Maintenance

It’s not as easy as pressing a button, but once you learn to use a windvane you’ll never get stuck hand-steering again.
We were maybe a quarter-mile from the mooring, motoring slowly home on a still summer evening, when the piercing bleat of the engine cooling-water alarm made us all jump. I looked over the side: Sure enough, the flow of water out of the exhaust had ceased.

Four Inexpensive Upgrades

by Peter Nielsen, Posted February 1, 2012
Here are four inexpensive additions and upgrates from experienced cruiser Terry Kotas, who sails Cetus, a Fantasia 35.

Duct and sand

by Connie McBride, Posted August 18, 2009
We were sanding the epoxy on the bottom of our 34-footer when the PSA sandpaper disks my husband Dave was using started flying off the pad of his sander. Both the sander and the pad were new at the beginning of the project that was, of course, many disks ago. Dave cleaned the pad but then watched as another disk flew off. Because it was Sunday and the chandlery was closed, he was going to have to

Wireless thermometer

by Don Casey, Posted August 5, 2009
If you know how cold it is inside your refrigerator, you can perhaps troubleshoot an electrical or mechanical failure in time to save the box’s contents from spoiling. A thermometer inside the box doesn’t tell you anything unless you open the box and check it. That’s why I like to use a wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer of the type that’s readily available in most hardware stores. I put the

Easy-clean anchor chain

by Sail Staff, Posted August 5, 2009
If you spend any time anchored in warm water, your anchor chain will attract enough growth to make bringing it back on deck a messy operation. I’ve watched cruisers whose anchors have been down for a while take a full day to scrub each link of chain clean. I have a better and easier way.Because growth on anchor chain will be limited to the section of the chain that extends from the surface
We used to have to scrub our deck to remove the rust bleeding off the base of our steel propane tank. Then my husband, Dave, cut a piece of garden hose long enough to completely enclose the tank’s circular base. He slit the hose lengthwise and fit it over the lip of the tank base. The hose keeps our deck free of rust and protects it from getting dinged by the metal tank. Don’t forget to remove
Having a long length of line ready to use at short notice is always a good idea when cruising. You never know when you may have to run out a long mooring warp or set a kedge anchor. The trouble is that such a seldom-used line often ends up under piles of gear in the cockpit locker. This is a bad arrangement, because when you want a long line you often need it right now. You don’t want to waste

Boathandling: How to wind winches

by Charles Mason, Posted June 19, 2009
If you have invited guests aboard for an afternoon sail or for a cruise and you know they have limited sailing experience but want to be involved on deck, here’s a way to get them working that lets you be sure things are in order. Cut out some circular plastic rings that will fit snugly around your winch bases. Then put a series of arrows on the upper ring face—you can either use decals or draw

Diesel in a bag

by Richard Probert, Posted May 18, 2009
Halfway between St. John, New Brunswick, and Digby, Nova Scotia, a passage of about 30 nautical miles, the diesel in my Cape Dory 270 stopped. With 40-foot tides creating sluice-like currents, entering most harbors on the Bay of Fundy requires careful timing to arrive at slack water or when the tide is flooding. If you arrive late, you have to wait for the tide to change while being tossed about
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