Cruising Tips

Smartphone Anchor Watch

by Donald McLennan, Posted November 8, 2012
Many onboard electronics systems include anchor-watch alarms that sound if a boat drifts too far from where you anchored it. But what if you’re ashore at that time?
I’ve been on the wrong end of a towline twice. At the very least, being towed will ruin your afternoon. At worst, it can cause serious damage to your boat or injury to your crew. Knowing what to expect and what to do to help yourself—or to help others help you—will ensure things go safely and smoothly.

What's an Ocean Gyre?

by Teresa Carey, Posted November 1, 2012
A few years ago, the Gulf Stream swiftly carried me home from the Bahamas while simultaneously tormenting me with waterspouts. It got me thinking...

Deck Bladders

by Aussie Bray, Posted October 15, 2012
Fuel capacity usually isn’t an issue in home waters, but it becomes important when long-range cruising sailboats have to motor for extended periods.
While Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) have been appearing on more commercial and recreational vessels, many sailors still find it to be cost-prohibitive. As an alternative, I recently used a combination of smartphone apps and AIS websites...

Servicing Dinghy Valves

by Charles J. Doane, Posted October 11, 2012
A well-built Hypalon inflatable dinghy can last well over 10 years if properly cared for. In many cases, the first thing to fail isn’t the fabric but the fiddly little spring-loaded valves used to keep the boat inflated.
On arriving at Alligator River Marina after a 15-mile passage across Albemarle Sound, we got a bit of a surprise. The place was practically empty, which was weird considering it was October, the height of snowbird season.
If you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside that little tender’s house up on a drawbridge, you’re not alone. It’s a bit of a fishbowl up here, and everyone who walks by seems to look in.

Tennis Ball Grommets

by Bill Bleyer, Posted September 19, 2012
When covering my boat for the winter, I like to use heavy gray-green poly tarps, as they are inexpensive and last several years if they are protected against chafe and are properly secured.

Curse of the Cursor

by Peter Nielsen, Posted September 18, 2012
The first time I ever used a GPS on an offshore passage we almost lost the boat. The navigator, delighted with his new toy, had plotted a waypoint just off our destination, but somehow missed the long, low, unlit headland between us and it.
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