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Compression tester set up for testing. The hose is screwed into a glow plug hole after removing a glow plug. Note: This is a mock up to illustrate the tester placement, but this is a tester for a gasoline engine, not a diesel because it only goes up to 300 psi. A diesel tester would go up to 1000 psi. Also, ALL of the glow plugs should be removed, not just one. In addition, the hose is not actually screwed in because the fitting is the wrong size. (Photo/ Phil Decker)

How to Do an Engine Compression Test

An engine compression test is an important diagnostic test that any boat owner can do with equipment that costs about $50. You can also...
Das Boot's symmetric spinnaker is flying while the boat races downwind at the Fran Byrne Regatta, Aug. 2007. (Photo/ Nick Van Antwerp)

Headsails and Spinnakers: How to Explain Their Functions to a Beginner

Over the past few decades, we have seen a tremendous advancement in sail design technologies—innovative sail materials are now common in the marketplace and...
2. Not only is this switch too darn close to the winch, there is a silly wire drink holder near the path of the lines and a person sitting on the bench can easily fall into a running, unguarded, electric winch. Unspeakably dangerous and OSHA would just shut you down. (Photo/ Drew Frye)

Electric Winch and Windlass Safety

A decade ago a woman from Venezuela was hoisting her husband up the mast of their Amel Maramu 54. The winch was electrically powered,...
The three-strand nylon anchor rode was likely severed by a submerged metal object 30 feet from the boat. While Alex had 20 feet of chain attached to the 50 feet of nylon rode, it wasn't enough chain to battle the submerged object. (Photo/ Alex Jasper)

Severed Anchor in the Bahamas: Seven Lessons Learned

Leaving Rhode Island to sail to the Bahamas, I wanted to be untethered, for a while. Adrift at dawn and heading for rocks in...
With a few inexpensive materials and a bit of patience, you can redo the vinyl lettering on your boat yourself. (Photo/ Marc Robic)

Vinyl Boat Lettering DIY Application and Repair

One of the pleasures of boating, at least for me, is reading boat names! I enjoy the many humorous names and those that are...
When starting lights up the tester, that means your spark plug is good. (Photo/ David Corrao)

Dinghy Outboard Diagnostics

In my past life I worked in the automotive industry for over 20 years. In that time, I realized that the hard part about...
Little things that are hardly necessary but nice to have start in the galley.

Those Extras you Don’t Need But Love to Have

As a full-time live-aboard, you learn to make some sacrifices. You ultimately become your own little island so you must learn to ration your...
LadyK on the Erie Canal with a mast on deck to navigate under bridges.

The Great Loop: An Accessible Adventure Sail Through North America

What is the greatest adventure you can have in North America? RV enthusiasts will drive to the desert to see the Grand Canyon, visit Yellowstone...
A helpful view of the jackline leading around the dodger to a hard point on top of the coach roof, and from there forward to the base of the mast.

Another Look at Fitting Jacklines

“Keep the crew on the inside and the water on the outside.” This old salt's advice to new offshore sailors is somewhat “tongue in cheek”...
This Perkins M20, 3 cyl, 18hp diesel engine is cleaned, inspected and antifreeze flushed after a winter on the hard. Due to proper prep for both winter and spring, it is now running smoothly. (Photo/ Marc Robic)

Spring Season Engine Start-Up for Winterized Engines

Two things, as they say, are certain in life: death and taxes. Perhaps a third would be that fuel cost will inevitably keep rising....

Hunter Legend 35.5 – Behind the Curtain

Are you interested in a 32-36 foot sailboat that's small enough to sail as a couple, big enough to sleep on comfortably, fast enough...