Mailport: April 2012

Letters to Practical Sailor, April 2012. This month's letters cover subjects such as: Engine Free, Climbers' Tether Fix, Waterproof Fabric, and More!

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.

Mailport 10/01/00

Life Raft TestsI have just finished reading your final article on life rafts (July, 2000) and feel compelled to comment on a few issues...

PS Advisor: 04/15/05

Installing DC InvertersI'm considering the possibility of installing an inverter on board my boat. What would be your counsel to an owner regarding a...

Safety at Sea Seminar

If you don’t have any plans for the last weekend of March and beginning of April, you can still register and attend the Annapolis Safety at Sea seminar, presented by the Marine Trades Association of Maryland and the U.S. Naval Academy. The seminar runs March 31-April 1 and will be held in Alumni Hall at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Mailport: Jack Russell is on watch

Regarding your recent Inside Practical Sailor blog post on ideal dogs for boats, I believe Jack Russell terrier, Parson Russell Terrier or many of the smaller terriers are ideally suited. Nimble, determined and easily adapt as long as their people are there. Easy to board the dinghy or back on the boat. Their food storage doesn't gobble up too much storage space and never will a rodent live for more than…

The Mystery of the Bulging Fin Keel

I was reading a Mailport letter in the December 2014 issue of Practical Sailor, and it led me to your May 27, 2014 blog regarding keel failure. We have a 1977 Islander 28 with a bolted-on fin keel that is creating a safety issue. I am confident I know what the proper repair is (remove the keel and re-secure it), but I am more wondering if youve ever seen anything like this. On the starboard side of the keel, below the keel joint, a square chunk of lead is bulging out of the keel side. Ive had a few surveyors take a look at it, and theyve never seen anything like it either. The keel bolts do not leak-at least water doesn't come in. Thoughts?

PS Advisor 06/01/98

Epoxy vs. VinylesterSeveral boatyards and resin suppliers have given me strong but conflicting opinions on the subject of applying a two-part waterproofing barrier to...

PS Advisor: Are Diaphragm Bilge Pumps OK?

My boat has an ITT/Jabsco 36600 diaphragm bilge pump that does not sit in the bilge and is rebuildable. With an 8-foot head on the pump installation, I think this type of pump may be a better type for me than the electric centrifugal pumps you reviewed in the September 2010 issue—although they are more expensive. You did not include any diaphragm pumps in your review. Was there a reason? Do you plan to test this type of pump and perhaps compare them to the ones reported on in the September article? Any information on diaphragm pumps versus centrifugal pumps would be greatly appreciated.

PS Advisor: 11/15/05

Holding TanksI'm planning to install a holding tank in my Pearson Vanguard. I've spent a little time researching the options, but I'm having trouble...

The Ins and Outs of Aftermarket Bowsprits for Light-air Sails

A salty Kiwi named Ross Norgrove once said that the most important tool for the owner of a wooden yawl adorned with a bowsprit is a sharp ax. To some degree, his witty comment holds true for contemporary sailors contemplating a mini-bowsprit.