Thermoelectric Coolers: Four-Model Chilldown

Igloo cools fastest, Koolatron draws the least current, but for all-around marine use we'd go with the Adler/Barbour Tropicool.

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.

How to Measure Boat Humidity: Psychrometric Charts Do It Right

Insulation is a greater energy-saving expedient; if our heater or air conditioner is undersized, fixing drafts, shading or insulating windows, and insulating non-cored laminate are all ways to reduce the thermal load. For boaters, however, that is only half of the equation.

The Worry-free Bilge Pump

Due the lack of maintenance they receive from the average sailor, I often refer to bilge pumps as the Rodney Dangerfield of boat equipment, meaning they just don't get no respect. Its a funny, but also troubling statement, particularly as bilge pumps are often the first and only line of defense against sinking.

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.

Real-world Advice from Holding Tank Makers

Before beginning a series of tests, we always involve the manufacturers. They have a wealth of information they are happy to share, in the interest of reducing problems with their products. In general, their advice forms a consensus.

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?

Boat Holding Tank Sensor Long-term Test Update

Last year, Practical Sailor installed and tested seven internally mounted liquid-level monitoring kits, including the sensors and their mated remote display panels, in a polyethylene holding tank; the results were reported in the May 2008 issue. The sensors spent the following nine months marinating in the tank, with the occasional sloshing by a tester, before being re-tested to see how well they continued to perform. The test field comprised float sensors, neumatic sensors, and an ultrasonic sender. Float sensors included Sealand TankWatch1, Dometic DTM4, Groco TLM Series, and Wema SHS-8. Air-pressure-fueled sensors included Fireboy-Xintex PTS and Hart Systems Tank Tender. BEP Marines (Marinco) TSI sender uses ultrasonic pulses to measure liquid levels.

How to Prevent Head Odors Aboard Your Sailboat

While permeation of waste gases through flexible sanitation hose is a major source of odors in the head, it is not the only one. This article looks at the possible sources one by one.

In The Market For A Cooler? The Softsides Win For Convenience

Given evidence that beer making has been around some 10,000 years, keeping a frosty one cold has been a challenge for a long time....

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.