The Varnished Truth

BY STEVE ZIMMERMAN Exterior wood on a fiberglass boat adds a touch of warmth, tradition, and style that cannot be duplicated any other way. From a purely functional point of view, exterior wood makes no sense at all, but for most of us boats are more than purely functional objects. I’ve always thought that […]

Environmentally Friendly Below the Waterline

BY STEVE ZIMMERMAN Over the past five years, bottom- paint manufacturers have made great strides in creating effective antifoulants that greatly reduce impact on the environment. Selecting a “green” bottom paint no longer means choosing a less effective one. Before we look at the options, let’s take a brief tour of the history of […]

Belts Without Suspenders

Understanding belt drives will aid in dependable—and safer—cruising. BY STEVE ZIMMERMAN A few years ago I entered the lock in Port St. Lucie, Florida, bound for the Bahamas. As I was exiting the other side ofthe lock, smoke started coming through the engine room hatches. I immediately shut down the engine. Based on the […]

Know Your Options

Alternator failures are a fact of cruising life. Here is what to do when the unsung heroes of your electrical system stop functioning. BY STEVE ZIMMERMAN Imagine that you just arrived in the Bahamas for a month of cruising. Two days after crossing the Gulf Stream you notice the batteries are not getting fully […]