Let the Sun Shine In

The joy of replacing outdated ports  (published August 2012) [caption id="attachment_4709" align="alignleft" width="360"] New ports on outside[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4711" align="alignleft" width="360"] Old port outside[/caption] With the decks painted, more and more things on Regina Oceani, our Pearson 424 ketch, look tired or dated. The plastic and aluminum ports, with plastic

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Fenders for Tenders

[caption id="attachment_4644" align="alignleft" width="486"] Top Photo: Acrylic paint may help ease abrasions, but it also helps owners identify a dinghy and shields it from harmful UV rays.This Photo: Even Captain Crunch cannot harm an old fender that has been split open and secured to the bow (or anywhere else around

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Finding Faults

Understanding the ins and outs of electrical circuits  (published June 2012) If anything on your boat is run by electricity, sooner or later it will fail. The corrosive combo of salt and moisture provides such a hostile mixture that it is remarkable any electronics work at all. Keeping the boat

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Easy Does It

The not-so-daunting process of installing thru-hulls  (published 0412) The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) has developed standards for the installation of thru-hulls. These state, in part: “When installed below the maximum heeled water line, a thru-hull must have a valve mounted so that the system will withstand a 500-pound

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To Have and To Hold

Replacing leaky holding tanks for much sweeter sailing  (published April 2012) The winter after Tony Knowles and I purchased a well-maintained 10-year-old Jeanneau 45.2, we dismantled the boat’s interior so we could inspect all of the systems, plumbing, wiring and tanks. We’d renamed the boat Lime’n—we be lime’n under da

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Decking Out the Decks

Regina Oceani's refit continues...  (published April 2012) Having gained some painting experience by refinishing the spars on our Pearson 424, Regina Oceani (January 2012), our story continues with the refinishing of the decks. If painting the masts is the equivalent of sailing the Atlantic, painting the decks is like sailing

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Remasting in the Pacific

Part 1: What goes up should never come down  (published April 2012) From a soft breeze and tropical sunshine, the sudden blast of wind dimmed the horizon and stung us with horizontal pebbles of cold rain. With eyes squinched against the precipitation, I went to turn the wheel downwind to

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Sail Purchasing 101

(published April 2012) Buying a sail is a lot like buying a car—there are different makes and models from different manufacturers in different price ranges. The process can get confusing, and often overwhelming, especially when trying to compare “apples to apples.” Just like a car, all sails will hopefully get

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Varnishing the Cabin Sole

(published February 2012) My boat is 10 years old, and while I work pretty much constantly on the outside teak, I had done nothing to the cabin sole, and it was beginning to show. Something had to be done, but how? While living aboard with Paddy, my hairy boat cat,

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EPIRBs: Your “Last Best Chance”

(published February 2012) We had just settled back on the anchor in a protected coral cove after a stormy ocean passage. I glanced out the companionway to see not a sunset, but a faint disc being smothered into darkness. No green flash tonight, but there was the muffled flash of

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