Sailing Magazine - Boat Doctor http://sailingmagazine.net/articles.sec-126-1-boat-doctor.html Mon, 21 Aug 17 00:00:00 -0400 en hourly 1 Why isn’t my new head pumping properly? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1891-why-isn%25E2%2580%2599t-my-new-head-pumping-properly.html Why isn’t my new head pumping properly?

Dear Boat Doctor,


I decided to upgrade my head to a new electric model. I chose a new model with the pump integrated into the base and it fits in the same spot as my old head....

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How do I avoid wiring issues? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1880-how-do-i-avoid-wiring-issues.html How do I avoid wiring issues?
Dear Boat Doctor, I recently had to connect some bare stripped wires to a terminal strip, the kind where you put the wire in the hole and tighten down the screw. ...]]>
How do I replace my electrical panel? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1869-how-do-i-replace-my-electrical-panel.html How do I replace my electrical panel?

My 47-foot boat is 31 years old and is slowly showing her age. I have taken care of most of the systems, but I need to work on the main electrical panel. The panel is starting to mechanically fall apart, some of the breakers have failed and I ran out of capacity long ago. I have patched it over the years, but I think it’s time for a replacement. 

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How to fix a slipping clutch on an Atomic 4 http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1850-how-to-fix-a-slipping-clutch-on-an-atomic-4.html How to fix a slipping clutch on an Atomic 4

Dear Boat Doctor,

I would like to share a loss of power issue I had on my Atomic 4 powered Cal 2-27. I have owned the boat for more than 30 years, and several years ago noticed a loss of power in headwinds and at higher rpm. It turned out it was a slipping forward clutch, which was ...

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How do I replace freshwater hoses? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1840-how-do-i-replace-freshwater-hoses.html How do I replace freshwater hoses?

 I am planning to replace the freshwater hoses on my boat this spring. The lines are currently a combination of hose and soft copper tubing. The tubing I can see is pretty black, and I have to assume this is impacting my water quality. I’d like to replace it all, but I am not sure what to use.

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What's causing my engine to underperform? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1825-whats-causing-my-engine-to-underperform.html What's causing my engine to underperform?

 I have a Yanmar 4JH2DTE in my boat and I don’t seem to be getting the power I am used to above 2,400 rpm. I checked the fuel filters and they seem OK. What else should I check?

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Can I really navigate with an iPad? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1813-can-i-really-navigate-with-an-ipad.html Can I really navigate with an iPad?

I’d like to start using an iPad as a backup navigation option. I am not sure what navigation application to use and I am a little confused about the GPS options for the tablet. What’s the best way to go?

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Can I use a regular computer monitor? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1792-can-i-use-a-regular-computer-monitor.html Can I use a regular computer monitor?

 We’ve used an Argonaut T-Flex marine monitor on our boat for more than 15 years. It worked great because it allowed us to keep the laptop running the navigation software safely in the nav desk and it operated with a wireless mouse. We could see it even with sun glare and we never had to worry about power spikes or water damage if a wave came down the comp...

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Why are my halyards fraying? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1780-why-are-my-halyards-fraying.html Why are my halyards fraying?

 My Tayana 48 came with wire and rope halyards and as part of my refitting efforts I replaced them with high-quality Dyneema double braid last summer. After wintering in the Caribbean on the boat and bringing the boat back this spring, I found that the cover on a couple halyards and the topping lift has worn through. I bought what I thought was good cordage,...

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How do I track my boat's systems? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1763-how-do-i-track-my-boats-systems.html How do I track my boat's systems?

 I’m the kind of person who likes to know how things work and a few systems on my boat have me stymied. A few years ago I installed a Frigoboat keel-cooled refrigerator. It works great, but I am trying to figure how many times per day it runs and for how long. It’s so quiet that I can hardly tell when it is running....

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How do I install an AIS antenna? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1741-how-do-i-install-an-ais-antenna.html How do I install an AIS antenna?

 I am adding an AIS transceiver to my boat. After a few close calls, I decided that not only do I want to know where other boats are, I’d like them to be able to see me as well. It looks like the AIS will work well with my chartplotter but I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing with the antenna. I’d appreciate your guidance.

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Why do I need to clean new fasteners? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1727-why-do-i-need-to-clean-new-fasteners.html Why do I need to clean new fasteners?
Dear Boat Doctor, I am installing some new Harken winches on my boat, and I was told to clean the fasteners and use Loctite to prevent them from “galling.” I agreed, but I’m not entirely sure I...]]>
Why does the tachometer read high? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1714-why-does-the-tachometer-read-high.html Why does the tachometer read high?

 I just bought a used Catalina 36 MkII. I’m thrilled with the boat but I have an issue that came up during the survey that I’d like to resolve. The tachometer appears to read high. The boat idles at the proper speed, but the tachometer reads more than 1,000 rpm. A similar problem occurs at cruising speed as well. I discussed it with the surveyor and he ...

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What features do I need in a PFD? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1688-what-features-do-i-need-in-a-pfd.html What features do I need in a PFD?

I am going offshore this winter and the skipper said I need a specific inflatable life jacket, one with crotch straps and a spray hood. The problem is that I’m finding it hard to find one that incorporates both of these. Any suggestions?

