Cruising Most Commented

Extending whisker poles

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 20, 2009
A standard spinnaker pole is as long as the J measurement on your boat – that is, the distance from the base of the mast to the forestay chainplate. This is purely a racing rule requirement; longer poles are penalized under PHRF rules. If you’re cruising, your whisker pole can be any length you like.

On a couple of occasions when I’ve wanted to run downwind with


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A Star to Steer Her By

by JoJo Nielsen, Posted April 14, 2009
“I can’t go any higher.”

My legs were shaking. My body was pressed to the shrouds. The STV Unicorn seemed to sway and quake beneath me, despite the fact that we were safely tied to the dock in Greenport, Long Island. The first mate, Ms. Baum, peered up at me from the deck, 30 feet below. Tami, another member of the adult crew, was close behind me on the rigging. Her


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Heading Home

by Fred Bagley, Posted April 13, 2009
It’s not because you can’t get there. Or that it’s dinky. In fact, it’s the biggest city on the biggest freshwater lake in the world. It’s just that it is the farthest end of the biggest and baddest freshwater lake in the world.

H.O.M.E.S: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior. Childhood mnemonic for memorizing the five Great Lakes.

By now all you Carmen Sandiego


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Squall line on Lake Erie

by Sail Staff, Posted April 13, 2009
It was late June, and my wife, Lyn, and I were halfway through an 11-day vacation cruise onboard Fellowship, our Hunter 26 trailersailer. We were visiting the islands at the western end of Lake Erie—South Bass and Kelleys islands on the American side, Pelee Island on the Canadian side—as well as Leamington, Ontario, on the mainland about 15 miles north of
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Positive control astern

by Sail Staff, Posted April 6, 2009
Because a sailboat without a bow thruster lacks positive directional control when going astern at slow speeds, many skippers choose one of three options when it’s time to go into a slip. They go into the slip bow first; they stop at a right angle to the slip and then use dock lines to pull the stern in by hand; or they back down with enough speed on to maintain control.

The first option is


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