Cruising Most Commented

This month: carrying a kite; a shorter scope; steering tips; sail saver; using lights on the high seas.

Visibility

To Flash or NotFlashing white lights are far more noticeable than fixed ones and can be much brighter for the same average power drain. However, it’s dangerous and illegal to show anything that could be confused with a navigation aid, so


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Going sideways (January 2006)

It's no secret that bow thrusters are a big help when you're maneuvering in close quarters, which is why they are becoming common on boats in the 40-foot range. One reason for this popularity is that the units themselves have gotten better. But it's also true that freeboards are getting higher and many of us either are getting older or are sailing with


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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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