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How do I install a battery monitor? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1689-how-do-i-install-a-battery-monitor.html How do I install a battery monitor?

I would like to install a battery monitor that will show the state of the charge of my batteries. I have basic mechanical and electrical skills and would like to try to install it myself. What’s the best way of doing it?

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Avoid the dangers of poorly installed shaft seals http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1677-avoid-the-dangers-of-poorly-installed-shaft-seals.html Avoid the dangers of poorly installed shaft seals

 I recently had a scary experience on my boat when my PSS dripless prop shaft seal began to leak in a rather dramatic fashion.  The water rose above the floorboards. I was able to get it under control and later consulted with the boatyard, determining that the shaft co...

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What's a quick-drying filler for gouges? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1669-whats-a-quick-drying-filler-for-gouges.html What's a quick-drying filler for gouges?
Dear Boat Doctor, There are some deep gouges in the bottom of my boat that I need to fill when I pull the boat out. I have used epoxy in the past, but it was a pain to thicken and to...]]>
How do I connect solar panels? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1670-how-do-i-connect-solar-panels.html How do I connect solar panels?
 Dear Boat Doctor, I want to install two solar panels on top of my bimini and I am a little confused about how to hook them up. Each panel has two black plugs on it and my charg...]]>
How long should running rigging be? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1649-how-long-should-running-rigging-be.html How long should running rigging be?

My Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40 came with running rigging lines that all seemed needlessly long. The extra line adds to the difficulty of housekeeping, and in rough going sometimes creates a mess under foot that creates what I would call a hazard.  After a few years, I cut all lines to their longest useful length.

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Is it bad to sail with only a headsail? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1631-is-it-bad-to-sail-with-only-a-headsail.html Is it bad to sail with only a headsail?
Dear Boat Doctor, I sometimes get a little lazy when sailing my Catalina 36 and just use the roller furling genoa. I endure a bit of ribbing on the dock for this, but I’ve also been told that I’...]]>
What kind of batteries should I buy? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1632-what-kind-of-batteries-should-i-buy.html What kind of batteries should I buy?
Dear Boat Doctor, I need to replace the batteries in my house bank. They are about 6 years old and just don’t seem to hold a charge as long as they used to. But how do I know what type to buy? ...]]>
How can I spruce up my rusty anchor? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1624-how-can-i-spruce-up-my-rusty-anchor.html How can I spruce up my rusty anchor?

 I just bought a new-to-me Baba 40. I love the boat and have spent lots of time cleaning it up and just making it mine. It came with a nice Bruce anchor, one of the original well-built ones. I really like the anchor but it could look better, it’s pretty rusty. Can I have it galvanized or can I paint it?

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How can I keep the engine control panel dry? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1625-how-can-i-keep-the-engine-control-panel-dry.html How can I keep the engine control panel dry?
Dear Boat Doctor, I installed a new engine in my boat a few years back, but the control panel often stops working. I suspect this has more to do with the amount of water in the cockpit than the cont...]]>
My teak decks are shot, now what? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1600-my-teak-decks-are-shot-now-what.html My teak decks are shot, now what?

Dear Boat Doctor, 

The teak decks on my boat are failing. I love them but they are washboarded and thin enough in places that the caulking is just falling out. I need to do something about them but I am not quite sure what. What are my options? 

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Why did my through-hull break off? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1591-why-did-my-through-hull-break-off.html Why did my through-hull break off?
Dear Boat Doctor,  I was looking around my bilge and saw that the seacock on my shower drain looked odd. I grabbed it and the threaded portion of the through-hull broke off! ...]]>
How do I keep my hot water from overheating? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1575-how-do-i-keep-my-hot-water-from-overheating.html How do I keep my hot water from overheating?
The water on my boat is really hot. How do I keep it from overheating?...]]>
What size filter elements should I use? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1556-what-size-filter-elements-should-i-use.html What size filter elements should I use?
Dear Boat Doctor,  What size filter element should I use in my Racor fuel filter? I’ve been told both a two-micron and a 10-micron filter.  Ned Bittner Tacoma,&nbsp...]]>
Are my boat batteries dead? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1555-are-my-boat-batteries-dead.html Are my boat batteries dead?
Dear Boat Doctor,  I am having a problem with the batteries in my boat. I can charge the house bank up to 12.75 volts or so, but once I am away from the dock, the batteries quic...]]>
How do I overcome prop walk? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1527-how-do-i-overcome-prop-walk.html How do I overcome prop walk?
Dear Boat Doctor, I have a 1974 Cal T2-27 with a Yanmar 1GM10. My prop is a twin-blade 12RH10 and my prop walk to port when in reverse is pretty significant. My slip situation calls ...]]>
What’s the best way to run my engine? http://sailingmagazine.net/article-1510-what%25E2%2580%2599s-the-best-way-to-run-my-engine.html What’s the best way to run my engine?
 Dear Boat Doctor, I sail a Catalina 380 on Lake Michigan and it has a freshwater-cooled Westerbeke 42 engine. I use the engine basically to get in and out of the slip so I don�...]]>