The Results of our Mini Test Tank Autopsies

When we wrapped up the testing of the miniature holding tanks after 30 months, we were tempted to just pitch the whole lot in the dumpster after draining their contents, but we thought taking the faux holding tanks apart and examining the components up close might yield some interesting findings. (The things we do in the name of product testing-yuck!) Heres a breakdown of testers observations.

Tillerpilots: Raytheon vs. Simrad

Of four models tested, the Simrad TP10 lags behind the others, while the TP30 outpoints the Autohelm ST2000.û

Long-term Test Gear Updates

Many of Practical Sailors tests move from the lab (workshop/garage/driveway) to our fleet of test boats, where we can evaluate the top products in real-world conditions over the long haul. These long-term tests can last from two to 10 years, and we try to offer occasional updates on their status, when its warranted.

Rocker Switches, Pin-Stop Lead Cars, FendFast

One of the good names in marine electrical equipment is Cole Hersee, maker of switches. Boat owners are probably most familiar with its line...

Keeping Fuel, Water in their Place

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Yacht and Boat Council (AYBC) are requiring devices that prevent foam and splash during fueling and operation from reaching the carbon canister. If sea water did reach the fuel filter, it could destroy filter effectiveness and compromise venting capacity.

No-Bleed Fuel Filter Adapter

There probably are a million diesel engines-Perkins, Ford-Lehmans, Volvo-Pentas, Saabs and others-whose fuel gets its final cleaning by passing through a filter cartridge fitted...

PS Advisor 08/15/98

How Many Zincs?Could you please advise me on the subject of zincs, in particular about the number of zincs recommended for a boat? Several...

Installing Hoses Highlights Their Differences

While model holding-tank testing allows side-by-side comparisons, there’s nothing like on-the-boat testing to sort out practical differences. Our test boat, a PDQ 32, had been plumbed with a mix of low-end vinyl sanitation hose and water exhaust hose; the rubber hose was permeated, cracked, and discolored, and the sanitation hose was permeated to the point of having a thin film of sticky goo that had condensed on the external surface. A textbook case of time showing the weaknesses of poor material selection.

Going Bananas? Go Sailing

The back of our workshop in Sarasota, Fla., is crowded with paints and thinners, rags and brushes, dusty pallets and power tools, and now, a small mountain of electric flush toilets. Since I have a long-running feud with manual toilets, I don't deserve nor want an electric-flush version. But there are apparently plenty of readers who are contemplating push-button porcelain thrones, and who am I to deny them this indulgence?

Plug that Chain-pipe

I was always amazed at how much water could seep through the chain-pipe and into Toscas anchor locker when a sea was up, or we were punching into a headsea-although punching would hardly describe the ungainly motion of a gaff-rigged ketch to weather. Wallowing? Submarining? Regardless, the chain-pipe was like a water main in those conditions …