Cruising Most Commented

Stanchion safety

by Don Casey, Posted February 7, 2006
Stanchion Safety (January 2006)

When 200 pounds of force is applied to the top of a 30-inch stanchion, as much as 3 tons of pull can be exerted on the stanchion's base. That is more than enough to rip poorly mounted bolts up through the deck. Make sure all stanchion bases have oversized metal backing plates (not just shoulder washers), and check all the bases periodically for


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This Is Not a Test

by Sail Staff, Posted January 25, 2006
Before going cruising, I had a long career skippering fishing boats in Alaska. Twice I had the need to resort to a liferaft. The raft must always be the last resort. Never give up on the boat until it has given up on you.

The first time, I was alone aboard a small boat fishing salmon. While the boat did a slow roll all the way over, I ran up the side like a Laser racer


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This month: attaching lifelines, poling the headsail, calculating tides, and oil anchor lamps

Safety

UV damageInstead of attaching lifelines to pushpits with clevis pins, it’s good practice to use lashings of prestretched line. They provide enough tension to take the slack out of the lines but can be cut in an instant if need be—for instance, to clear the


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This month: tethers, fouled props, halyard retrieval, and chicken gybes

Safety

Treble tetherIn the 2002 ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers), one of two brothers sailing a 50-foot boat fell overboard while working on the foredeck. He was clipped on to a jackline, but his brother could not get him back on board and he drowned. I thought about this incident, and


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This month: Hurricane precautions, anchor handling

Hurricane Prep

Planning shoreside precautions Hurricane-force winds (over 64 knots, or 74 mph) and the resulting storm surge are serious business. If your boat is in an area that might see hurricane conditions, you need to know what action to take.

If possible, get the boat out of the water and remove


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