PS Advisor May 15, 2003 Issue

PS Advisor: 05/15/03

Anchor Locker Vent
I want a deck vent to ventilate my anchor locker. Currently there is a cowl vent there which I'm sure does more harm than good. I need some- thing that will not ship water and can be stood on or at least knocked around. It does not need to move a lot of air so it can be small and unobtusive. I would prefer a solar powered unit, but would settle for passive to meet the first two requirements.

-Jesse Garman
Via e-mail

It’s been a while since we covered deck vents, and your note prompts us to put it into the “simmering” list. Thanks for the idea.

The day/night solar vents by Nicro are expensive, but quite hardy and effective. They make one called the MiniVent 1000 in stainless that would probably do a nice job for an anchor locker. An alternative would be the smaller size Vetus mushroom vent in stainless. We'd recommend a plastic vent, but it would only be a matter of time before there was hard contact between the vent and the anchor.


I have recently acquired my first trailerable sailboat, a Spirit 6.5.  Your honest evaluations and product reviews have saved me time and money on a few projects getting this boat back into the water.

I have been told that I need to pay particular attention when raising the mast to avoid it twisting. I am wondering if there is any type of bracing that can be homemade or purchased that would allow for easy mast raising and minimize any twisting. Any information would be welcomed.

-Rob Vos
Via e-mail

We're not familiar with procedures on the Spirit 6.5 in particular, but if it's like most trailerable boats, you can probably raise the mast with the shrouds already fixed loosely to the chainplates, and with either the backstay or the headstay attached (depending on which way the tabernacle is arranged). This will help prevent any twisting side-to-side—you just have to make sure you keep a good grip on whichever stay you're pulling on. Some people will run the jib halyard through a stem fitting and take up the slack as the mast comes up, as a security measure.

As for making it easier (as opposed to just wrestling it upright from the cockpit) a lot of trailer sailors use gin poles fixed and stabilized on the forward side of the mast to provide a good angle for pulling the mast upright with the jib halyard.

A good article by Ron Chappell, called "No Fear Mast Stepping" appeared in Good Old Boat magazine, and is reprinted by permission on the Catalina 22/Fleet 77 website at

You'll also find an excellent community and plenty of good advice at


Boiling in Seawater
Is it possible to boil noodles and vegetables and other foods in a small amount of ocean water to save on fresh water?

-Taffy Rabb
Salem, OR

It's possible to boil some foods in seawater (fresh seawater, of course—real ocean water, not harbor water or water that could be contaminated by any of the foul things that flow off the shoreline) but if the food is absorbent, like pasta, it will end up being way too salty. You can experiment with peelable vegatables like squash and carrots. You'd need to rinse most anything (except things like hard-boiled eggs) with fresh water anyway.

For water conservation, it's better to use fresh water to boil the pasta, then save that fresh water for the initial dishwashing later. Finish with a freshwater rinse.

You can certainly use clean seawater for initial dishwashing, too. This is why many offshore boats have a galley pump linked to a through-hull.

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