Boatworks

AIS for Sailors

by Peter Nielsen, Posted May 7, 2009
Any sailor who has made extended passages along coastlines or across oceans has had at least a few close calls

with big ships whose course and intentions can be difficult to discern until the last minute. The introduction of AIS (Automatic Identification System) has taken a lot of the guesswork (not to mention terror) out of these close-quarters situations. For just a


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Looking after sails

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 30, 2009
Dacron is a tough, long-lasting cloth that has only two real enemies—sunlight and chafe. There is not a lot you can do to ward off the effects of ultraviolet light except to make sure the mainsail cover is always in place when you’re not using the boat and to check that the sacrificial strip on the leech and foot of a roller genoa is in good condition.

Chafe is another matter. It likes to


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8-Strand splice

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 30, 2009
When I replaced the ground tackle on our project boat I did not hesitate to relegate the 15 feet of half-inch three-strand nylon rode to the bottom of the cockpit locker. During the years I spent sailing around Europe, I became a firm fan of plaited nylon anchor rode. It piles up tightly in the anchor locker and pays out neatly, without kinking or twisting, and I believe its shock-absorption
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Fire at New England Boatworks

by Tom Nunlist, Posted April 29, 2009
New England Boatworks (NEB), in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, caught on fire on April 23 at roughly 5 a.m. The four-alarm fire wasn’t extinguished until after 1 p.m. Four buildings that were previously used to manufacture boats were destroyed in the blaze, but the remaining 15 buildings in the complex, which comprises three other businesses and a full-service marina, were unharmed; they were
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Get clear steering

by Don Casey, Posted April 15, 2009
I’ve seen it happen many times. A boat turns in to the channel between two piers at a marina but then begins to veer off line. The skipper makes a small steering adjustment, followed by a larger one, and then he realizes that the wheel is no longer connected to the rudder. What comes next is often not pleasant, and it is why you need to check your steering system at least once a
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