About 50% of the testing starts because a contributor has a problems and decides to expand his research enough to make it worth publishing. I started by investigating phase separation and additives because I was having trouble on my boat, but I went much farther down the rabbit hole than I would have for my own interests alone and learned a lot. We get curious. 20% comes from new stuff we see in a boat show or catalog or someone talks-up. The fuel tank vent filter bit started that way; I though it was a gadget but found value when I looked farther. The remaining 30% comes from suggestions or problems we hear of that seem common enough and where some research might yield an answer for many. The Joker valve bit started that way; I've seen too many valves ruined by propylene glycol and that brought fire to my pen. I tend to focus on chemistry-related topics; I'm a chemical engineer by training and long practice. But I've branched out occasionally if I saw a question I thought I might be uniquely suited to research. Some times a topic is assigned to me and I have to grow interested; by the time the article is finished it becomes the most important thing in my narrow little life... at least while I'm in front of the keyboard.
So, what would you like to see researched? A few that are all ready on the burner:
- Dehumidifiers (draft in progress).
- Diesels additives (draft submitted).
- Joker valves and chemicals (draft in progress and 50% of trials complete).
- Mildew preventatives, both coatings and vapor-type (tests started).
- Water repellant treatments for canvas. Long-term (collecting materials).
- Flexible window materials (Strata Glas etc.) and waxes. Long term (collecting materials).
- Follow-up on sanitary hose (write in spring).
- Follow-up on holding tank vent filters (write in summer).
- Followup on gasoline and diesel vent filters (write in fall).
- Long term tests of Canvas. Color, abrasion, strength. Would take 5 years minimum; my mainsail cover is 16 years old. Ouch. Hard to accelerate.
- Same for coated products.
- Polyethylene pipe for sanitary use.