Systems & Propulsion

Cannister Dissection Yields Surprises but Few Defects

Different filter manufacturers can chose different rating systems that rely on different statistical values for filtration. The higher the percentage at a given rating, the more effective. Interestingly, the effective rating changes over time, as particles clog up the media, making the holes smaller.

Ultraflex Debuts Variable Speed AC

In the June 2018 article Air Conditioning for Sailboats, we compared several options for 12-volt air conditioning on boats, and more recently we looked at the power requirements for running our air conditioner without being tethered to shorepower, see Air Conditioning at Anchor, PS June 2019). Since that article was published, we were told about the new i-Line VSD Series of compact air conditioners from Velair-an Italian company that is part of the Ultraflex Group.

Preventing Electric Shock at the Dock

The human body runs on electricity and if you overload the nervous system with an external field, everything goes haywire. Every year several people die because they go swimming near a dock, a wiring fault creates an electric field in the water, and their muscles freeze. It is called Electric Shock Drowning (ESD).

Batteries, Cleaners & More

As a subscriber, you have free access to our back-issue archive-more than 2,000 articles. Here are a few topics you might find relevant this season.

Marine Oil Filter Comparison Test

Weve followed countless debates about the best engine oil and the right time of year to change it, as well as quite a few debates about oil analysis. Just as controversial is the advice on oil filters, which ranges from a blas recommendation to use whatever fits, to an adamant insistence to use only original equipment manufacturer parts (OEM). Because the oil filter is sealed in a cartridge, unless your filter leaks oil into the bilge we never actually know if it did its job or not. Given the filters important role, this is unsettling.

Mailport: fuel tanks, chain hooks, bilge pumps, and hypothermia

Simple tank fill advice from an old fuel oil delivery guy - when filling your boat diesel tank listen to the sound coming from the tank vent, it is attached directly to your tank. The fueling sound will change when the tank fills and fuel enters the vent line. Stop then. Dont leave fuel sitting in your fill hose in the off-season.

Air Conditioning at Anchor

We often get this question. My car has air conditioning when Im running down the street so why can't my boat? First, your car only has air conditioning when the engine is running, which works out fine because we only need air conditioning when the engine is running. Second, the air-conditioning load for the car is a tiny parasitic load compared to the power required to drive the car down the road. Its actually less than the increased drag caused by driving with the windows rolled down. Thus, it is more or less an engineering afterthought with regards to the energy balance of an automobile.

Calculating the Right Air Conditioner Size

Estimating size has always been tricky, because it depends on the insulation value of the boat, climate, and how quick you want the boat to cool down. It also depends on window covers and awnings and how much window space you have. Houses, on the other hand, tend to have similar insulation values, and the rate at which they cool is not important because people leave the AC on all summer.

How To Connect Small Wires

The popularity of micro-electronics and LEDs has greatly increased the number of small wires on board, and whether the added eyestrain is a fair trade-off for a lighter, more energy efficient boat depends upon your perspective. Fortunately, some welcome accessories are relieving the headaches associated with joining two wires of tiny diameters-at times as small as button thread.

Testing VHF Coaxial

The loss in RF coaxial cable increases substantially and quickly, when there is water intrusion. Coax that uses foam dielectric, like RG8X and LMR type coax, is particularly prone to this problem because the water can quickly propagate along the foam dielectric used in these type coaxes.