August 2017

Multihull Special Report

The top-heavy countenance and skybox view from the Leopard 39 stand in stark contrast to the low-slung profile and ringside seat aboard the performance oriented Corsair 31 tri (bottom). The payoff on the Leopard comes when you step below decks.

Subscribers Only — In Part 1 of our special report on multihulls we scrutinized the implications of stability and the benefits derived form a wide stance, buoyancy and hull shape of multihulls. This time we’ll look at structural issues and the energy transfer that takes place due to a multihull’s impressive initial resistance to heel. We will also delve into what all this means for the rig, rigging, hull structure and hardware interfaces.   More...

Skipper Recounts Capsize 57-foot Atlantic Cat

Charles Nethersole

Charles Nethersole has been a professional sailor for decades, and in addition to racing commitments and deliveries, he’s accrued 14 years of sea time as a professional captain aboard 55- and 57-foot, Chris White designed, Atlantic catamarans.   More...

Where Credit is Due: Kudos to Jimmy Atkins at Dometic

A few years ago, Custom Marine Canvas made a cover for my nav-pod. It protects the electronic chart and some electrical controls. At the same time, it enables crew members to be able to use the grab rails around the binnacle. This was the first time this shop had made such a cover. Favorably impressed by the good work on the nav-pod cover, last fall I asked if they made winter covers. The answer was “yes.”   More...

DIY Fairing and Filling

Part two of our review of fairing compounds focused on fillers, resins, and activators from West System, System 3, Mas, and Interlux.

Subscribers Only — Epoxy deserves its wonder resin status as a highly adhesive, water-resistant laminating resin. It is the secret sauce behind a shelf full of fillers, glues, and fairing compounds.   More...

Esoteric Fibers Call for Epoxy

Carbon fiber tape stiffens the hull of a kayak. Gloves prevent skin irritation.

Subscribers Only — There’s little debate over the adhesive quality and toughness of epoxy resin—just look at where it’s being used. We hear about its presence in crucial structures such as aircraft wings, race car bodies and high-end custom racing yachts. But it takes a little familiarity with engineering lingo to help us understand why epoxy trumps its “ester” relatives.   More...

Descaling Solutions for Boats

We placed standard samples of aluminum, steel, and brass in a separate container of each solution to measure corrosion over time. The samples were weighed to the nearest milligram before testing began, and then at two hour intervals.

Subscribers Only — In addition to all of that lovely salt, seawater is very hard, nearly saturated with calcium. All it needs is something to react with (uric acid in the head) or localized overheating (engine) to create concrete-like incrustations. Sometimes mechanical removal is possible; a favorite cruiser ritual involves hauling out the sanitation hoses and beating them on concrete to remove internal scale build-up. Heat exchangers can be reamed out with a rod, but most engine and plumbing systems are inaccessible without considerable disassembly.   More...

Folding Cart Does Yeoman’s Duty

In our previous review of dock carts, folding file carts were a standout. Marina carts are a hike to retrieve and return, where as the folding carts can be packed into a space no larger than a brief case in 5-10 seconds, fitting handily in the truck or in a locker. The downside is limited capacity (15 x 13.5 x 14 inches deep and light construction, bordering on flimsy. Prices start at about from $22. Are the trade-offs worth it?   More...

Mailport: Water Purification on Lake Michigan

David Brezina and the crew on his Tartan Ten Ratty enjoys a summer breeze on Lake Michigan. Brezina, like many lake racers, has no water tank on his boat.

We race a Tartan Ten out of Montrose Harbor, Chicago. Since we’re sailing on fresh water and the Chicago Area Sail Racing Association doesn’t require us to have a built-in tank for offshore racing, the water tank was removed long ago to eliminate excess weight. For port-to-port racing, we usually buy jugs of bottled water and refill individual water bottles. For round-the-buoy racing, we bring water bottles. Some of the T10s just use a camping-type water filter. W   More...

Using a Jordan Series Drogue for Steering

PS tester Drew Fry deploys a Delta drogue to record drag data during our first round of drogue tests.

Thanks for this discussion of using drogues for controlling a boat with a rudder lost or jammed over (see “Sailing Without a Rudder,” Practical Sailor, April 2017). I carry a Jordan Series Drogue (JSD), and I think that by bridling it somewhere in the middle, such that some of the cones open to resist water flow, and some are collapsed one could adjust the amount of drag that was appropriate for the conditions. Have you considered testing this?   More...

One Hull or Two? It Depends.

The monohull versus multihull debate has been going on for decades, and for many PS readers, their minds are already well-settled on the subject. But with the rising popularity of cruising catamarans, and the development of some high-end performance cats (and some increasingly compelling marketing) it’s worth reviewing again the pros and cons of each approach.   More...