Cruising Tips

”Uh-oh,” I heard myself say. “We’ve got a problem!”  Running aground was the last thing on my mind that gorgeous July afternoon as I guided Tackful, our “new to us” Catalina Capri 25, into the harbor.
While Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) have been appearing on more commercial and recreational vessels, many sailors still find it to be cost-prohibitive. As an alternative, I recently used a combination of smartphone apps and AIS websites...
North America is as big as its waters are varied. Some sailors inhabit a tideless world where 0400 departures to catch the south-going stream through Hell Gate are as foreign as flying to the moon.

The Art of Motorsailing

by Charles J. Doane, Posted February 4, 2013
It never fails to amaze me how many jerry jugs of fuel some bluewater sailors are willing to carry on deck. Once I spotted a boat at the fuel dock in St. Georges with 16 jugs open on the quay waiting to be filled...

Furled Too Tight

by Connie McBride, Posted November 18, 2012
On a good day a furling headsail is like magic. You pull on the furling line and your sail is neatly rolled away until you need it again. At some point, however, most of us have rolled up our headsail in such high winds that it furls much more tightly than usual...
Misleading as its name may be, Bahamian mooring is an anchoring technique that can be used just about anywhere. If you’re looking to secure your boat in a jam-packed anchorage or in a tide-scoured waterway, a Bahamian moor can be very handy.

Free a Line from a Prop

by Andy Schell, Posted August 21, 2013
Eventually everyone wraps a line around a prop. I was told this on my first-ever job as a captain—leading teenagers on liveaboard dive-training trips in the Leeward Islands—and bragged about being the only skipper not to have done so.

Cruising Tips - Visibility

by Sail Staff, Posted March 27, 2006
Signal Advantage (March 2006)If 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 mirror doesn’t depend on batteries, satellites, or the electronic watchkeeping of a potential

Avoid a GPS-induced incident

by Steve Henkind, Posted November 21, 2008
GPS has greatly simplified certain aspects of navigation; at the mere touch of a button, a boat’s position can be determined within about 30 feet. Despite the reliability of these devices, boats are still being damaged because of navigational errors. After several decades of both navigating and teaching navigation, I’ve suffered a few close calls of my own and can recommend some ways to use your

Night Flight

by Patrick Childress, Posted July 7, 2009
Not a sliver of moon nor a single star could pierce the thick clouds. We were sailing, levitating, in total darkness. Keeping Brick House, our Valiant 40, just half a mile off the unlit rocky shore was the only way to stay out of the swift counter-current as we fought our way south along Mexico’s Caribbean coast. It was important to sail all night and make good time
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