Cruising Tips

Stanchion safety

by Don Casey, Posted February 7, 2006
Stanchion Safety (January 2006)When 200 pounds of force is applied to the top of a 30-inch stanchion, as much as 3 tons of pull can be exerted on the stanchion's base. That is more than enough to rip poorly mounted bolts up through the deck. Make sure all stanchion bases have oversized metal backing plates (not just shoulder washers), and check all the bases periodically for

This Is Not a Test

by Sail Staff, Posted January 25, 2006
Before going cruising, I had a long career skippering fishing boats in Alaska. Twice I had the need to resort to a liferaft. The raft must always be the last resort. Never give up on the boat until it has given up on you.The first time, I was alone aboard a small boat fishing salmon. While the boat did a slow roll all the way over, I ran up the side like a Laser racer
This month: attaching lifelines, poling the headsail, calculating tides, and oil anchor lampsSafetyUV damageInstead of attaching lifelines to pushpits with clevis pins, it’s good practice to use lashings of prestretched line. They provide enough tension to take the slack out of the lines but can be cut in an instant if need be—for instance, to clear the
This month: tethers, fouled props, halyard retrieval, and chicken gybesSafetyTreble tetherIn the 2002 ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers), one of two brothers sailing a 50-foot boat fell overboard while working on the foredeck. He was clipped on to a jackline, but his brother could not get him back on board and he drowned. I thought about this incident, and
This month: Hurricane precautions, anchor handlingHurricane PrepPlanning shoreside precautions Hurricane-force winds (over 64 knots, or 74 mph) and the resulting storm surge are serious business. If your boat is in an area that might see hurricane conditions, you need to know what action to take. If possible, get the boat out of the water and remove

Tender tricks and stress-free anchoring

by Charles Mason, Posted August 9, 2005
At the DockDinghy-dock smartsDon Street, who has been rowing rigid dinghies around harbors in Europe and the Caribbean for more than 60 years, thought he had learned everything there is to know about handling a dinghy in any conditions. But he’s come up with a new trick for handling a hard tender around a crowded dinghy dock. “The usual routine,” says Street, “is to
This month: coping with fog, inshore pilotingSeamanshipSailing in fogSummer sailing and fog seem to be inextricably linked in some parts of the country, and everyone who races or cruises will run into a bank of the gray stuff at one time or another. When you do, your priorities change from making good time toward your destination to not running into other
VisibilityHow to be seenWe all hope the lookouts on those huge container ships will see our little sailboats in rain, mist, and low light. Should we find ourselves in trouble, we pray that our rescuers will be able to make us out in the breaking waves.Some sailors have long recognized the value of being highly visible. Many ocean-racing boats have brightly colored hulls

Stability is the Key

by Dave Gerr, Posted October 10, 2004
For multihulls, there are four important indicators of performance and stability: the Bruce Number; the Real Performance Index; the Stability Number; and the Stability Factor.Bruce NumberBruce Number is another form of the sail area-displacement ratio (a power-to-weight ratio). It shows how much sail area relative to displacement (weight) a boat has, but tells nothing about a
  • facebook
  • twitter