Cruising Most Commented

Check Them Out

by Sail Staff, Posted August 26, 2008

To check the condition of your sails, hoist each one individually on a calm day and watch what happens to the shape of the sail when you adjust the luff and foot. You still can get reasonable performance from an old sail if the basic shape remains; if it’s disappeared, take the sail to a sailmaker. He or she may have some suggestions for a recut.

If your mainsail uses short battens, make


Masthead Magic

by David Schmidt, Posted August 26, 2008
Tips for safely going aloft

The list of reasons for going aloft is long: checking the rig, rerunning a lost halyard, fixing a broken wind instrument. There are two basic ways to go up the mast: You can climb a halyard or you can be hoisted. While there are a number of devices available to help you ascend, the best method is to use a bosun’s chair or to use a mast-climbing device


Serious Essentials

by Sail Staff, Posted August 25, 2008
Our new boat came with plastic seacocks, and when I closed one of the small ones, the handle broke off along with part of the tapered plug, leaving an open hole in the hull. I immediately pushed the broken piece back in place to reduce water flow, but it was still coming in faster than the bilgepump could handle. I needed a quick remedy.

I keep a can of Plumber's Putty in my toolbox. I


Simple Shower

by Sail Staff, Posted August 25, 2008
We knew when we moved aboard our 34-foot cutter, Eurisko, and became full-time cruisers that the boat didn't have a shower. We also knew that using a solar shower on deck wouldn't work for us on a day-to-day basis. We knew, too, that we couldn't afford to stop at a marina every few days.

Our solution was to modify a 21/2-gallon pressurized garden sprayer by attaching a spray nozzle


Fewer Fouled Sheets

by Sail Staff, Posted August 25, 2008
Fewer Fouled SheetsIf there is a topping-lift bridle on your spinnaker pole, there's a good chance—depending on how the spinnaker-pole uphaul is rigged—that the bridle could foul either the jib or spinnaker sheet. This happens often enough that foredeck crews on many raceboats—especially in one-design fleets—have changed their pole lifts to minimize the chance of fouling. Here's how
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