Mailport: Which Anchor Shackle?, Cleaning Sails, FRP Boat Lifespan And More!

Kadey-Krogen 38

Photo courtesy of Bob Swayze

Which Anchor Shackle?

I am in the process of having my boatyard install 250 feet of anchor chain and new anchor shackles. Seeing a top star rating on the Peerless Peer-lift blue pin shackles. I told my boatyard to order and install two of them only to read in the December issue that you had just finished testing the Peerless Peer-lift shackles and no longer recommend them. Whatsup?

Bob Swayze

Snuffy, Kadey Krogen 38 Cutter

New Orleans, LA

Check out the January 2017 issue of Practical Sailor online for a full explanation of the revised rating for the Peerless Peer-lift blue pin shackles.

Cleaning Sails

Regarding your recent Waypoints article on cleaning sails, one of the easiest ways to clean Dacron sails is to toss them in the pool, 4 or 5 hours after shocking. Tie them off, so they can’t get sucked into the filter system, and let them soak for a few hours. The water circulation is all that is needed for mechanical agitation, and is very gentle on the sails. Haul them out, rinse them off with freshwater, and hang them until just dry (in very light wind). Nice clean sails, with little effort, or risk of damage.

Rod Brandon

Sheen Marine

FRP Boat Lifespan

Regarding the recent discussion on the lifespan of fiberglass boats, my wife and I sail a 1965 Cheoy Lee Bermuda 30 ketch out of the Benjamin River in Sedgwick, Maine. I understand that was the first year they offered a fiberglass hull. It is still in excellent condition, with no blistering or other apparent issues. The deck is teak sandwiched between layers of fiberglass and is leak-fee. Prior to 2002, her sailing grounds were the southwest coast of Florida, so shes experienced some pretty different marine environments.

Don Holmes

Orient Star

1965 Cheoy Lee Bermuda 30

Sedgwick, ME

Amsoil as Winch Grease?

At the conclusion of your winch grease review in the October 2016 issue you asked about favorite grease suggestions. Im an Amsoil convert. Skepticism has given way to full-fledged fanaticism. (Full disclosure: I am technically a dealer, which anyone can become by paying $30 year-this saves 30 percent off of retail, only useful if you have multiple vehicles, and small engines like me.) Ive rebuilt my six winches with the Amsoil water-resistant grease, and have had no problems with smooth operation. That being said, I can’t help but be curious about how a proper winch grease would compare. Even with the multilevel marketing uprate of the Amsoil grease, it is still cheaper at MSRP than the three winch greases you reviewed. Maybe you can enter this Amsoil grease in the upcoming Practical Sailor grease face off? Runners up would be any generic waterproof grease, axle grease, and Mobile 1 waterproof grease. My Max-Prop calls for Lubriplate 130AA so naturally it gets added to the list aswell.

Josh Muckley

S/V Sea Hawk

1989 C&C 37+

Solomons, MD

Check out the comparison of generic greases this month. Although the test has come and gone, well add it to the list for the next round.

Torqeedo pitfalls

Regarding your recent outboard review (see PS January 2016 online New Options in Small Outboards). The lack of service centers mentioned in the article, also applies to the Torqeedo electric motor. Ive not found one in the West Indies. My Torqeedo 1003T handle, battery and motor have all been replaced once. A friend drove the motor to Richmond, Va. for reprogramming once. West Marine in Southwest Harbor, Maine helped us replace part of the motor even though we did not purchase the motor at West Marine. There are other issues. Since the short shaft is 20 inches as opposed to the normal 15 inches, the prop hits bottom with some frequency. The tilt lock design failed. I have a custom block of wood that locks the motor up for towing in protected water. (I use a wood block for our Tohatsu 9.8 also.) The plastic tabs that keep the battery attached to the motor have been mangled. A stronger material would be preferable. The electrical jack/plug between the tiller and the battery need to be stronger and more obviously keyed if the motor is to be used by friends or family members who are not aware of their delicate nature. The engine is light as a whole and even easier to handle when dissembled. We now use it only to go places where we feel comfortable rowing back home. We found good service near our home in the Midwest.

John Burnett

via PS online

The January outboard test focused on auxiliaries for trailer sailers, and after two years ours has been extremely reliable, though it is clearly less rugged than other types. In our view, a Torqeedo 1003T is a fine choice for small sailboats and even dinghies with some of the caveats mentioned in the article. For dinghy engines on a cruising boat, gasoline outboard is preferable for many of the reasons you mention.

NASA Marine Monitor

Its too bad that you did not review the NASA Marine BM-1 battery monitor. I had one for a number of years and loved it. Nary a problem. Perhaps it is because it is not from the U.S.?

Craig T. Hill

via PS online

We test products from around the world. Our test of the NASA AIS (see PS March 2007 online). Well try to track down a BM-1 for testing.

What about the Arbrux deicer ?

You did not include the Arbrux Deicer which is the unit I have chosen for dock protection at DYC in Dunkirk NY. I upgraded the support lines to 3/16-inch galvanized steel wire/cable, which is worth considering.

John F. Gaasch

via PS online

PS does not have experience, pro or con, with Arbrux deicers. They look solid and we like the steel cage. Regarding oil-filled vs. oil-less. The text of the article did not make the testers concerns clear. Because a vacuum does not form in an oil-filled unit (the can and the oil contract together), water is not drawn in through the seals. Additionally, the seal itself is oil lubricated. In our experience, the oil-filled units tend to last longer; this is based on thousands of hours of 24/7 operation in brine ponds.

Glue Down a DIY Teak Sole
Mailport: Which Anchor Shackle?, Cleaning Sails, FRP Boat Lifespan And More!

The original teak and holly cabin sole on reader Gary Gerber’s 45-year-old sailboat was beyond restoration so he explored the contemporary teak and holly vinyl cover. He offers this overview of the project:

First, I made full-size paper patterns of the cabin sole, both the forward section, main sole and the raised dinette.

Once I was sure of the floor patterns I cut the vinyl and tested for fit. Finally, I mixed the two-part adhesive, then worked quickly, one section at a time.

  • The 45-year-old forward cabin sole shows its age.
  • Scoring the bottom allowed the new cabin sole to can’t upward on the side.
  • Solid teak cut into five-foot-long strips measuring 3/8-inch by 9/16-inches was used as “baseboard” trim.
  • The baseboard covered gaps at the edges.
  • The plastic edge strip is fitted in the bilge access panel.
  • The bilge access panel is not too tight, to allow room for expansion.
  • A pressure roller used to insure even adhesive contact.
  • No other special tools were required.
Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on marine products for serious sailors for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising or any form of compensation from manufacturers whose products we test. Testing is carried out by a team of experts from a wide range of fields including marine electronics, marine safety, marine surveying, sailboat rigging, sailmaking, engineering, ocean sailing, sailboat racing, and sailboat construction and design. This diversity of expertise allows us to carry out in-depth, objective evaluation of virtually every product available to serious sailors. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser with more than three decades of experience as a marine writer, photographer, boat captain, and product tester. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


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