Step-by-step Winterizing Tips

Winterizing agents should never be used in freshwater tanks or hot-water tanks. Doing so will greatly increase the chances of biological growth, which can result in foul-smelling, bad-tasting water. If your boats water system does not have bypass fittings that allow you to add glycol to waterlines, install them. The addition of a few simple fittings can reduce the annual process from hours to minutes for the cost of a few jugs of glycol.

Light Dimmer and Motor Controller

Occasionally, there are times when you would like to control the lighting brightness in the cabin-intimate settings, night sailing without adequate red lights in...

Mailport: June 2013

How thick is too thick for the buildup of old layers of bottom paint? This question arises because I have just finished painting the bottom of my boat. Even though I diligently sought out potential flaking spots with my knife, while rolling on the paint (Pettit Ultima Eco), I would frequently get a mess caused by the paint flaking off. I have only owned this boat for three years, so I really do not know how many layers there are.

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.

Vacuum-flush Toilets for Sailboats Reduce Water Use Onboard

Following Practical Sailor’s February and March 2011 electric-flush marine toilet reviews, this month we take a look at three vacuum-flush heads well-suited for use onboard sailboats thanks to their water-saving technology. PS tested two electric vacuum-flush toilets from Dometic Corp. (Sealand) and a manual marine head from Blakes Lavac Taylors. Testers used a controlled bench test to compare performance, size, weight, price, style, features, and technology. They also reviewed installation ease, parts inventory, construction and ruggedness of materials, and customer service.

Mailport: Marelon Seacocks

Regarding your recent report on Seacocks (Beneteau Responds to Seacock Query, PS August 2018) I owned a 1987 Catalina 30, Mark II. It had four gate valves instead of seacocks.

Install a Water Saver: A Galley Foot Pump

Modern boatbuilders, in their desire to make boats as appealing and comfortable as possible, have made it inherently difficult to conserve water. Plumbing fixtures work just the same as those at home. The demand pressure water pump is quick to maintain pressure and oh so quiet, almost as good as city water. Of course theres hot water aboard, even though we have to sacrifice a quart of cold down the drain before we feel the warmth. The obvious solution to better onboard water management is a manual pump, either hand or foot operated. I recognized this face a whileago, but felt that manual water pumps were for day sailors, not for bona fide cruising sailboats. Pressure water is something you graduate to after paying your dues messing with plastic water jugs and on-deck sun showers. I for one certainly didn't want to regress-even though it wouls be nice for once to have cruising agendas planned around something other than the size of the water tank.

Controlling Porta Potty Odor

Another consideration is that many day sailors avoid using the boats head at all, often going for many months at a time without needing it. When it is used, once in a blue moon, is it worth the hassle of hauling it home to clean it out, knowing that most likely it will not be used for another 3 months? When Katrina hit New Orleans, the Red Cross handed out WAG (waste alleviation and gel) bags by the thousands to provide an emergency option. Weve been living with these too, evaluating them as an option for small boats.

Avoiding Kinks in Flexible Hose Plumbing

When plumbing a boat's pressure water system, flexible tubing, with all its imperfections, is inevitably part of the equation. It is simple to install, and the connecting hardware (hose clamps) and fittings are readily available. Before beginning any plumbing project, the do-it-yourself should be careful to use the right hose for the job. Correct hose and coupling methods should be carried out as outlined by EPA, ABYC, and other regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard. But which tubing best withstands the bending needed to lead the water lines through the torturous routes they often must take?

Cure for Holding Tank Clog

Any suggestions about what to do with a clogged holding tank? Ive isolated the clog to between the base of the tank and the elbow after the toilet macerator. Ive been treating the system with straight vinegar down the pumpout tube and thru the bowl to no avail.

Simple Tips for Maintaining Stainless Steel

When applying a paste cleaner, a toothbrush is useful for buffing tight spots and working into the pores of welds; follow by buffing with a cotton cloth. A green 3M scrubby pad helps for removing more aggressive stains. Continued rusting in welded areas might indicate a developing failure, requiring replacement. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and mild soap when done buffing.