Cruising

Cruising Tips - Techniques

by Sail Staff, Posted July 28, 2006
Letting go the sheet (June 2006)

Releasing a loaded-up sheet from a winch when a boat tacks can be just cause for nervousness. Sailors who have just moved up to big keelboats often underestimate the loads on a sheet. On a boat up to 40 feet or so, the safest way is to first ease off a few inches, keeping the flat of one hand pressed against the turns as they surge round the winch


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Safety

Cruising Tips - First Aid

by Sail Staff, Posted July 28, 2006
Bad Backs and Boats (May 2006)

Several months ago I wrote that I had to be very careful of my back when I was on board a boat. Since then I've received a number of letters from sailors asking whether I do anything specific to protect my back when I'm sailing. The answer is that I've tried many things over the years to reduce my back pain, including limited surgery, visits to


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Boatworks

Fear No Fire

by Sail Staff, Posted July 9, 2006
The one thing you shouldn’t do with a fire in an enclosed space—like an engine bay on a boat—is to add more air. Smell something burning, open the engine compartment, and whoosh, say goodbye to your eyebrows, and maybe to your boat. That’s why I like this simple install-it-yourself Fire Port ($8.74). If you ever see flames through the transparent window, just puncture it with the nozzle of a fire
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Boatworks

Compact Cooling

by Sail Staff, Posted July 9, 2006
This new air conditioner from Dometic won’t cool your entire boat down—unless it’s a rather small boat—but it’s ideal for a sleeping cabin or a small saloon. The self-contained 3,500-Btu unit measures 91/4" @ 15" @ 8" and will fit in a locker or under a V-berth. It’s powered from the boat’s house batteries via an integral inverter that also lets you connect other 115-volt appliances to it. It
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Sails+Rigging

Snag-Free Main Sails

by Sail Staff, Posted July 9, 2006
Sometimes you see an idea that’s so elegant in its simplicity that all you can say is, “Damn, why didn’t I think of that?” Seldn’s $155 Backstay Flicker is just such an item. It’s a fiberglass rod that bolts to the masthead crane on a fractionally rigged boat with a heavily roached main—the kind that always hangs up on the backstay. At its outer end is a small block through which the backstay is
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