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Cruising Tips - March 2006

by Sail Staff, Posted March 23, 2006
This month: "talking" with signals; using signal mirrors; great-circle for GPS.

Visibility

Signal AdvantageIf you have an on-the-water emergency during the day, keep in mind that a mirror is a very effective signaling device. If the weather is clear and there is sunlight, the reflection from a mirror can be seen up to 100 miles away. While it does need sun, a


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Along the Spice Route

by Rosemary Forrester, Posted March 6, 2006
Like a sparkling jewel pendant, the Andaman and Nicobar islands angle below Burma in a turquoise sea, studded with coral reefs, rich with sea creatures. But surprisingly this archipelago of some 570 islands, measuring 700 kilometers from north to south, does not belong to Burma, but to India far to the west.

For hundreds of years the Malays, the Chinese, and even Marco Polo visited these


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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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