February 2017

Diving into the Endeavour 42

Horizontal stripes along the boat’s hull and cockpit coaming help reduce the Endeavour’s slab-sided appearance.

Just as the Caribbean cruising dream was at its peak in the American consciousness, Endeavour yachts brought in America’s Cup designer Johan Valentijn to create a new breed of Endeavours to compete with an already crowded field of center-cockpit cruisers, most of them bound for the Caribbean charter trade. The end result was a boat that managed to maintain a surprisingly tolerable aesthetic, unlike the typical “wedding-cake” center cockpit cruiser. The combination of teak trim, bootstripe, and balanced proportions camouflages what is essentially a floating condo.   More...

E42 Build is Typical for Charter Trade

When blocking the Endeavour 42, it is advisable to support the full length of the integrally-molded keel. Steering cables turning blocks are bolted to a massive steel support frame that also has a rudder bearing for the shaft. This set-up is robust, but will complicate efforts to retrofit a shaft tube that extends above the waterline.

Subscribers Only — The Endeavour 42 is relatively heavily built to charter-boat scantlings, but inconsistencies between hulls means there will be some variability in quality. The biggest refit challenge is the fuel tank.   More...

Snubber Chain Hooks Revisited

Subscribers Only — Last spring we reported on tests of chain hooks (see “Testing the Effects of Chain Hooks,” PS March 2016). Those tests found that some hooks reduced the strength and seriously damaged the retained chain. The maker of one of the hooks, Mantus, criticized our methods because the chain size we used did not match their specs for the hook, so we repeated the tests using different chain. (For a complete discussion of this matter, see the Inside PS blog post “Can a Snubber Hook Weaken Your Chain?”) We also looked at newer products that had been introduced in the interim.   More...

Highlights From Annapolis 2016

Technical editor Ralph Naranjo tinkered with products great and small at the 2016 Annapolis Boat Show.

When we plan what to put in each issue of Practical Sailor, we ask ourselves, “What’s new in the sailboat industry?” But of equal importance is considering the products that have weathered the test of time, evolved into a better product, or arrived in the marine market place from a non-marine manufacturer. This year’s United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., had answers to all of the above.   More...

Budget Priced Winch Grease

Green Grease, above after the burn test (bottom left corner) and at right on our test boat’s winch, offers a budget option for boaters.

Subscribers Only — While we respect that winch manufacturers have put a lot of effort into selecting appropriate lubrication products for their equipment, in the enormous world of lubricants we know there are non-marine brands that can do the job just as well. In the wake of our recent winch grease test featuring products from Andersen, Harken, and Lewmar (see PS October 2016 online), we decided to look at budget options.   More...

An Inquiry into Anchor Angles

Images and videos of scoop-style anchors (a Mantus is shown here) and similar anchors while set in a soft sand bottom, show that angle that the fluke forms with the seabed when set can be less than the ideal of 30 degrees. Practical Sailor testers hope to determine if this characteristic is limited to certain designs, how significantly it affects ultimate holding power, and what can be done to create a more favorable setting angle.

Designers of boat anchors deal in a handful of variables. The holding capacity of an anchor derives from its fluke, particularly the fluke’s size, shape, and the angle it makes with the shank. Other parts of the anchor—shank, roll bar, and stock—allow the fluke to set and hold as the designer intended. Based on the shapes and relationships between these components, an anchor fits into one of several broad categories: fluke (Danforth, Fortress, Manson Racer), plow (CQR, Delta, Kobra, SARCA Excel), claw (Bruce, Lewmar Claw, Manson Ray, Super Max), or fisherman (Luke).   More...

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

Bob Swayze’s Snuffy is a Kadey-Krogen 38 designed by Jim Krogen. The boat features twin bronze centerboards and is especially well-suited for cruising shallow waters.

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. What’s up?   More...

Can Dehumidifiers and Wood Boats Mix?

As I was doing research, I was looking at potentially installing a household Honeywell dehumidifier in a 58-foot wooden boat (vented from outside) while connected to shore power, for use in New England where temps this weekend dropped into the 20s F. The water outside obviously is colder than the inside air and the outside air is freezing. However, the boat is well designed with good ventilation and two stoves to keep the cabin warm. The builder, a wise sea captain, told me he would not install a dehumidifier in a wooden boat. In a fiberglass boat, yes, because they sweat and start to smell of unpleasant things. This is a wooden boat, but I’m not sure ventilation alone will be effective. My concern that the dehumidifier would dry the oak planks out and possibly open up the seams. If the boat was in San Francisco Bay, I would not be so concerned, but the cold New England temperatures are a worry.   More...

The Ultimate Test Boat

Robert Helmick and his son, Kameron, enjoy a long, sunny reach aboard Lost Boys, and Endeavour 42.

I’ve been the fortunate witness to the rebirth of a boat and the inspiring maturation of a boy. And Practical Sailor readers have unknowingly been along for the ride. For the past five years, boatbuilder Robert Helmick has allowed his Endeavour 42 Lost Boys to serve as a test platform for a wide array of sailing gear featured in these pages.   More...