Mailport: Max Prop
Regarding “Folding vs. Feathering Props,” (PS February 2018), we sailed with a Max-Prop for a number of years. The Max-Prop caught lobster pot lines daily and often more frequently when cruising Maine. One day I dove three times to cut the like off my prop and we are very careful to watch and steer around pots as best as we can. We finally switched to Flexofold and never in many more years have we caught a line. We are still very careful to steer around pots or immediately put it in neutral if we think we have run over a pot. I would not recommend cruising Maine with a feathering prop. I highly recommend a folding prop for line infested waters like the coast of Maine.
Regarding your recent article “Undoing Mainsheet Twist,” (PS February 2018), I thought I was the only one who had this problem! After trying the untwist-the-sheet routine multiple times to no avail on my Newport 28 II, I finally figured out that by replacing the swivel block with a fixed block where the main sheet meets the boom above the traveler made the twisting issue disappeared. Thanks for validating my resolution.
Regarding your recent Inside Practical Sailor blog post “Adding a Solent Stay,” we added a solent stay to our Beneteau 473. The factory makes a retro fit kit, but we made up our own hardware. The sail is on a Profurl roller furling. The only drawback on this boat is the sheeting angle limitation due to the existing genoa track. We sail in the Caribbean and find that we use the solent headsail 90 percent of the time; apparent wind over 15 knots, AWA between 40 and 100. The boat has less heel and we sail faster in more comfort. Highly recommended.
Solent Stay II
I thought about adding a solent stay to our Pacific Seacraft 34 but opted instead for Code Zero staysail, since we had a hank-on sail already. I designed it and installed it last summer and what a gizmo. The sail is rolled and normally dropped on the foredeck. When we need it, the staysail is hoisted from the cockpit (no going forward) which makes my wife happy and furled and unfurled from the cockpit. When we sail as a sloop the staysail is out of the way when we tack. I have to say, it’s obviously not an original idea but one I copied from our sister ship we met in the North Channel a few years ago, but it works like a charm.
Solent Stay III
Our Outbound 44 was designed as a Solent rig. The forestay is attached to the anchor platform about 1 foot forward of the bow, with a short matching bobstay. The inner stay attaches about 2 feet aft of that. Our boat was configured with a detachable Solent stay, for which Carol Hasse’s Port Townsend sails cut a non-overlapping staysail. The removable stay was great for tacking the furling 125 percent genoa, but the process of attaching and tensioning the stay, hanking on the sail, and leading the jib sheets was challenging enough in strong winds that we didn’t use it as much as we should have. By the time we reached New Zealand we saw the wisdom of having the staysail on a roller furler and changed it over. Great rig for offshore cruising, where frequent tacking of the Genoa is unlikely. One downside of the Solent rig: forestay and Solent stay tensions are shared, so you will never get quite as tight a luff.
B&G Screen Delaminates
I have had two Zeus2 and a Triton on my sloop since 2015 and I love them and all the flexibility and use cases that they can address. However, unfortunately both Zeus2 screens failed due to delamination issues (that I’m told were widespread manufacturing faults that have been corrected) and were replaced under warranty. B&G has been great in terms of responsiveness, customer support, and professionalism and I would recommend them without hesitation.
John D. Henry
We will be exploring this topic in more detail in a future report and would like to hear from more readers who have had their chartplotter screens delaminate, or fail. Screen delamination has been a longstanding problem not limited to one particular brand and not all makers have been responsive to service claims.
LPU Paint Repairs
With regards to your recent Inside Practifcal Sailor blog post “Extending the Life of Your new Paint Job,” I found it impossible to blend in the repainted “patch” with the surrounding hull. No amount of rubbing compound seemed to create an actual “blending” of the surfaces. Instead, I now tape off the area to be repainted with masking tape; sand within the masking taped area (this often tears the masking tape, but I just replace it when I’m done); wipe with solvent; and paint, going over the masking tape to insure total coverage within the masked area. When the tape is removed, there is a conspicuous ridge of paint along the tape line, but I’ve found that if I carefully, lightly sand that ridge with 400 grit sandpaper and then compound the area around the patch perimeter, it blends very nicely. Naturally, the repainted area will be more shiny than the adjacent, older paint but from a distance of a few feet, you really don’t notice it. Plus, a little wax helps to equalize the shine. I use the Interlux wax that is formulated specifically for the Interlux LPU paint.
Kyocera Solar Panels
In 2015 I installed four Kyocera (4 x 140W = 560 W) solar panels on Destiny (1979 Tayana Vancouver 42); two above a renewed dodger and two above a new stainless steel stern arch to charge my two 8D Gel batteries. The package included a Blue Sky Energy Solar Boost 2512iX-HV charge controller for each pair of panels and single Blue Sky Energy IPN-Remote to monitor their progress. Biggest challenge was to locate a reasonably priced vendor to build and install the stern arch; my dodger vendor gave me the tip that was half the cost otherwise noted. It had to be built on site while the boat was hauled. A previously installed Xantrex LinkPRO Battery Monitor lets me know how the batteries are doing. Tested during my 2016 round-trip to Hawaii showed the batteries rarely dropping below 80 percent even during the return across a cloudy/foggy North Pacific. The panels themselves are relatively cheap. It is the cost of everything else related to the install that drives up the cost.
Tayana Vancouver 42
Gig Harbor, Wash.
Kudos to Seabreeze
We sent an email to Seabreeze International asking where we could send our electric heater used on our boat, in for repair. We promptly received a reply from Arthur Tateishi, President of Seabreeze, saying that heater model had not been made for over 12 years, but told us we could trade in the old heater and we would get the newer model for $35 including freight and a 2 yr warranty. We returned our old heater with the required check and just received our new heater. We have seen this heater in stores for a much higher price.
This is what I think is excellent service and old model lasted many years.
Seabreeze is a Canadian company and I think this service deserves to be mentioned for kudos.
1999, Hunter 380,