Boatworks Most Commented

Spare-Parts Counter

by Sail Staff, Posted August 28, 2008
Carry the spares that keep critical systems runningBy Don Casey

Our multi-year cruise was still mostly in front of us when our Yanmar diesel engine uncharacteristically refused to answer my call for more revolutions. We reached our next port on reduced rpm, and the following morning the engine would start, but not keep running. When an otherwise mechanically sound


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Galley Upgrades

by Sail Staff, Posted August 28, 2008
Thinking hard about the little things increases efficiencyBy Rob Lucey

Most production galleys are fine for a weekend cruise, but if you’re thinking about a longer time frame for the galley’s use—extended cruising or living aboard—any shortcomings will quickly become apparent. Fortunately, you don’t have to settle for what you are given. For example, my wife and I


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Higher and Faster

by Kevin Montague, Posted August 28, 2008

Recently, a sailmaker called to inquire about upgrading the backstay system on his client’s mid-1980s 34-foot masthead-rigged sloop. The client was buying a slightly larger headsail that could cover a broader spectrum of wind ranges and thought that the standard backstay and turnbuckle just weren’t up to the task. The working range of the turnbuckle was 2 to 3 inches of length, and the time


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Downwind Sails for Cruising

by Chip Lawson, Posted August 28, 2008

I’m a real fan of downwind sails because they add a lot of speed and fun. On my 40-footer I carry a 1.5-ounce symmetric spinnaker in a sock, a 75-ounce asymmetric, also in a sock, that I set on a collar around the headstay, and a 2.2-ounce Code 0 that I have mounted on a Harken furler. I use the symmetric when I have a good crew but leave it ashore when I’m sailing shorthanded. The Code 0 is


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Busted!

by David Schmidt, Posted August 27, 2008

Sailors have been tying knots for millennia, and no doubt innovators have been trying just as long to invent both stronger rope and better knots. Yet the basic problem still remains: Every rope is weakened when its fibers are bent. Loading a knot with a large amount of weight creates a sheer force on the fibers; given enough force, the fibers break and the rope fails.

Today’s


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