by Sail Staff, Posted November 4, 2005The most versatile tape I’ve ever used is Rubbaweld, now available in the U.S. It’s not sticky, but bonds to itself to form a tough waterproof skin. I’ve used it to tape off turnbuckles and lifeline terminals, for get-me-home repairs on plumbing hoses and connections, and on rope ends when there wasn’t time to whip them. It comes in black and white, and in 1-inch ($18.50 for a 15-foot roll) or
by Sail Staff, Posted January 9, 2006Having seen a sharp-edged bow chock nearly saw through a mooring line during a fall northeaster, I’ve begun to take an interest in these unglamorous—but important—items of deck hardware. Schaefer’s new line of stainless chocks have deep, wide openings with gently rounded jaws that will be easy on dock lines and are big enough to handle chafe gear. They also have hidden fasteners for a neat
by Sail Staff, Posted January 9, 2006A boat’s engine-cranking and domestic batteries are on separate circuits so that the starting battery isn’t accidentally drained, but you need to be able to combine the power from both batteries to help start a reluctant engine. Usually this means installing either three single switches or a four-position (off, 1, 2, both) selector switch; either way, it’s all too easy to leave the switch in the
by Sail Staff, Posted January 9, 2006Pettit’s FLEXpoxy is a marine-grade epoxy resin that retains a degree of elasticity once it cures, rather than becoming brittle like most other epoxies. Pettit says this property makes it ideal for sealing hull-to-keel joints, as well as for a number of other applications both above and below the waterline on fiberglass, wood, aluminum, or steel boats. It can be drilled, filed, sanded, and
by Sail Staff, Posted January 9, 2006The latest in Suzuki’s line of four-stroke outboards looks like a welcome addition to the ranks of small dinghy motors. The DF 2.5 weighs in at 30 pounds and is claimed to have 25 percent more power than competing motors. It offers the usual four-stroke advantages of quiet running, frugal gas consumption, and cleaner exhaust fumes than two-strokes. It comes only in a short-shaft version and has a
by Sail Staff, Posted March 9, 2006This is one of those handy little gizmos you never knew you needed before you saw it. The stainless-steel Stafford Universal Mounting Collar can be clamped onto a tube or pipe and has a countersunk, tapped hole so that things can be screwed to it; it’s a much more pleasing solution than the usual duct tape or hose clamps. It’s available in six sizes to fit up to 2-inch tube (from $11.95).
by Sail Staff, Posted April 9, 2006The unusually mild and wet winter in the Northeast had one drawback, as I discovered during a midwinter boat check—the conditions were ideal for mildew. There are various ways of getting rid of this pestilence, but it always seems to return. YachtBrite claims its enzyme-based Moldaway powder will kill off those pesky mold spores as well as clean up stains. Dissolved in water, the nontoxic,
by Sail Staff, Posted April 9, 2006Sometimes it can be tricky to find a good place on board to mount a solar panel. Here’s a neat idea from the German company Sunovation, which fits its solar cells to deck hatches; there’s something organic about a gizmo that both blocks sunlight and uses that same light to generate power. The photo shows a Gebo hatch fitted with semi-transparent Sunways power cells that generate about 16 watts in