Sails+Rigging

Easy Options

by Sail Staff, Posted February 6, 2009
Here’s good news for foredeck crews who have to deal with hectic sail changes and less-than-ideal sheeting angles. Harken’s new high-load snatch blocks feature an innovative soft-strop attachment system that makes life easy. The blocks currently come in four sizes (safe working loads of 5,070 pounds, 10,805 pounds, 18,080, and 26,460 pounds), and should work well in such static-line applications
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Everything Else

Lobster Pot Payback

by Sail Staff, Posted February 6, 2009
Wherever you sail, you know all too well how easy it is to get something tangled around some appendage of your boat. The Hooknife, from Sailor’s Solutions, has multiple effective cutting angles and makes it easy to free your keel, rudder, or prop from abandoned fishing tackle, plastic bags, discarded cordage, or (heaven forbid) your own sheet or guy, without having to go swimming. This tool will
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Apparel + Accessories

Sheltered Existence

by Sail Staff, Posted February 6, 2009
Looking for a dry bag that can also serve as a grocery carrier or an adventure pack? DeMar Designs’s new Cortez backpack is well worth your attention. The backpack features open-mesh construction (with some nylon paneling), a generous vertical zipper opening that allows top-to-bottom access, accessory pockets, compression straps, an internal pocket for a hydration unit (not supplied), a removable
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Seamanship

The Zero Knot Sailor

by Sail Staff, Posted February 5, 2009
High and dry in the unchanging latitude of my zero-knot armchair, I was an excellent sailor. Always at the ready, nimble and knowledgeable, never seasick or tired—I was eager, eternally young, and unafraid.

You need only ask some of my former illustrious shipmates. Joshua Slocum, Sailing Around the World Alone, found me a stalwart companion. With Richard Henry Dana, Jr., I spent


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Caribbean Racing

Bahamas Sloop Winds

by Sail Staff, Posted February 5, 2009
Northeast trades: 25 knots, gusting 30. The quarter-wake hissing.

My 29-year-old son, Noah, and I had just shaken out the reef in the mainsail on our little Bahamas sloop and fallen off onto a reach in the lee of Great Guana Cay when we saw the old salt.

Screaming out of the settlement’s harbor, he held the tiller of a sky-blue sailing skiff with a casual at-homeness I have seen only


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