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...

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: 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hassle-free Pumpouts

While its possible the waste pump-out line on the boat is plugged, most pump-out problems can be traced to poor procedure. Instructions on the pump-out station-if provided at all-overlook key factors, probably because the bureaucrat who wrote them didn't actually understand the process. Here are some tips on doing it right.

Pump Out Attention Extends to the Head

Although head maintenance is low on everyones fun task list, working on functioning head that has been flushed clean (flush with lots of clean water, soak in vinegar for 15 minutes, and then flush that through with more water) head is much more pleasant than working on a broken, clogged head.

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.