Marine Systems

Electronic Sailing Instruments: What's New

Posted by Phillip Gutowski on

Be it for safety, navigation or competition, all sailors have a need for information about their boat’s performance and its environment. Many recent advances have been made by marine electronics manufacturers, which have increased the accuracy, quantity and accessibility of data from electronic sailing instruments. A general understanding of how these devices gather, share and display their data is helpful when sorting through the myriad of options on the market.

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How to Keep Your Engine-driven Reefer at Peak Performance

Posted by Phillip Gutowski on

Over the last 25 years, there has been a dramatic shift in the types of refrigeration systems carried aboard cruising boats.  Today, 12 volt systems prevail, but the systems most often installed up to the late 90’s were driven by the main engine.  Engine drive refrigerators function just like the air-conditioner in your car.  A belt driven compressor forces a refrigerant gas through a typical vapor-compression cycle.  Though it’s often one of the less understood onboard systems for boat owners, these engine driven systems only consist of a few key components.  A compressor with a clutch activated by an electric...

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New Book: 'Splicing Modern Ropes'

Posted by Phillip Gutowski on

   This full color, hardcover is beautifully bound and makes an excellent addition to the library on any boat. The opening pages do a great job in helping the reader to understand the evolution of modern synthetic fibers. With product names like, Dyneema, Spectra, Vectran, Zylon, Kevlar, and Technora, casual sailors might often feel overwhelmed in the variety of material choices for their application. Polman, a specialist in synthetics technology, thoroughly analyzes the technical properties of each type of fiber, and sheds some light on their naming and chemical make-up. After giving the reader confidence that they’ve chosen the...

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New Gear: SWITLIK Rethinks Man Overboard

Posted by Phillip Gutowski on

Most sailors are familiar with the man overboard recovery systems which tend to live in a yellow or white vinyl bag hanging from their pushpit.  Beneath the often weathered flap one should find a soft horseshoe buoy and a length of line which is deployed in an effort to secure the MOB and hoist him back on board.  Switlik offers and improvement on this old design by reducing its size and increasing its performance with an inflatable sling, offering almost double the buoyancy of other similar devices. LIFESLING overboard rescue system. The SWITLIK CORD has an inflatable ring which provides more...

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Fuel's Paradise: Onboard Fuel Polishing

Posted by Phillip Gutowski on

 Featured in the February, 2017 issue of SAIL Magazine.      Maintaining clean fuel should be one of the highest priorities on any vessel equipped with a diesel engine.  Detecting and discarding any badly contaminated fuel is always your best bet.  However, after having done your due diligence and sampled your tanks, there is no harm in adding extra filtration. We have two 60 gallon fuel tanks, built of fiberglass.  Each tank has a stainless inspection port, a dipstick and (thankfully) three fuel line connections.  Two of the connections reach down about 1” shy of the bottom of the tank,...

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