersIn reference to your article on rudder repair I would like to add the following. Since the 1960s the Foss Company in...

Mailport 04/15/98

High Cost of PartsBrian La Butes letter in the November 1, 1997 issue (in which he complained that a new compressor for his four-year-old...

PS Advisor 02/15/01

Bilge SlopI appreciated your June 2000 article on bilge pumps. My specific problem is that I have a wet bilge. I have been working...

PS Advisor

JacklinesMy boat has a hard dodger and I insist upon having the jacklines run down the centerline of the boat, interference with hatches (does...

Mailport: December 2010

Letters to the Practical Sailor editors in December 2010 include: paint colors, sailmaker services, bilge pumps, pest control and the Wirie v. a DIY WiFi antenna.

Mailport: 07/15/05

Mooring Chain Alternatives I continue to find discussions on mooring systems and corrosion interesting. I will install a zinc on my mooring's 3/8" chain...

Lifesling Webbing Beckets Fail

I recently inspected our Lifesling MOB rescue device. The webbing beckets that attached the polypropylene float line to the horseshoe float had deteriorated. These straps tore free from the float with only about 40 pounds of pressure. The Lifesling came with our boat, so I don't know how old it is or how it had been stored previously, although I do know it was stored in a translucent, polyethylene hard case for a while. This safety issue deserves a recall, in my opinion, and highlights the need to periodically inspect safety equipment.

Mailport 09/01/00

Battery Gas CorrosionSome comments on the battery-caused corrosion . Its a well-known problem, although most professional battery experts say that the batteries cannot release...

Mailport 07/15/98

Shrink Wrapping Painted HullsI covered my boat with shrink wrap this past winter for the first time. I followed all the advice concerning venting....

Mailport: 01/08

Thank you for your excellent article on heat-related failures of nylon line ("Nylon Rope Endurance Test," December 2007). When a boat winds up on the beach after a storm, its easy to look at the frayed ends of a mooring line and announce that it had chafed. Your study reinforced what our claims experience has been with nylon mooring and anchor lines in storms: Failures are more likely to be caused by heat than abrasion. Our claims experience at BoatU.S. has been that mooring or anchor lines are most likely to fail between the foredeck cleats and chocks. A line that is compressed at the chock under storm load loses up to half its strength. At the same time the line is being compressed, it is also being stretched back and forth across the chock, which creates tremendous heat. The farther the cleat is from the chock, the more the line will stretch and generate heat.

Plug that Chain-pipe

I was always amazed at how much water could seep through the chain-pipe and into Toscas anchor locker when a sea was up, or we were punching into a headsea-although punching would hardly describe the ungainly motion of a gaff-rigged ketch to weather. Wallowing? Submarining? Regardless, the chain-pipe was like a water main in those conditions …