Cruising

Weight Back

by Sail Staff, Posted August 26, 2008
The bow is the last place you want extra weight when approaching a windward mark in a tightly packed fleet. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to keep the bowman off the foredeck during sets. It works best on boats with retractable sprit poles, but it can be adapted for boats that use standard poles.

The gear All you need is a swivel-mounted snapshackle, some lightweight cord, and some


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Cruising

Without A Paddle

by Sail Staff, Posted August 26, 2008
Because most dinghies have an outboard, it’s not surprising that many sailors neglect the oars. But if you’re not careful, one of them will inevitably come loose when you’re not looking. During the 18 months we spent cruising, we found four dinghy oars floating in various harbors. After we lost one of ours, I made a point of tying a length of cord from the midpoint of each oar to the dinghy. The
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Cruising

Nothing Is Best

by Sail Staff, Posted August 26, 2008
Many sailing tales are filled with drama and even life-threatening adventure. In my experience, however, a modern boat with an experienced crew can have an uneventful trip even in heavy weather. This may not make for great literature, but it indicates good seamanship and speaks well of the quality of most modern production boats and their components. I’m happy to leave the excitement and the
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Cruising

Check Them Out

by Sail Staff, Posted August 26, 2008

To check the condition of your sails, hoist each one individually on a calm day and watch what happens to the shape of the sail when you adjust the luff and foot. You still can get reasonable performance from an old sail if the basic shape remains; if it’s disappeared, take the sail to a sailmaker. He or she may have some suggestions for a recut.

If your mainsail uses short battens, make


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Cruising

Masthead Magic

by David Schmidt, Posted August 26, 2008
Tips for safely going aloft

The list of reasons for going aloft is long: checking the rig, rerunning a lost halyard, fixing a broken wind instrument. There are two basic ways to go up the mast: You can climb a halyard or you can be hoisted. While there are a number of devices available to help you ascend, the best method is to use a bosun’s chair or to use a mast-climbing device


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Facnor's flat deck furler on a J/111

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