Cruising Most Commented

In the Ditch

by Sail Staff, Posted August 22, 2008
Even if you aren't going offshore, you should carry a ditch bag that you can grab quickly in case there's a problem. Ours is the kind used by sea kayakers to keep their gear dry, and we store it underneath the dodger when we're sailing so we can check the bag's contents and test the handheld VHF.

A quick-release buckle that wraps around a grabrail on the cabintop holds one end of the bag. A


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Handy Coil

by Sail Staff, Posted August 22, 2008
Making up the tail end of a halyard or furling line in a standard coil almost always guarantees a foul-up if you need to free the line in a hurry. Certainly you will waste valuable time untangling the coil and making sure it is free to run. By making a long coil and then wrapping the top of the coil over a lifeline or grabrail before tucking it back through itself, you'll make sure the line stays
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Quick Cooler Fix

by Sail Staff, Posted August 22, 2008
Discovering that your fridge isn't cooling things down properly and that only the bags of ice cubes you brought with you are keeping the box from becoming really mushy is a downer. When this happened to a friend of mine, he asked a refrigeration technician to take a look. With no time to make a permanent repair, the technician poured several glasses of warm water over the unit's expansion valve
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Grip and Grind

by Sail Staff, Posted August 22, 2008

Finding a place to put a winch handle so it is secure but can be reached quickly when it's needed is always a challenge. Winch pockets are good solutions, but they can crack, and many of them need to be screwed on or mounted with hardware. Those are some of the reasons why some racing crews are using Velcro to hold their winches in place.

Here's how it works. First, decide where the


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Cruising Power

by Sail Staff, Posted August 22, 2008
Motoring at an "optimum" RPM might not always produce the greatest benefitBy STEVEN J. HENKIND and MICHAEL RYAN

Most sailors understand that by paying attention to sail trim, they can make their boats go faster under sail. But many sailors don't realize that by paying attention to engine RPM, they can make their boats go farther under power. Because the engine is an


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