Cruising Tips

No-foul jib sheet

by Peter Nielsen, Posted August 5, 2009
The bowlines used to attach sheets to the clew of a headsail have an annoying habit of catching on inner forestays, babystays, and shrouds. Here’s a why-didn’t-I-think-of-this-before idea: if you’re replacing your headsail sheets, don’t cut them in half. Double the sheet over and thread the looped end through the clew. Pass the tails through the loop and draw tight. Then say goodbye to those

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

Safety: Twist and shout

by Charles Mason, Posted August 5, 2009
Here’s a maneuver that can make it easier to get someone who is not injured out of the water. First, have the person in the water is face you, and then ask them to raise their arms straight up and cross them over their head. When their arms are crossed, grasp their wrists firmly with your hands—put your right hand on their right wrist and your left on their left. When you pull up on their wrists

Go Fly a Kite!

by Craig Davis, Posted August 3, 2009
Recent years have seen a minor revolution in downwind sailing. We have witnessed not only the rebirth of the a symmetrical spinnaker (A-sail), better-designed and stronger-built symmetrical spinnakers (S-sails), but even more recently, the Parasailor2, a sail that might lead many long-distance cruisers to rethink their off-the-wind inventories.We tested these these

Hurricane preparation

by David Schmidt, Posted August 3, 2009
“Staying aboard is a terrible idea!” says Bob Adriance, the Technical Director at Boat US, which insures some 200,000 boats in the U.S. “There is little — if anything — you can do to protect your boat and it’s extremely dangerous. People have been killed.”Adriance advises that location is the biggest factor in determining how safe your boat will be during a hurricane. “A small seawall

Beating the Odds

by Ovi Sacasan, Posted August 3, 2009
Hurricane season is upon us, and early indications are that we are in for a big one. In these pages we look at ways in which you can prepare for the strong winds and storm surge that come with a hurricane, and a couple who rode out Hurricane Ike in Galveston last year share their story. Hurricane Ike was supposed to be just another in a steady parade of

Spinnaker Flying

by Patty Hamar, Posted August 3, 2009
Mention the word “spinnaker” and most sailors think of spicy downwind runs. But some of us have another use for those sails, namely flying. Given the right conditions and some stouthearted companions, getting airborne is a blast.How it worksFirst, you need a symmetrical masthead spinnaker, not a gennaker, an asymmetrical, or a cruising chute.

Mastering the A sail

by , Posted July 14, 2009
Though asymmetric spinnakers date as far back as 1865, credit Australian skiff sailor and designer Julian Bethwaite with the invention of the modern asymmetric, which he tested and developed on his Australian 18 designs during the 1980s. Bethwaite needed a spinnaker with a long luff and flat leech on either gybe. This would enable crews to sail the skiff’s tight apparent-wind angles without
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