Sailors have been tying knots for millennia, and no doubt innovators have been trying just as long to invent both stronger rope and better knots. Yet the basic problem still remains: Every rope is weakened when its fibers are bent. Loading a knot with a large amount of weight creates a sheer force on the fibers; given enough force, the fibers break and the rope fails.
For too many sailors, the upwind leg is a chance to get buried by failing to attack or by failing to defend. Think about this one:
A boat well to weather of you (and slightly back on your hip) experiences a favorable windshift. What do you do? Howie Hamlin, world champion in the 505 dinghy, 18-foot skiff, and, as of 2006, the
Racers know that moving the genoa fairlead outboard on a reach improves boatspeed, but many cruisers overlook this and wind up sailing longer passages as a result. Whenever the wind is abeam or farther aft, it is best to open up the slot between the genoa and mainsail.
When a boat bears away from a close-hauled course and its mainsail is eased, the mainsail boom moves away from the
Many cruisers believe it’s best to locate a radar reflector as high as possible, perhaps even at the top of the mast, for better detection. However, the key issue for a radar reflector is the water-surface reflection, which affects the strength of the reflected signal. When the reflection is increased, the reflector is more apt to be seen. If reflection is reduced, a reflector could become
Not everyone knows that you can use a Digital Selective Calling (DSC) VHF radio to call friends on other boats without using channel 16. It’s a great feature, particularly if channel 16 is very busy or if you want your call to be somewhat private. Here’s how it works.
If I want to call a friend on Jubilee, I select a working channel—channel 72, for example—and check to see