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Systems & Propulsion

Packing Extraction Tool Tested

The packing material encircling your shaft and tucked out of sight inside the packing nut is truly your boat’s Achilles heel. Installed improperly it can damage the prop shaft or even sink the boat. Getting it replaced at least biennially should be on your list. On a mid-size cruiser it’s a job that ranks just […]

Rhumb Lines: The Diesel Engine Dilemma

As the threat of global warming is forcing policy makers around the world to explore ways to wean their economies off carbon based energy...

The Front Line in Filtration

Wire mesh screens are a pain to clean. Fibers push through neighboring holes, resulting in what is known in the industry as “stapling.” They jam in the corners and between the wires of the weave. Wiping, scraping, and even wire brushing only pushes the fibers farther into crevices, securing them ever more tightly. In the […]

Avoiding Kinks in Flexible Hose Plumbing

When plumbing a boat's pressure water system, flexible tubing, with all its imperfections, is inevitably part of the equation. It is simple to install, and the connecting hardware (hose clamps) and fittings are readily available. Before beginning any plumbing project, the do-it-yourself should be careful to use the right hose for the job. Correct hose and coupling methods should be carried out as outlined by EPA, ABYC, and other regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard. But which tubing best withstands the bending needed to lead the water lines through the torturous routes they often must take?

Reducing Engine Room Noise

If your sailing partner complains about a noise that doesn't really bother you, it might not necessarily something that they can just "get used to." You will have to address it through active sound reduction measures.

Even 2020 Yielded Some Great Gear

Once more, the bulk of the past year’s testing focused on maintenance products, safety essentials, and do-it-yourself substitutes for higher priced marine gear. Part of this was because COVID-19 derailed some of our more ambitious projects (don’t worry they are still on the slate). Part of this was because we continue to try to buck […]

Testing TruFuel Storage Option

Canned gasoline products like TruFuel formulated without ethanol and using more highly refined alkylate base stock offer the promise of improved storage stability. Could we replace our station-bought fuel before passage to keep our engine in “storage mode” but still ready to run if needed? Should we run it through our engine before storage to […]

PS Advisor: Grounding and bonding

A client sent me an excerpt from your eBook “Marine Electrical Systems,” and I was a surprised to see the following line of thought. Use...

Coexisting with a No Discharge Zone

Sanitation systems aren’t the sexiest part of sailing, but they are, well… necessary. And although the risk of transmission of COVID-19 through means other...

Steady at the Helm

A sailboat’s steering system also plays a vital role in safety at sea. The failure of any key component can jeopardize boat handling and...

Sizing Up the Autumn List

Some of the best sailing I ever had was September on Narragansett Bay, pretty close to heaven in my mind. But before we let a long September reach carry us away-and hopefully carry us through winter-its a good time to take out a pen and pad, and start to build the winter work list.