Cruising Tips

Night had fallen several hours earlier. The full moon was bright enough to cast shadows on the deck. But as we reached along through the tropics, an ominous line of black clouds slowly obliterated the stars behind us. A squall line was overrunning us from behind.

Don't Over Trim

by Charles J. Doane, Posted November 28, 2012
Next time the wind goes soft, instead of submitting to this self-fulfilling prophesy of slow-going, try opening up the slot between your mainsail and headsail.
Anchoring involves more than dropping a chunk of metal overboard and fastening your boat to it. The best way to improve your technique is through practice, but this can be hard to come by if your boat is often on a mooring or dock.
Maybe you’ve seen the popular shirt around the marina that reads: B-O-A-T/Break Out Another Thousand. It’s a pretty accurate saying when it comes to boat ownership and maintenance, but you don’t have to take the same financial blow to capture quality images offshore.
This month: carrying a kite; a shorter scope; steering tips; sail saver; using lights on the high seas.VisibilityTo Flash or NotFlashing white lights are far more noticeable than fixed ones and can be much brighter for the same average power drain. However, it’s dangerous and illegal to show anything that could be confused with a navigation aid, so

Chartplotter Protocols

by Steve Henkind, Posted November 20, 2008
Chartplotters are powerful extensions of GPS technology and provide tremendous convenience, but they can get you into trouble if you’re not careful. While my focus is on vector-based plotters (digitized charts, which are the ones typically found on recreational sailboats), most of my observations also apply to raster-based (scanned charts) plotters.Scale change matters.

Cheap geezer logbook

by Chip Lawson, Posted June 22, 2009
My sailing philosophy is, “when on watch, stay on deck”. I have made many changes to my boat to reduce the need to go below. One simple change was to create a waterproof logbook that I could safely leave on deck in any weather without fear of damage. A side benefit is that it is inexpensive as well.Using spreadsheet software I created a logbook format I liked. I purchased

Calling for Help

by Peter Nielsen, Posted August 18, 2009
The three boats in Tom Cunliffe’s scenario all found different ways of coping with difficult weather conditions, and all made it to port with little or no drama. But what if things had turned out differently? How would they have called for help?Visual distress

May 2010 Cruising Tips

by Sail Staff, Posted May 24, 2010
MAINTENANCERepairs on the runWe take very good care of both Yanmar engines on our Outremer 45 catamaran. Before we left Thailand late last year we serviced everything and figured the engines were in good shape for our passage to the Med. Everything worked well until we spent a week motoring in the windless Gulf of Aden and noticed our port engine was using two pints
While sailing alone one summer on the south shore of Lake Superior on my Westsail 32, Antares, I approached Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula from the east. The Keweenaw juts out into the lake like a giant thumb. Through its base runs the tranquil Portage River, a handy shortcut for boats traveling this coast.After motoring up Keweenaw Bay, I anchored for the night in an open marshy area on a
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