Cruising Most Commented

Yacht Security in the Gulf of Aden

by Sail Staff, Posted September 8, 2008
Yachts transiting the Gulf of Aden should be more secure under a maritime security patrol area announced by the United States 5th Fleet in Bahrain. Allied naval forces under Combined Task Force 150 are now patrolling the waters between the coasts of Somalia and Yemen, a natural chokepoint for maritime traffic.

Pirates recently stepped up commercial ship hijacking in this area. The


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Datum Shift

by Sail Staff, Posted August 28, 2008
Here’s a chartplotter photo that shows the boat plunked into the local parking lot. In fact, it was tied alongside the pier northwest of number 4. The distance to the apparent position was over 200 yards. The fault lay in a discrepancy between the GPS lat-long data and the electronic chart itself. In other words, it’s a classic datum shift. Think about what could have happened to the boat
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Reef Untangler

by Sail Staff, Posted August 28, 2008
We love our slab-reefing setup but constantly had problems with the reefing lines getting tangled up around the end of the boom. The solution was simple. We always carry a couple of spare battens inside the boom, and we discovered that leaving one poking out prevents this from happening. Kitty van
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River Anchorage

by Sail Staff, Posted August 28, 2008
When anchoring in a river, take note of the prevailing and forecast wind directions. Will the wind at any time oppose the current (A)? If it does, the boat will not lie well to its anchor. It may even sail around enough to pluck the hook out of the bottom. If at all possible, choose a section of the river where the prevailing wind is blowing across the current (B). The boat will tend to lie with
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Cleat Surrogate

by Sail Staff, Posted August 28, 2008
If you need to tie up to a short pontoon, you’ll have to rethink your usual arrangement of dock lines. You’ll have to lead the stern line forward—which is far from ideal—and take a short spring line from a midships cleat to the same dock cleat as the stern line (as shown above). Use two bow lines, if possible, to keep yawing to a minimum. If your boat doesn’t have a midships cleat, resist the
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