What a difference 18 years can make. Entering the harbor at the picturesque town of Velas on the island of São Jorge in the Azores, I am remembering the last time I was here. “Disastrous” is a word that comes to mind.
During a recent conversation with retired Coast Guard rescue swimmer Mario Vittone, I asked for his take on safety equipment for sailing offshore, and he responded with an answer I’d never heard before.
When the boat is tacking taking the loaded jibsheet off a winch can be a just cause for nervousness. On boats up to 40 feet or so, the safest way to do this is to first ease the sheet off a few inches; keep the flattened palm of one hand pressed against the turns on the drum as they begin to surge around it. This slight easing removes the worst of the load. Depending on the FULL STORY
We were sanding the epoxy on the bottom of our 34-footer when the PSA sandpaper disks my husband Dave was using started flying off the pad of his sander. Both the sander and the pad were new at the beginning of the project that was, of course, many disks ago. Dave cleaned the pad but then watched as another disk flew off. Because it was Sunday and the chandlery was closed, he was going to have to FULL STORY
If you plan to be sailing in reduced light conditions make sure everyone uses the same procedure to secure a line around a cleat. If someone decides to use a fancy hitch during the day to secure a line it is easy enough to figure out how to free it up because it is right there in front of you. But when you are trying to clear an offbeat hitch in the dark, you might turn the FULL STORY
Every crewmember on a boat should know how to coil and accurately throw a 50-foot length of 1/2" dock line. Skippers who will be asking new crewmembers to throw a dock line to someone on a fuel dock should show them how to do it well before the moment arrives. Throwing a line is not hard to learn, but the skill does need to be practiced. A good throw can save the day during a FULL STORY
My wife, Des, and I have just finished a two-year circumnavigation of the Caribbean Basin. Among the things we learned was that some of the most important things that made our cruising more enjoyable cost less than ten bucks. Here are some of our favorites.
Insulated tumblers Ice is a precious commodity at sea, and so is hot coffee. We used our insulated tumblers for hot coffee in