Cruising Tips

Mastering the A sail

by , Posted July 14, 2009
Though asymmetric spinnakers date as far back as 1865, credit Australian skiff sailor and designer Julian Bethwaite with the invention of the modern asymmetric, which he tested and developed on his Australian 18 designs during the 1980s. Bethwaite needed a spinnaker with a long luff and flat leech on either gybe. This would enable crews to sail the skiff’s tight apparent-wind angles without
My wife, Des, and I have just finished a two-year circumnavigation of the Caribbean Basin. Among the things we learned was that some of the most important things that made our cruising more enjoyable cost less than ten bucks. Here are some of our favorites.
  1. Insulated tumblers Ice is a precious commodity at sea, and so is hot coffee. We used our insulated tumblers for hot coffee in

August 10 Cruising Tips

by Sail Staff, Posted August 11, 2010
SAIL AWAY Although it’s easy to turn on the engine and pick up the anchor or cast off a mooring pennant, it can be a lot more fun for guests and crew if you sail away from an anchorage or mooring instead. This, of course, assumes suitable wind conditions and that you have enough maneuvering room—including a decent margin of error in case something goes wrong. If you really want
Originally published in February 2009 issueWinter is biting deep now, and there isn’t a lot of sailing to be had in my local creek. It’s a grim scene in business too, so all I can say is thank goodness for the swinging oil lamp and the yarns that stand in for that stiff, cleansing beat to windward those of us in the north are missing so badly.Last weekend I was a guest at
It’s not as easy as pressing a button, but once you learn to use a windvane you’ll never get stuck hand-steering again.

Unwrapping a Spinnaker

by Don Street, Posted May 11, 2012
When racing or cruising while flying a spinnaker close to or dead downwind—especially offshore, where a boat tends to roll more—there is a real risk the spinnaker will collapse, wrap itself around the headstay, and then refill with wind above and below the wrap. The wrap may start at just one or two turns, but often will increase to five turns or more.

Tennis Ball Grommets

by Bill Bleyer, Posted September 19, 2012
When covering my boat for the winter, I like to use heavy gray-green poly tarps, as they are inexpensive and last several years if they are protected against chafe and are properly secured.

Clearing an Anchor Rode

by David Emsellem, Posted December 6, 2012
Here’s a simple trick I’ve used many times to clear a rope anchor rode caught on a keel. First, I get out my 15lb mushroom dinghy anchor and attach it to the snap shackle...
Setting a stern anchor is not for the faint of heart and can be a real pain. My friend Maurice Roper belongs to a club that always anchors in the same cove where anchors fore and aft are mandatory.
When I first purchased my 1987 Beneteau First 375, I had visions of mimicking the exploits of Tania Aebi, the Martin family and other daring sailors I admired.
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