Upgrades

Dragonfly is a sweet 1983 Bristol 35.5, based in Marblehead, Massachusetts. She still sports most of her original deck gear and the old Merriman genoa lead cars and tracks, while still functional, had seen better days. Owner Tim Sheehy sails shorthanded and wants to get the best performance out of his new suit of North sails, so he decided to upgrade to Lewmar sliding bolt track and

Tension aloft

by Chip Lawson, Posted August 18, 2009
Whether you’re cruising or racing, an adjustable backstay is a helpful device for changing sail shape and controlling forestay tension for improved upwind and downwind performance. By dialing in the right backstay tension you can increase boatspeed. Regardless of whether you have a masthead or fractional rig, using an adjustable backstay is essential to good sail shape. While

Free and clear

by David Schmidt, Posted August 3, 2009
If you sail in Maine, you’ve likely heard the one about the best way to cross a channel (Answer: walk across on the lobster-pot buoys). This isn’t hyperbole; visit many harbors in Maine and you’ll find them choked with pot buoys, some of them in working channels. For sailors, a wrapped prop in a tight channel flanked by rock ledges is a serious predicament: not to mention the potential damage to

Electrically organized

by Chip Lawson, Posted March 11, 2009
This article assumes a 12-volt negative-ground DC electrical system, which is the most common system found on today’s production sailboats. It also assumes that all wiring is properly sized for the length (run) and load of the boat’s various electrical devices. The concepts described can be applied to most DC electrical systems but should be modified in some instances. The

Deck gear

by Sail Staff, Posted December 23, 2008
Upgrading the deck gear on your boat can seriously enhance your sailing pleasure. Once you’ve sailed a boat set up with low-friction blocks, good rope clutches and jammers, and genoa-sheet cars that are quick and easy to adjust, it’s hard to go back to the creaky, friction-riddled 30- or 40-year-old deck gear that so many older boats are still saddled with.We had always planned to replace

Galley Upgrades

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

Build a Boarding Step

by Sail Staff, Posted August 27, 2008
As you get older, you usually discover it’s a little harder to climb on and off a boat. At least, that’s what’s happened to me. Attempting to improve my lot, I tried out several commercially available boarding steps. Some had good features, but I wasn’t really happy with any of them. Then one day Vince and Dianne Purcell stopped by aboard Finn MacCool, their classic Bill Tripp–designed

Keeping Cool

by Paul Esterle, Posted August 25, 2008
A covered foredeck helps keep the noon sun at bayBy Paul EsterleSpending a Tennessee summer on my 35-footer taught me that surviving the sun and heat calls for proper sunshades and awnings. I quickly learned that if I didn’t put up adequate shades, the noon sun would heat the cabin to such high temperatures that even air conditioning could not cool the space down until

Better Water-Tank Vent

by Sail Staff, Posted August 20, 2008
Edited By Mark CorkeBetter Water-Tank VentJim Hancock sends us this idea from New Zealand, where he and his wife, Eleanor, cruise aboard their Freya 39, Solstice. Solstice’s freshwater tank vented into the bilge, so when the boat heeled, water from the tank would siphon into the bilge. Jim’s solution was to buy an inexpensive off-the-shelf dishwasher air gap—a device that

Shedding Light on LEDs

by Sail Staff, Posted March 28, 2007
More stories on LED lights from BoatWorks magazine. Let There Be LightThink you need a bigger battery to run the lights on your boat? Changing to LEDs could lower your power consumption and mean that you never have to buy another light bulb.LED Lowdown
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