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Froli System

Let me second the recommendation for the Froli system. Bought mine at the Annapolis Sailboat Show in 2007 and installed it immediately. Installation was very easy, no tools required. Quality of sleep is wonderful. As stated earlier, I think the cost was around $250 and that's not too much to spend for a comfortable bunk.

:thewave: :thewave:
 

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Last haulout my trusty sander died an ugly death. All I could find in a hurry was a Bosch variable speed, dual action sander / polisher. I originally balked at the cost, but as I was on deadline to get out of the yard I bought it. This is by far the best sander I've ever used. Highly recommended.
I have a number of Bosch power tools for many years and neither has had any problems. I can certainly vouch for them!
 

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We have a yacht repair company. here is what we like.

ANCOR WIRE STRIPPER, best tool in the bag. Strips 10 gauge wire and up to about gauge wire with speed and ease
KLEIN WIRE CRIMPERS, your butt connectors will be on tight, not like those cheapie pliers that come in the kits. The ratcheting pliers are nice but too hard to use in tight quarters, which is everywhere on a boat
SPRAY 9 CLEANER, Best all around cleaner ever. So strong that we cut it 50%. Cleans engines, decks, vinyl, clothes, bilges etc.
DAVIS FSR. Takes the brown hull stains off like magic. No rubbing! Works like the ads of 30 years ago where the housewife takes one swipe across the stove and it sparkles:)
FLUID FILM. Derusts and protects. Can be sprayed on electrics. engine mounts etc., Protects the engine area and other areas.
ANCOR ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS. Don't use the cheap brands, these are worth the extra money!
JABSCO IMPELLER PULLERS. Makes changing the salt water impeller job much easier
CORKSCREW PACKING REMOVER TOOL. Not sure of the brand, but they are usually stocked next to the shaft packing. Looks like a miniature wine corkscrew. gets that packing out quick!
COSTCO's SOLAR LED FLASHLIGHTS. Bought 2 more tonight, about $22 pair. They are bright, a single charge lasts 5-10 hours, recharge in sun or incandescent lighting, water proof to 80 feet. NO MORE AA BATTERIES!
LIFELINE BATTERIES. Expensive but if you can afford, they are worth it. A step above the others and usually more "horsepower" than brand X
SENSIBULB LED's. Cost a lot but you get what you pay for. Most LED's are spots or make the saloon look like a lab with the white lights. These work.
CETOL WOOD PROTECTION. Stop being a slave to varnish. This product is easy to apply, no sanding between coats, three coats is max and requires yearly recoating which takes little time. (clear looks beter than original IMHO)
SEARS 12V TEST LIGHT. Sturdy, long self coiling cord, bulletproof. We can't break the damn thing, no matter how much we abuse it.
SEARS 19.2V DRILL. They are powerful, last a long time (but they do not survive drops from 50 foot mast or drops into 16 feet of salt water, as we have found out) these drills are very reasonably priced ($110? maybe less on sale or in a package) BUT the sears jig saw and angle drill which are part of the same series are horrible. poor designs.
YANMAR ENGINES. In the <100hp world, nothing evens comes close to a Yanmar. Nothing!
PB BLASTER PENETRANT . At a few bucks a can, this may be the best value in the toolbox. This stuff actually works to free up bolts. Like Liquid Wrench on steroids. Auto parts stores carry it as does some of the big hardware stores.
KYOCERA 130 SOLAR PANELS. Do these things EVER break??? have never had one come back, started using them 12 years ago.
ACETONE. I love that stuff. can't find it in Puerto vallarta where we now are. breaks my heart. Did not realize how good it was until I could not get it. Clean and dewax hulls with it, thin gel coat, clean greasy areas. (I have to settle for brake cleaner down here to do the job.

Thats my list of good stuff. Have serviced boats for 17 years, and now cruise part time. gary
 

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October Moon B43
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400 Posts
Teak Guard! The best product I've ever used on teak. Easy to apply, easy to maintain, water based so it doesn't attract dirt and mold, wipes off the gel coat with a damp rag so no need to tape, keeps it's color all season long, doesn't leave a slippery surface and a bottle goes a long way. Just great stuff. I wont use anything else.
 

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SURETTE (ROLLS) BATTERIES - 30H108M and T12136M

I bought two batteries last fall to replace the older ones that the boat came with. Had to get slightly different sizes in accordance with the boat's dimensions. Put them in quickly and didn't think about them.

Brought them home when the boat was hauled for the winter and put them in the garage. Noted at the time that one of the date stickers on one of the batteries seemd old. Was a bit concerned that this might have meant the battery had expired or was nearing the end of its life.

The charger that I was using seemed to bear out my suspicions. It sometimes indicated that the older battery was not holding its charge as well as the newer one.

