Expert Advice

Reading the Clouds

by Charles Mason, Posted August 21, 2008

If you really want to know what kind of weather is coming your way, skip the radio and TV broadcasts and look up at the clouds. Even though forecasts are a lot more reliable than they used to be, this old-fashioned way is still valuable.

With today's sophisticated devices, including satellite imagery and Doppler radar, an international network of weather experts can keep an eye on


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Boatworks

Coil with the Sun

by Tom Cunliffe, Posted August 21, 2008
In general, a line is happier and therefore behaves better if you coil it in a clockwise direction. Any three-strand line will try to kink up if you force it the other way. A multibraid line may be able to go in either direction, but the habit of right-handed coiling should be so ingrained that you couldn't do it counterclockwise if you wanted to. Old-time sailors called it "coiling against the
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Tips and Techniques

Anchor Watch

by Don Casey, Posted August 21, 2008
A serious cruising boat should carry at least three different anchors on board, and one should be better than the other two for a particular type of bottom. I'm not a great fan of anchor-sizing formulas; if your boat is heavier or has more windage than an average boat of similar length, you'll usually need a bigger anchor than the one recommended by any simple formula. Remember, too, that
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Seamanship

Keep Your Eyes Moving

by Charles Mason, Posted August 21, 2008
SailsBecoming a good helmsman is similar to becoming a skilled driver or pilot. In all three cases the best operators follow a routine that lets them continuously check many variables: the outside environment—the road, the airspace around them—the navigation instruments, and other important inputs, such as how much "pull" the machine might have when it goes into a
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Everything Else

Everything In Place

by Connie McBride, Posted August 21, 2008
Aboard our 34-foot Creekmore–designed sloop, Eurisko, we use easy-to-reach Sunbrella pockets to store our binoculars and hand-bearing compass. Cruising with three teenage boys has taught us that pockets, and lots of them, also make terrific storage containers for them. I've made pockets for both bunks in the aft cabin; 24 pockets cover the entire space from the bunk up to the bottom of the
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Facnor's flat deck furler on a J/111

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