Sailing Gear

Having the right kind of gear aboard a sailboat is essential, not only to its performance, but the safety of the crew. With this in mind, SAIL not only reviews a wide variety of equipment, including foul weather gear, life jackets, sails, rope, electronics, paints and spars, but recognizes the very best of the best every year through its Pittman Innovation Awards.

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Maintenance and DIY

Boat Cleaner’s Tool Kit

Back before I got into the magazine business I cleaned boats for a living, roaming the docks of Newport, Rhode Island, with various and sundry brushes, chamois, rags, polishes, waxes, soaps and the like. Over the many hours (and dollars) spent in the aisles of the local West Marine I found a few products that Read More

The SOS Distress Light from Weems & Plath is currently the only electronic flare approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, though there may be more on the way soon

Electronics and Navigation

The Rise of Electronic Flares and Distress Signals

For as long as people have been taking to the sea, they’ve needed a way to signal for help, guide rescuers to them in dire situations and terrible conditions. Since the mid-1800s up until recently, the go-to device for this has been the pyrotechnic flare. And with good reason, they are very effective, they burn Read More

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Electronics and Navigation

Gear: Garmin gWind Transducer

Garmin gWind Transducer The gWind transducer uses a three-blade propeller to provide accurate true wind speed readings in light air, while its twin-fin design offers a stable true wind angle reading for when you’re trying to squeeze out a few extra knots when heading around the marks. The included GND 10 black box connects the Read More

Powered winches fine-tune sail shape without straining muscles

Sail, Rope and Rigging

Powered Winches Take the Strain Out of Sailing

Like thousands of other sailors, I scoffed at powered winches until a rock-climbing injury reduced my right shoulder to an arthritic mess. So, while I love to spin handles, I’ve realized that powered winches are my friends. And I’m not alone. Most medium-to-large cruising boats I saw at last year’s United States Sailboat Show at Annapolis either came fitted with some (or all) powered winches, or Read More

2016

TackingMaster

  One of the toughest parts of sailboat racing, especially for newbies, is keeping track of windshifts and visualizing how they affect your strategy and tactics—issues that can be especially critical on today’s demanding windward-leeward race tracks. Enter the TackingMaster, an easy-to-use, mechanical instrument (no batteries required!) that not only helps you determine the favored Read More

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2016

Seldén S-series Winch

  Seldén’s S-series winch simplifies tacking and makes handling a loaded sheet easier and safer by allowing you to tail the line to your heart’s content with it already running through the self-tailing mechanism and the winch handle in its socket—no more having to pop in the handle or thread the loaded line while you’re Read More

2016

Torqeedo Deep Blue Hybrid

  Torqeedo, the same company that made a name for itself building viable electric outboards, now appears ready for the big-time with its new Deep Blue Hybrid system for boats from 40ft to 80ft. Employing the same motors found in the company’s larger outboards, Deep Blue represents a fully integrated system of high-end components of Read More

2016

Waeco CRX Refrigerator

  Organizing the cold stuff for a longer cruise just got a whole lot easier, thanks to Dometic Marine’s new Waeco CRX range of three-in-one refrigerator/freezers, featuring a patented removable freezer compartment. The key to this new system is a condenser plate that is folded in such a way that the majority of its surface Read More

2016

Blue Sea Systems BatteryLink

  Blue Sea Systems continues to introduce a variety of different components to help improve a boat’s onboard electrical system. Among the latest is the BatteryLink waterproof charger suitable for flooded, AGM and TPPL batteries, a compact piece of kit that will be especially useful aboard smaller vessels. Measuring 6.7in-by-4.9in-by-2.1in, it incorporates an internal 65 Read More

2016

UK Sailmakers Power Sail

  Until recently the only solar sails were those designed for catching the solar wind aboard spacecraft, but not anymore, thanks to UK Sailmakers France and SolarCloth System’s Power Sails. The key here is a set of lightweight, non-load-bearing ultra-thin solar panels—typically 65 microns thick—which are laminated, glued, stitched or even zipped to a boat’s Read More

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