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Systems & Propulsion

Reliable Three-way Wire Connections

Connecting two wires is simple; a crimp butt connector using a ratchet crimper, and adhesive lined heat shrink in damp locations, where there is vibration, or where strain relief is less than perfect. Terminal connections, whether screw, pressure plate, or spring tensioned (such as Wago connectors) are straight forward. But when there is a third […]

Yes, We Are Talking About Boat Bidets

Once again we broach a sanitation topic that folks would rather not talk about, and once again we’ve been surprised by the answers we found. Not the most glamorous investigations, but they address fundamental problems. The right holding tank treatment chemistry (“Solutions for a Stinky Holding Tank,” PS February 2021) and permeation resistant sanitation hoses […]

Reducing Engine Room Noise

Noise impacts individuals differently. If your sailing partner complains about a noise that doesn't really bother you, it might not necessarily something that they can simply get used to. You will have to address it through active sound reduction measures. There are three basic approaches to making your boat quieter. The first step is to use flexible mounts to isolate the vibrating machinery from the hull. These help prevent the transmission of vibration through the solid structure of the boat, and the consequent reverberation of hull sections that can act like amplifiers. Correcting any engine-shaft misalignment will certainly help. The next step is to surround the noise-producing machinery in a tight, insulated enclosure to reduce air-transmitted noise. The final step is to line enclosed living quarters, such as cabins, with sound-absorbent materials.

Ensuring a Safe Space for Batteries

When charging, lead acid batteries generate hydrogen from the electrolysis of water, and some acid gases, the amount of which vary with the battery design, charging rate, and state of charge. Hydrogen is explosive at concentrations above 4 percent and acid gases cause corrosion. This is why automobiles with batteries located under a seat or […]

Leak-proof Unions Get a Second Look

After replacing the raw water pump on his 30-plus-year old Universal diesel, PS Editor Darrell Nicholson reconnected the tangle of hoses on the cooling...

Extra Anchor Lighting

When summer comes, a dozen or more sparkling white lights will adorn every popular anchorage. Visible from miles away, they promise to provide good...

Portable Fuel Tank Update

Everyone hated the first generation of CARB gas cans. Intended to reduce volatile emissions by recovering vapors and reducing spills, they did exactly the...

Green Boating From a Practical Perspective

Before diving into the topic of responsible boating, we’re required to say something about global warming and carbon. Primordial carbon was sequestered by several...

Watertight Connector Test

Oh, for a good standardized 12- volt electrical connector. I’ve never had a boat without multiple connector failures, and most of them involved proprietary...

Dissecting the Desiccating Head

Our first cruising boat had a conventional portable toilet. We didn’t like it, but we made peace with it, cruising for up to two...