Where Credit Is Due: July 2013

After reading your article, A Sailor's Guide to Marine Insurance, I wanted to give a shout-out to Progressive Insurance (www.progressive.com), which has insured our Stiletto catamaran and our dinghy, outboard motors, and trailers. Customer service is extremely friendly and efficient on the phone any time we want to check or change our policy. And when lightning struck the mast of our catamaran, they sent an adjuster out within two days, took care of the paper work, and had a payment sent to us within two weeks. Thats an incredible turn-around time.

After 17,000 Miles

Building an efficient, easy-to-maintain cruising yacht is very much an exercise in compromise and experimentation. There are literally thousands of decisions that must be...

Offshore Log:More (Shore) Power To The People

Now in Australia, Calypso gets a stepdown transformer for 240-volt shorepower.

Solar Panel Sense

Movies can be corny, but Jack Sparrow nicely summarized the romance of sailing: Thats what a ship is, you know. Its not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, thats what a ship needs but what a ship is ... what the Black Pearl really is... is freedom.

Spreader Light Test

Sailors often have a love-hate relationship with spreader lights. They can turn a dark deck into broad daylight, making foredeck tasks much easier, but the downside is the pitch-black abyss that extends beyond the deck. Testers reviewed 10 LED and xenon lights designed for mast, deck, and spreader mounting. We considered useful light output, power draw, durability, and price. The test field included lights from Dr. LED, Forespar, Hella, Scandvik, and Signal Mate.

Digital Multimeters

Our choice for a high-quality, no-compromise digital multimeter is the new Fluke 111. We also investigated the Wire Tracker™ from Ancor. No more mystery cables?û

Xantrex’s New XC Line are Multiplex Masters

To put it mildly, the battery test on the previous pages presented a recharging nightmare. Ideally, what we needed was an intelligent multi-bank battery...

Perko, Hella, and Orca Green Shine

LED running lights are getting better all the time. Hella Marine's new NaviLED Pro series just manages to edge out Perko's 170 Series for top honors in our test, while Orca Green Marine makes the best LED tri-color.

Self-Starting Diesel?

Perhaps it was somebodys idea of a joke. Who walks away from their boat and leaves the engine running? But when I climbed back...

Spare Parts

Kenyon InstrumentsReader Ernie Copp owns some old Kenyon instruments. The company has long been out of business. Following his successful search to find someone...

Keep it Simple Sail Repair Kit

If you're going to sail you'll be doing some stitching-no two ways about it. That doesn't mean you have to go overboard with sail repair tools. Don't jump into the $100 do-everything kit. Start with a modest kit, adding tools and materials only as your skills grow and projects require them. Chances are, you already have most of what you need in your other supply lockers or tool boxes.