Cruising Tips

Learn to Read the Water

by Connie McBride, Posted September 30, 2013
Reading the water is an important skill you should practice often to ensure there’s always water under your keel

Protecting Wires on Deck

by Connie McBride, Posted September 20, 2013
We have an extra solar panel we keep unmounted on deck so we can move it where the sun is brightest. This leaves us with two loose wires running across the deck that are easy to trip over. My husband, Dave, found this unacceptable and decided to sheath the wires with an old piece of doublebraid rope.

Solar Panel Lifelines

by Connie McBride, Posted September 20, 2013
Finding a place to locate solar panels on a small boat is a challenge. We wanted our two 50-watt panels to be adjustable, but secure. Ultimately, we were able to meet both criteria by mounting them on the lifelines of Eurisko, our Creekmore 34.

Sailing Through Reefs

by Andy Schell, Posted September 20, 2013
Negotiating a reef inlet, be it in the Bahamas or the South Pacific, requires precise navigation and skilled seamanship. Detailed charts are essential, and you should always consult any local sailing directions you have onboard in advance.
It is surprising to me that so few sailors are also fishermen. When joining a new boat for a passage, I often ask to see what kind of fishing gear the crew has on board. Almost always, I receive a puzzled look, or perhaps a mildly apologetic one, as my fellow sailors wonder where they last saw the jumbled mass of line, hooks and lead weights they call “gear.”
When I first purchased my 1987 Beneteau First 375, I had visions of mimicking the exploits of Tania Aebi, the Martin family and other daring sailors I admired.
Back in the day I owned a salty gaff-rigged ketch named Autant. Traditional to a fault, she had no electricity, plumbing, winches, roller-furling or any other modern conveniences. Nor did she have an engine, though there were plenty of times when I wished it were otherwise. Like it or not, those years I spent cruising without an engine were emphatically educational.

Free a Line from a Prop

by Andy Schell, Posted August 21, 2013
Eventually everyone wraps a line around a prop. I was told this on my first-ever job as a captain—leading teenagers on liveaboard dive-training trips in the Leeward Islands—and bragged about being the only skipper not to have done so.
Have you ever spotted a lone sailboat anchored in what looks like a dream location—someplace not on the charts—and wondered how the heck they got there?

No-mess Charcoal

by Peter Nielsen, Posted August 2, 2013
I’m a barbecue traditionalist; I love to grill on a charcoal fire. The problem on a boat is the mess attendant to keeping bags of charcoal onboard. 
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