Cruising Most Commented

Dinghy on Deck

by Sail Staff, Posted August 28, 2008

I know this idea isn’t popular with a number of cruisers, but I don’t think it is ever seamanlike to tow a dinghy when on a passage. For starters, the drag is considerable and a real impediment to sailing speed. There are many other reasons, of course, starting with the fact that towing a dinghy is bound to be a distraction. Then there’s the question of potential danger to the crew if the


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Rafting Redux

by Sail Staff, Posted August 28, 2008

We stopped overnight at North Minerva Reef on our way from Tonga to New Zealand. Our friends aboard Layla, a 40-foot sloop, were also headed to New Zealand. They anchored first, and, when they were satisfied their anchor was set, they called us on the VHF and asked us over for pizza. Because we were in passage mode, our dinghy was securely lashed on deck, but we didn’t want to miss Layla’s


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Coastal Cruising

by Sail Staff, Posted August 28, 2008
Practice with paper instead of plasticBy Chris Lab

During a passage along the South American coast on our Passport 40, Aquamarine II, we ran into a strong storm cell with lightning, high winds, and rain. In the hopes of preventing damage from a lightning strike, we unplugged our GPS, radar, radios, and chartplotter and put as much of the gear as we could in the


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Cut Your Losses

by Kimball Livingston, Posted August 27, 2008
Keep after that guy in front of you

For too many sailors, the upwind leg is a chance to get buried by failing to attack or by failing to defend. Think about this one:

A boat well to weather of you (and slightly back on your hip) experiences a favorable windshift. What do you do? Howie Hamlin, world champion in the 505 dinghy, 18-foot skiff, and, as of 2006, the


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Downwind Dance

by Sail Staff, Posted August 27, 2008

Racers know that moving the genoa fairlead outboard on a reach improves boatspeed, but many cruisers overlook this and wind up sailing longer passages as a result. Whenever the wind is abeam or farther aft, it is best to open up the slot between the genoa and mainsail.

When a boat bears away from a close-hauled course and its mainsail is eased, the mainsail boom moves away from the


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