Accordingly, when the boat show rolled around, I spoke to the Surette rep at their booth and voiced my concerns. He gave me his card and asked me to follow up with him by email after the boat show.

He was quite cordial and I didn't get the impression I was getting a brush-off.

Followed up with an email to the rep, who referred me to the quality control manager. I explained the situation to the QC person who explained to me that the batteries were stored dry, so the dating should not really be an issue. He sent me detailed information on how to test the batteries, and a results sheet to fill out.

I bought the voltmeter and hydrometer he suggested I should use and proceeded to check the batteries. As it turns out, it was my original meter that was faulty, the batteries are fine.

Had they not been, I have every confidence that they would have been replaced immediately no questions asked.

Kudos to Surette for providing patient and professional support ! It's a very rare commodity these days and they deserve to be mentioned for it.

I'll definitely stick with their products. I encourage eveyone else to buy their batteries as well. They may cost a little more up front but they're certainly worth it. The ones that I replaced were 9 years old and still totally serviceable. I gave them to someone else in the marina who installed them on his boat.
 

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Three must haves for the Sailor's toolkit are Boeshield T9, McLube SailKote and LanoCote.
LanoCote is a paste that is made from anhydrous lanolin and works well as a galvanic isolation compound between aluminum and stainless steel. It also works quite well as an anti-galling/anti-siezing compound for use on stainless steel to stainless steel contact. The one downside to the stuff is it looks like baby cack... :) When commissioning my boat in the spring, I use LanoCote on all the screw-pin shackles on the boat, as well as most of the bimini/dodger fittings so I can be sure to take them apart at the end of the season. . :)
Lanocote is good stuff, but use it sparingly. If the weather is cool when you apply it, excess can run off when it gets warm and create a hell of a mess! My buddy found out the hard way!
 

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SaltwaterSuzi/CapnLarry
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609 Posts
Cap't John's Boat Brite Algae & Waterline Stain Remover

I work in a marina, and when we haul boats, after pressure washing there is always the 'scum line' along the waterline as well as rust stains from drain holes and the infamous Pamlico Smile (some call it the Chesapeake Smile). Up until recently we used Y-10 or On and Off. Both are very caustic, we would suit up and wear gloves and go around painting the stuff on, wait for the scum to disappear and then hose it off. Sometimes we would have to repeat the application. It could take up to an hour on a really stained boat (that includes suiting up, trip to the stock room, getting hose out, etc. etc.).

About a year ago we started using Cap't John's Boat Brite Algae & Waterline Stain Remover. What a difference! Walk around the boat and spray - wait about 5 seconds and hose it off. (Always keeping upwind of the spray so it doesn't blow back in your eyes.) 40 foot boat in about 10 minutes!

The label claims it meets EPA National Clean Marina Guidelines. It says non-toxic and no harsh chemicals. I don't know what's in it but whatever it is, it works well.
 

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Regular Member
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68 Posts
Corrosion X

Pros:
This stuff is the best. I keep one on the boat, in the dingy, in the truck, in the garage, in the shed, and in the basement. My wife gets a couple bottles for my father and I each year for Christmas. Use on electronic contacts, trailer parts, squeaks that keep you up at night, Polish SS with it, uber-penetrant everything.

Cons:
$15 a bottle, the aerosol version runs out of aerosol before it runs out of liquid (avoid), Dust and dirt do get caught in it. Little goes a long way and I'm always putting on way to much.

I get mine at HamiltonMarine.com
 

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164 Posts
Poop-Off All Marine Bird Poop Remover

It works. Came back to boat, last year, to find that the cormorants had decided my spreaders were the "in place" for dining. Poop-off removed their leavings from the sailcover and dodger beautifully.

Doesn't get any better. Actually it does, new boat is Freedom which has no spreaders.

Can be found in pet supply stores and Amazon.com
 

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Just got a chance to use a product called "Spotless Stainless", introduced on Sailnet a few months ago, and am pleased to report that the stuff is every bit as good as the chap said it was. This is a product that is a creamy white gel one applies with a short bristle "acid brush" to the affected rust stain. Leave it on for 30 min and hose it off. I find I'm more comfortable using it than I am with FSR, also a gelled rust stain remover. I haven't used Spotless in general stain removal applications on gelcoat as I have with FSR, but as far as Stainless cleaning is concerned this stuff gets my whole hearted approval.
Howard Keiper
berkeley
 

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I second Gene T's thoughts on the Pettit Trinidad SR bottom paint. We had a Irwin 34' sloop we kept in Richmond Bay Marina in SF and it lasted 3 years. Then we sold the boat when we relocated and used the product in combo with Interprotect 2000 as a barrier coat on a 46' we purchased in Fort Lauderdale and often sail in warm Bahama waters. When we hauled last Oct...after 2 years...it was in better shape then the Irwin hull. We had slime on the waterline on the sunny side of the hull while at dock but that was it.
 

