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Mailport & PS Advisor

PS Advisor 10/01/98

Keel Bolt ConundrumWe have owned an Allied 39 for 23 years. She was built in 1970 and among her strengths is an external lead...

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: Seawind Treasure Trove

Seakindly with sweet lines and good bones, the 30-foot Allied Seawind remains for me the benchmark of a good small bluewater sailboat. Designed by Thomas Gilmer and launched in 1960, 161 of these sturdy vessels were produced by the end of the run in 1973. That was the same year I bought my own Seawind, hull #122, built in 1969. I had no idea at the time that I would still be sailing the same boat 44 years later.

Curing the Hardened Sole

My closet is full of boat shoes and sailing boots that are in excellent condition on the topsides, but to a sole, their bottoms have become hard and slippery. Is there any known cure short of replacement?

Mailport: December 2015

We recently purchased a Webasto Airtop 3900 do-it-yourself (DIY) kit from Defender Industries. The instructions were very comprehensive, and the installation and product work exactly as they should, which typically would lead me to recommend this as a great DIY product. The issue, however, came when we tried to register the product for warranty.

PS Advisor: 09/05

Remote Units for VHF RadiosYour July 15 issue review of fixed-mount VHF radios didn't address one common problem. When I'm on board alone, at...

Mailport: 06/04

MultimetersOne aspect of digital multimeters you did not mention in your April 15 article is their sensitivity to salt water. I had first-hand experience...

Mailport 05/01/01

Battery IsolationThe March 2001 Gear Survey article discussed an electronic battery isolator. I had a similar problem with a three-battery system with a diode...

Winterizing an Outboard

For winterizing a small outboard engine, is it best to run the gas out of the engine or store it full with an additive mixed in? Is it the same for two-stroke and four-stroke engines? What about ethanol and non-ethanol gasoline?

Where Credit Is Due: February 2015

This is a quick note to say how impressed we have been with Vesper Marine (www.vespermarine.com) and its WMX850 AIS transceiver. As you highlighted in your review of AIS units (see PS, September 2014 online), the Human-Machine interface for AIS and anchor alarm is very intuitive and flexible, unlike many of the multifunction displays available. With its very low power consumption, it allows us to keep it continuously on at anchor, for the anchor alarm, and at sea, without concerns about the power draw. As we are cruising full time with a family of five onboard in the South Pacific, we are almost exclusively at anchor or on passage, and therefore, the unit is almost always turned on.

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.