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Electric Winch Conversion Tips

Electric winches on board sailboats are becoming increasingly popular. It makes shorthanded sailing much easier and allows a crewmember to hoist and trim any size sail in all kinds of conditions with a simple push of a button. With more and more larger sailboats being used for liveaboard, cruising, and weekend sailing, the sails are also bigger. An electric power winch enables any crew regardless of strength abilities, size, or physical condition to perform the strenuous tasks required to sail a bigger catamaran efficiently and safely.

An electric winch makes high-load jobs easier such as hoisting the mainsail when sailing short-handed. It allows you to look up at the main whilst hoisting it to make sure there are no snags or hold-ups. We are converts! When we bought "Zuri", our new Lagoon 450S, we decided an electric wince was an expense that was well worth the cost. In the video at left, Tech Team member, Craig Blazer from Harken, shows us how easy it is to upgrade your Harken Radial winches to electric powered.

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How A Marine Diesel Engine Works

DieselengineThis is a super cool demonstration of how a marine diesel engine works!  Don't miss the video at the bottom of this article.

We are not diesel engine specialists, but we have maintained and repaired our own engines in our various boats over the years and have dealt with most issues. So we offer some maintenance and troubleshooting tips later in this article. 

Read more: How A Marine Diesel Engine Works

The Magic Of Selecting LED Fixtures

This is Part 2 of a great article on LED lights by our good friend and genius tech guy, Michael Blake at Palladium Technologies.

What Constitutes A Good LED Fixture

In my previous article I discussed the Facts and Myths of LED lights, which brings us to the stage of revealing the magic to selecting the correct fixtures. I use the word magic only because there seems to be so much confusion regarding what constitutes a good LED fixture, it must be either luck or magic when there is a successful implementation of LED lights. Much of my discussion will center on the traditional down light of which hundreds can be found on our today’s yachts. These can be used for general illumination, lighting specific artwork on the yacht, or special purposes, such as night illumination on the bridge. I will now unveil those items from my magic cape, which I feel are critical to achieving an acceptable, LED upgrade or new build installation. For ease of comprehension, I have broken these items into categories, in general order of importance, but as you will read all can be quite important.

Read more: The Magic Of Selecting LED Fixtures

Myths And Facts About LED Lights On Yachts

LED lights on yachtsThis is a great article on LED lights by our good friend and genius tech guy, Michael Blake at Palladium Technologies.

LED lighting on yachts is in great demand as the transition to phase out away from traditional incandescent lighting fixtures are occurring worldwide. The main drive towards LED lighting is from an energy savings standpoint, while on our yachts there are a number of other benefits to this evolution as well. These other benefits are, heat reduction, lower number of spares onboard, and the time taken to continually replace failed or failing halogen bulbs, which seem to only occur when an owner and/or guests are onboard.

One of the basic laws of physics is the law of the Conservation of Energy. This law simply states that energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be transferred from one form to another. So when we turn on a typical 25-watt halogen overhead bulb, we will see 0.875 watts converted to light and the remaining 24.125 watts converted to heat, resulting in about a 3.5% efficiency.

Read more: Myths And Facts About LED Lights On Yachts

Marine Engine Issues & Maintenance

Catamaran Diesel EngineWe have received this question from a reader recently: "I had to replace the raw water pumps on my engines. Both had failed at nearly the exact same time (1450 hrs) and after some research discovered that 1500 hrs usage is about the life of these pumps. I was wondering what the typical life of other things like the starter, alternator, injectors and fuel pump would be?"

We are not diesel engine specialists, but we have maintained and repaired our own engines in our various boats over the years and have dealt with most issues. These parts certainly have a life span, but the life can be prolonged with proper maintenance and care. Diesel engines are built to finer tolerances and are usually reliable, durable and will accept much more abuse than gasoline engines. If well maintained, it will deliver 8,000 hours to 10,000 hours before it needs a major overhaul. Problems with diesel engines are usually relatively simple and with a little regular preventative maintenance one can avoid the need for repairs at sea. Diesel engines require clean fuel, clean oil, fresh air, and a good supply of cooling water.

Read more: Marine Engine Issues

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