King of Koolers?

We've published quite a few words in recent months on refrigeration, fridge-free foods, and thermoelectric coolers. In the midst of these efforts we received,...

Gasoline Additives in the E-15 Era

Ever since we adopted improved fuel management methods, we've enjoyed a decade of no carburetor maintenance-not on the twin 9.9 hp engines that ran our catamaran, not on the dinghy kicker, and not on our trimaran. Not on any of our chainsaw or blower motors. Given the quarterly ritual wed enjoyed before, its been wonderful.

Tap Water thats Better than Bottled

If youve followed the first two installments in this three-part series on ensuring safe, fresh-tasting drinking water onboard, youve cleaned your freshwater tank, pre-filtered all water going into the tank, screened the vent, and disinfected the contents. Now that the water has sat in the tank, its time for one more filtration process; this time, focusing on improving taste and eliminating micro-organisms.

Tracking Marine Batteries

Each AGM battery we tested underwent a minimum of five discharge and recharge cycles to a loaded 11.7 volts before being ampere-hour-capacity tested. This cycling ensured that each battery had cycled up to its rated amp-hour (Ah) capacity. If the battery did not cycle up to rated Ah capacity, we ran a few more cycles and tested again.

Crimp Connections: AMP Super Champ and Ancor Our Top Picks

One of the most nettlesome areas of boating electronics is making dependable wire connections that will last for years. Because marine elements are conspiring...

Diesel Tank Vent Filters

Through lab tests and years of field testing, weve found that silica-gel vent filters reduce tank corrosion and improve gasoline stability. But is the same true for diesel fuel and tanks? Thats what this test sought to find out. Testers put two silica-gel diesel tank vent filters through their paces: Pindell Engineerings AVD2 (for tanks up to 60 gallons) and AVD3 (for tanks up to 200 gallons). The results were compared to setups with a free vent and those with a sealed tank.

DC Watermakers Head-to-head Test

Reverse-osmosis, DC-powered watermakers have been available for use aboard mid-sized cruising sailboats for years, but thanks to new technology, they just keep getting better. Todays units are more efficient, reasonably compact, and in many cases, modular in design. Practical Sailor recently tested two popular models-new Ventura 200T from Spectra Watermakers Inc. and Racor Village Marines Little Wonder (LWM-145)-and rated them for water and construction quality, noise, power consumption, and ease of installation and maintenance. The review also discusses the pros/cons of installing a watermaker on a sailboat, installation and maintenance tips, and whether a watermaker is right for you.

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.

Battery Monitors: The E-Meter Vs. the Sophisticated SALT

In the February 15, 1997 issue, we reviewed battery monitors and stated that Cruising Equipments E-Meter was the only one of the four models...

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.

Caring For Your Marine Diesel Engine

Expecting calms for most of the passage, we set out in a flat calm with 70 gallons of fuel. Six hours later, around mid-day, the engine wailed, screeched, clanged, and died. Hardly a ripple stirred the Gulf of Panama.