School's In For Winter

by Sail Staff, Posted August 20, 2008

Sextants and SunshineSome sailors detest chart work; they think it unnecessary nonsense. I enjoy plotting courses the old-fashioned way and making landfalls at new anchorages. Lured by visions of Tahiti’s legendary lagoons and a 100-mile passage through the South Pacific, I signed up for Modern Sailing Academy’s 10-day trip aboard a Beneteau Oceanis 473, which offered an optional


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Boatworks

Better Water-Tank Vent

by Sail Staff, Posted August 20, 2008
Edited By Mark Corke

Better Water-Tank VentJim Hancock sends us this idea from New Zealand, where he and his wife, Eleanor, cruise aboard their Freya 39, Solstice. Solstice’s freshwater tank vented into the bilge, so when the boat heeled, water from the tank would siphon into the bilge. Jim’s solution was to buy an inexpensive off-the-shelf dishwasher air gap—a device that


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Boatworks

Make A Portable Pump

by Paul Esterle, Posted August 20, 2008

The cockpit lockers on my 20-foot trailersailer leak because the lid destroys any seal that is attached to it. I’ve resigned myself to needing a waterproof container for anything I store there, but I still have to deal with the water that has leaked in. My solution was to attach a small electric bilgepump (with a hose) to a handle.

I used 1/8" by 1" aluminum bar stock, which is easy to


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Boatworks

Charge It Up

by Nigel Calder, Posted August 18, 2008
Gray R. Riddick of Chocowinity, North Carolina, asks:

"I know you have discussed using a multimeter to check a battery’s voltage. What does the reading mean? Will it tell me whether or not a battery should be replaced? My two house batteries, for example, read 12.82 and 12.36 volts."

Nigel Calder replies:

A specific voltage reading won’t tell


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Cruising

American Cruiser Murdered in Guatemala

by Sail Staff, Posted August 15, 2008
Four men wielding machetes attacked a retired U.S. couple aboard their sailboat in Guatemala Saturday, killing one tourist and seriously wounding his wife, according to a report by the Associated Press.

After demanding money, the assailants hacked Daniel Dryden, 66, to death, then stabbed Nancy Dryden, 67, which resulted in Mrs. Dryden sustaining a punctured lung. Mrs. Dryden is now in the


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