Here’s a selection of helpful reviews from the latest issue of Ontario Sailor Magazine:
Fiberglass Boat Repairs Illustrated
By Roger Marshall
Softcover, 184 pages
Sailor and fisher Roger Marshall, from Jamestown, Rhode Island, and author of 14 books, has now tackled the sticky and messy job of fiberglass repairs after rebuilding his fourth “plastic” boat. The book, illustrated with many colour photographs, guides readers along on projects ranging from fixing small leaks to a complete refinish of the hull and deck. There are details on bedding and refastening deck hardware, adding or repairing bulkheads, replacing waterlogged balsa core in the deck, and replacing a hatch — even changing the size of its deck opening. There’s lots of advice here, like drilling oversized holes in balsa-cored decks and filling the space with epoxy, only to re-drill the right size of hole after the filler has cured. This seals the outer edges of the hole, so that water doesn’t penetrate into the surrounding balsa. If the process is not done properly, you get a punky deck and lots of problems later on. The book begins with helping readers to recognize problems like stress or impact cracks, chipped fiberglass, and a keel that is separating after an impact. Work materials are detailed, including hull cleaners and waxes to battle oxidation and major repairs, like entire transom replacements, wrap up the book.
By Leo Black
Softcover, 152 pages
This book deals with regular maintenance of your diesel engine, which can save you a bundle on costly repairs or a complete overhaul – which is best left to experts who have both the proper training and the right tools. Although replacing some engine components, like a water pump, alternator or starter, are well within the grasp of a weekend mechanic, some special tools are needed. But not so with regular engine maintenance, which will prolong the life of the engine. The new edition deals with electronic diesel engines and explores the three fuel systems: low pressure; mechanical; and electronic. And what is the first task? Go wash your hands, just like your mother always said. Engine bearing failures are largely a result of dirt in the lubricating oil, and impurities in the fuel result in injection pump and injector failures. The first few chapters talk about the history of the diesel engine, and its various parts in the separate systems dealing with fuel and cooling. Regular maintenance includes checking and replacing sea cocks, cleaning fuel strainers, replacing impellers and zincs, and checking and replacing hoses, which are the main cause of an overheated engine. Other maintenance is checking and draining primary and secondary fuel filters, which separate out water that can stall and damage an engine.
Essential Boat Maintenance
by Pat Manley, Rupert Holmes
Hardcover, 295 pages
If you own a boat, there are always things to do to keep her ship-shape. And this book has most of those topics covered, from repairs to fiberglass, wood, sails and engines, to hull maintenance, plumbing, and spar and rigging overhauls. Written mostly for sailors (there’s a section on trim tabs), this book features colourful, step-by-step photographs and a pleasing, breezy layout, with details that don’t get too technical. Chapters deal with general care of canvas and ropes, hull and deck repairs, painting, electrics, engine and outboard maintenance, dinghy care and winterizing. There are useful tips like throwing your stiff lines in the washing machine, using hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine bleach to battle mold (followed by a wipe of white vinegar), and treating watermarks on wood with oxalic acid. Other work covered includes replacing mast boots or gaiters, adding ventilators to help prevent mold in the cabin, and the nerve-wracking job of resealing through-hull fittings. This book can save the boat owner on costly labour costs if someone has to be hired. And regular maintenance will prevent small jobs from turning into costly big jobs in the future.
by Mark Chisnell
Softcover, 94 pages
Professional racing sailor and author Mark Chisnell, who has written three fiction books, details how he turns everyday, onboard-instrument data like apparent and true wind speed, boat speed and other output from basic sailing instruments into better racing results. He uses the information available to most racers, rather than that gleaned from high-tech equipment like radar and weather satellites that are standard equipment on Grand Prix racing boats that are ripping across an ocean or around the world. The simple feat of “mastering your instruments” can make a difference between the right and wrong call on when to tack or waiting for the right wind shift. Although some aspects of the book are quite technical, the author explains things through the use of diagrams so that novice racers can figure out tricks like using wind triangles to their advantage to move up in the fleet. They get the wind triangles from boat speed, a compass reading, and the apparent wind speed and angle. A chapter is devoted to helping sailors set up and calibrate their onboard instruments, including the compass. This book is for serious racers who don’t mind doing some math to glean a leg up on the course.