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713 Posts
Garmin Oregon 400c

I could not resist the sale at West Marine for the Gamin Oregon 400c handheld, $299 vs. a Garmin list of $499 and online prices at GPSCity.com of around $425 and $450 at TigerGPS.com. I got this as a backup to a fixed mount Garmin 3006c and Garmin GPSMap 478 (transportable but not a handheld). It is replacing a garmin GPSMap 76 (being retired because of the grey scale screen and my need for reading glasses. The big features for me with the Oregon 400c were the price, the fact that it is preloaded with all US coastal charts and the color screen.

In addition to the above units I have owned a Garmin GPS 12, a GPSMap 12 and a Nuvi 205 (still using). I'm obviously a big fan of Garmin products and put the order in as soon as I saw the sale price and compared some online vendors. This is a preliminary review as I have not used it on the water yet.

Pros

All US costal charts preloaded.

Excelent GPS reception. I'm getting 4 out of 5 bars inside a stone portion of my house.

Good color screen, in sunlight and in shade.

Battery usage appears to be very good. Use two AA's Alkaline, Lithium, rechargeable.

Contains tide tables and sun/moon phases

Update of unit software very easy.

Download of waypoints and routes from Garmin Mapsource program very easy.

Is a fair amount smaller than the Garmin GPS 72-76 series.

Accepts map data cards.



Cons.

Menu system not very intuitive. Different from any other Garmin unit I am familar with.

Software used appears to have been designed for hikeing and fitness use rather than marine use. Some typical marine functions not found such as "course to steer", "speed over ground". The software for the GPS 72-76 series better designed for marine use.

Instructions on calibrating touch screen difficule to find but at end of manual.


4/6/10

Still have not used it on the water yet but did have a problem with the software update installed as part of the online registration process. There is a glitch with the latest software version 3.7 which prevents the unity from being put into the "nautical" mode which changes the default screen colors making it easier to read the charts and with the display of spot sounding. Tech support at Garmin with providing a work around untill an updated version of the software is issued. They emailed an earllier version of the unit software to be installed (very easy) until the fix is made.


5/17/10

Finally tried it on the water as a back up to a Garmin 3006 and 478.

Pros

Found current stations in the preloaded software, a nice surprise.



Cons
Ther vertical (portrait) orentation of the screen doesn't work as well IMHO as the horizontal (lanscape) orentation of either the 3006 or 478.

The unit software does provide tide charts which can be adjusted for other than the current date but it does not provide an indicator line of the current time. You need to interpert where you are on the tide chart from high and low times.
 

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2,437 Posts
Imtra Lights

We've been gradually upgrading everything on our boat so the OEM plastic light fixtures had to go. Imtra makes some great looking pieces. I originally hesitated because of the price, but wanted something sharp for our new bulkhead light.

I ordered the St Maarten with a glass shade at the boat show and was really impressed when I received the light. Excellent build quality, high quality connectors and a really sharp looking piece.

After a year I noticed some slight pitting in the shade and called Imtra. They were aware of a problem with some lights and without question shipped me two additional glass shades. I'm VERY impressed with their products and customer service.

Jim
 

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93 Posts
Okay, just worked my way all the way through this very useful thread. Our contribution:

Harbor Freight Multi-Function Tool. We're getting to the end (thank the Gods) of a complete deck replacement, and use this tool fairly continuously, every day. We got two, eventually, and got the $5 extended warranty with each. With two we can both work at the same time, keep them set up with different blades, or with blades set up at different angles. Also if one croaks, you still have the other. They work great (though loud, I use ear plugs) and are about a tenth of the cost of the Fein Multi-Tool.

Another thing we love is the solar flashlights you used to be able to get at Costco. Not sure they're still there. Bright light, no friggin' batteries to change if you just keep them where they can get sunlight. VERY tough-- we melted one, and it's curved worse than a banana and still working...

Spotless Stainless is amazing in re-habbing corroded stainless steel.
 

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Jabsco 36800

I installed one last fall to replace a dead PAR. I've read poor reviews of Jabsco pumps, but it was onboard, new in the box. I didn't try it until spring, when I refilled my tanks. It leaked. I tightened the fittings and clamps. It leaked. Tightened again, broke the outlet port. Bought a new port, reassembled, it leaked. Looking carefully, I see that the leak is from the pressure switch. Removed, tightened, reinstalled. It leaks. Removed, tightened the bottomplate screws. Reinstalled, no leak! I don't know how well the pump will last, but I'm not encouraged by the lax assembly procedure.
 
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