Sailboat Cruising

Whether you’re looking for insights into the best cruising grounds of the East Coast, West Coast, Caribbean or Great Lakes, or the latest in tips and techniques for doing everything aboard from set the anchor to fix your engine, recover a man-overboard victim or trim your sails, our editors and contributors have the answers.

Illustration by Jan Adkins


Voice of Experience: Helicopter Rescue

“My name is Petty Officer Jaime Vanacore. I am your rescue swimmer.” Her Dolphin helicopter hovering 70ft over the peaks of the waves, Jaime had zipped down from the helicopter to the ocean, first with 25 knots of wind whisking her around and then with 15ft waves smacking her. She had unclipped from the line Read More

Baxter the dog in his lifevest, waiting to go ashore


Boats, Dogs, Cruising and Training

Dogs are dogs and boats are boats, and somehow the twain must meet After persistent lobbying from daughter Lucy, who is crazy about animals of all sorts, we recently adopted a dog, and I’ve been confronted with the problem of introducing it to the boats in my life. Thinking about this, I realized there are Read More

A peaceful sunset in Georgetown


Georgetown: End of the Trail

I remember once hearing someone refer to Georgetown as “Trail’s End Harbor,” because it’s as close to the Lesser Antilles as many U.S. and Canadian cruisers ever get. Not surprising, really. It’s relatively easy to bring a boat this far, playing the wind shifts and weather systems, island hopping all the way. But to continue southeast Read More


Cruising Tips

Handy Printable VHF Reminder

There’s a right way to communicate via VHF radio—and many wrong ways. The reason for VHF protocol is to avoid ambiguity and ensure that messages are kept on point—your safety, and that of your crew, may depend on clear communication. So we’ve worked up this useful VHF protocol card, which you can print out, laminate (if Read More


Cruising Tips

Know how: Sailing 101

To begin       You don't need to know much about how a piston engine works in order to drive a car. You get in, turn on the engine, shift into gear, step on the gas, and off you go.      In a sailboat, though, you play a far more active role in harnessing the energy that propels you forward. You can get Read More

Yes, there is a way to achieve trust and harmony, even at sea


5 Basic Tenets for a Two-captain Sailboat

There is an unequivocal principle in maritime hierarchy—a ship can have only one captain. On our boat, there are two. As young cruisers, 33 and 28, sailing from Vancouver to Cabo aboard MonArk, our 1979 Dufour 35, we have learned not only how to cross bars, manage Santa Ana winds and dodge tankers, but also Read More


Cruising Tips

Sketchbook: How to Get Unstuck

A. If a quick maneuver doesn’t spin her off, try reducing the draft by heeling her over with a backed sail and shifting some weight. B. In tidal waters, though, don’t continue heeling her too long, because she might end up lying downhill. C. Feel around to get an idea of the shape of the bottom. Try wriggling Read More

It’s important to cultivate a good relationship with your boatyard

Cruising Tips

Know-How: Boatyard Navigation

If you have your boatyard help out with repairs, upgrades and routine maintenance, you can often be one of the first to launch in the spring. But you’ll quickly run aground if you don’t understand boatyard service departments and their standard operating procedures. Having both patronized and worked at boatyards, I’ve found most mix-ups involve Read More


Cruising Tips

How Much Power Do You Need For A Passage?

We are always told when outfitting our boats for cruising that we need to make sure our onboard electrical system can handle our projected daily power usage. But that raises an important question: what sort of day are we talking about? Is it a day spent at anchor, the day we have a lot of guests and friends on board, a day spent in a marina, or—and very often this is not considered—a day spent Read More