An (Almost) Idiot-Proof Battery Switch

Last year we tested battery switches (PS June 2005) and a favorite was the Blue Sea Systems 9001e. The company recently introduced a new...

Whats the Voltage for Charging Gel Cells?

I just received the latest Waypoints e-letter about gel batteries, where you state they must be charged at no more than about 14.1 volts. We do not use gel batteries in our boat, but do in our camper van. As I understand, Trojan deep-cycle gels can be charged up to 14.4 volts and East Penn marine gel batteries up to 14.6 volts, so why are you recommending the lower voltage?

Electrical Panel Upgrade

Editors note: Designing, installing, and wiring a new main circuit panel on a full-fledged cruising boat is an extremely challenging refit project. The writer is a professional engineer who made sure that his installation met or exceeded American Boat and Yacht Council Standard E-11. Failure to adhere to the standard could result in fire, injury, or death. We offer the following article, which outlines the steps involved in constructing a custom panel, as a rough guide. In our opinion, such a project should not be carried out without the consultation of an ABYC-certified electrician.

Solar Tests: Kyocera and Uni-Solar

The September 1998 issue contained test results of 10 solar panels-the Siemens SP-70, SM-50, SM-46, SM-20, SM-10 and SM-6, Solarex MSX-18 and MSX-10L, and...

Sailing Gifts for 2018

No one really wants just practical gifts, so weve tried to locate a few items that go beyond pure utility for this holiday season.

Low-draw LED Anchor Light

On the back page of the Fall 1999 Davis catalog are six new products—amber, red and white LED Clusters™ in either single- or double-contact...

Marine Inverter-Chargers Test Part 2

The Practical Sailor February 2010 issue launched our test of marine inverter-chargers with a look at the inverter capabilities of units from six manufacturers. This report compares the battery charger functions of the inverter-chargers from Charles Industries, Magnum Energy, Mastervolt, ProMariner, Tripp Lite, and Xantrex. Our recommendations differ based on an owners needs. One unit is excellent for sailboat owners with larger AGM or gel-cell batteries who plan to expand their systems down the road, while another is better suited for those who have no expansion plans, offering a combination of lower price, features, and sophistication.

Raytheon Still Top LCD Radar

Early radar antennas needed large, open radiator arrays with correspondingly large motors to turn them. These evolved into compact, enclosed antennas that weigh as...

Cabin Lights

The Alpenglow fluorescent is still a top-flight area light, and a good bet for a dome-light retrofit. Taylorbrites's new cold cathode lamp is a winner over the bunk, but new LED lights from Imtra and D.R. Smith are bright, not too cold, and easy on the power.

Hot Water Heater Installation Tips

To keep pipe joints from leaking, use Teflon tape or pipe joint compound, and remember that hose barb-to-hose connections are much easier to make drip-proof with a hose clamp than the same connection made on a threaded pipe stub.