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Sails, Rigging & Deck Gear

Dodging a Bullet When Caught on Bulkhead

The following is aimed primarily at boats that are unable to leave an alongside dock or bulkhead before wind and seas become dangerous. Any fetch beyond 200 yards is dangerous, and there may be nothing you can do to protect the boat. However, if you are in a protected marina, well up a creek, and the storm is moderate, these actions can help. Just remember that low breakwaters will be overtopped, wooden breakwaters fall apart, other boats will come loose, and there will be lumber in the water from broken docks.

Fast Flow Pump: The Name Says It All

Originally designed for pumping operations on land, the Fast Flow engine-driven pump has a tremendous pumping capacity, with the ability to move nearly 5,000 gallons of water per hour (at 800 rpm). Thats nearly five times the amount of the average electric bilge pump. The Fast Flow Pump comes in a variety of sizes, but a close look at installation and fittings is necessary to determine if the pump will fit on a particular boat.

Corroded Whale Gusher 10 Pump

A photo in a report on manual bilge pumps (in the April 15, 2000 issue) showed a Whale Gusher 10 that a reader had...

Anchor Shackles Round II

In this report, we continue our investigation into shackles, re-testing one shackle that fell below the makers specifications, Canada Metal Pacifics black-pin Titan shackle, and testing for the first time a widely used shackle from West Marine. We also offer our initial findings on two stainless-steel shackles: the Tecni-lift 316 bow shackle and a no-name stainless-steel shackle marked Hong Kong, which is representative of the many generic stainless shackles youll find in hardware stores and some chandleries.

Keeping Ice at Bay

Southern sailors often put their boats away for a few months when the water gets a little cool. Northern sailors have a more definitive reason; they put their boats away when the water gets hard. Often, freezing is limited to harbor areas, where shallow water, freshwater input, and limited tidal flushing encourage ice formation. Far north, you can walk on it for weeks, while in the mid-Atlantic, the layer is often thin and transitory. And while a few inches of ice are generally harmless to a sound boat, thick moving ice can damage paint, exposed steering gear, and planking. Although we cant make the weather any warmer, there are measures boat owners can take to keep ice at bay.

Laying the Ground Rules

In the excellent article on DIY boat surveys on page 19 of your June 2012 issue, PS suggests that AC outlets located in the galley and head (among other places) should be ground-fault protected. BoatUS requires this as well, for those of us insured with them, and the National Marine Manufacturers’ Association (NMMA) also requires it. I wish someone could explain to me why this is the case.

Rhumb Lines — Getting a Fix on Reality

It was mid-July 1990 on the Caicos Banks, a stretch of shallow, gin-clear water extending for about 70 miles east to west in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Along with a dozen other cruisers whod chosen to thumb our noses at hurricane season (ah, those were simpler times), we were pausing in Providenciales before heading south. …

Singlehanded Sailors Notebook

First contested in 1978, the Singlehanded TransPac (SHTP) offshore race crosses 2,120 miles of Pacific Ocean from San Francisco Bay to Hanalei Bay, Kauai. Though the singlehanded race has been dubbed a bug light for weirdos, world-class navigators and sailors often throw their lot in with the pack. Longtime singlehanded racer and cruiser Skip Allan took time out from his TransPac preparations to outline the equipment he keeps onboard Wildflower, his 27.5-foot Thomas Wylie-designed sloop/cutter. From his Sail-O-Mat windvane to boom vangs to tiller pilots, Allan discusses a range of gear helpful to all singlehanded sailors and small boat sailors. He outlines his sail inventory and storm tactics, along with his approach to provisioning and eating at sea. A second installment of the Singlehanded Sailors Notebook will take a look at onboard electronics and safety gear for the solo sailor.

Radar Poles: Edson Most Versatile, Garhauer the Best Buy

The marvel called radar is great to have aboard, especially when an approaching fog bank is about to compress your world into a small...

Too Many Layers of Bottom Paint?

So, a couple of years back, you acquired a good old boat at a pretty good price-thanks to the market-but now youre wondering how many coats of bottom paint it has. And what kind? Youve put on a few coats of ablative antifouling since youve owned the boat. It has adhered well and has done its job. But each year, the bottom looks rougher and rougher-with big recesses where paint has flaked off. You sweated out some extra prep-work this season, and thought you had a nice, durable subsurface for painting, but each pass of the roller pulls up more paint. Whats going on here?