Cruising

Beating in the Dark

by Sail Staff, Posted August 27, 2008
Steering close-hauled in darkness is largely a matter of feel. As the boat falls off the wind, heel angle may increase. She'll start to slow down when she falls off 15 degrees or more below her best course. But when she luffs above the optimum course, she will come upright and lose some of her way before the sails begin to complain audibly. It's easy to feel the boat coming upright, so being high
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Cruising

Preventing Chafe

by Sail Staff, Posted August 27, 2008
A single-line reefing system can have an advantage over systems that handle a mainsail's luff and leech separately. Probably the most important reason is that the single-line reefing operation can be done entirely from the cockpit, making a trip to the mast unnecessary. But when you use a winch on the reefing line, you must constantly watch for friction and chafe on both the sail fabric and the
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Boatworks

Fuel and Water Don't Mix

by Sail Staff, Posted August 27, 2008

This wasn’t the first VHF call I had taken from someone seeking advice for an onboard problem, and the caller was clearly distraught. He had accidentally filled his diesel tank with fresh water. To make matters worse, when he tried to start the engine, fresh water had been sucked through the fuel system. Always interested in a challenge, I went over to his boat. Together we fixed the problem


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Boatworks

Build a Boarding Step

by Sail Staff, Posted August 27, 2008

As you get older, you usually discover it’s a little harder to climb on and off a boat. At least, that’s what’s happened to me. Attempting to improve my lot, I tried out several commercially available boarding steps. Some had good features, but I wasn’t really happy with any of them. Then one day Vince and Dianne Purcell stopped by aboard Finn MacCool, their classic Bill Tripp–designed


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Cruising

Slippery Solution

by David Schmidt, Posted August 27, 2008

Have you noticed that it was easier to hoist your mainsail when it was new? This may be because the luff hardware (typically metal or plastic sliders or slugs) has become worn or deformed, causing excess friction. Chris Caldwell of Piranha Sails in Marblehead, Massachusetts, has a neat short-term solution that’s as simple as making a quick stop at the supermarket for a bottle of dish


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