Cruising Tips

Judging Leeway

by Tom Cunliffe, Posted March 14, 2012
Any boat under way in a crosswind, whether it’s a rowboat crossing a lake or a powerful cruiser reaching along the coast, will be pushed sideways to some extent. The effect is called “leeway,” and even big ships are subject to it. Sometimes leeway is insignificant; often it is not.
“We're trying to teach women to be more safe and confident on the water,” explained Joan Thayer, co-chair of the conference and president of NWSA, “You don't have to listen to your husband screaming and yelling, you can do your own thing. You can dock the boat—let him be the bumper person!”

Servicing Dinghy Valves

by Charles J. Doane, Posted October 11, 2012
A well-built Hypalon inflatable dinghy can last well over 10 years if properly cared for. In many cases, the first thing to fail isn’t the fabric but the fiddly little spring-loaded valves used to keep the boat inflated.

Parbuckling Dock Lines

by Tom Cunliffe, Posted January 14, 2013
If ever you find yourself with a heavy boat tied to a dock or wall, blowing off so that no amount of heaving will bring her in, you can always use the simple principle of parbuckling on your docklines.
Kedging works best with a long line. Unlike anchoring, it is scope rather than the weight of the ground tackle that provides the holding power.

Protecting Wires on Deck

by Connie McBride, Posted September 20, 2013
We have an extra solar panel we keep unmounted on deck so we can move it where the sun is brightest. This leaves us with two loose wires running across the deck that are easy to trip over. My husband, Dave, found this unacceptable and decided to sheath the wires with an old piece of doublebraid rope.

DIY Foredeck Rain Catcher

by Tor Pinney, Posted February 27, 2014
Sometimes it can be difficult to refill water tanks while cruising. Local water may be unsuitable, expensive or simply unavailable. Watermakers can also come up short, as you shouldn’t run harbor water through them

Cruising Tips - May 2006

by Sail Staff, Posted June 5, 2006
This month: rope ladders; marking chain; pet seasickness; sailing with a bad back; and ideas for singlehanders.AnchoringMarking ChainThere are a number of ways to mark your anchor chain, including using paint or plastic-wire ties. I prefer to use strips of colored nylon spinnaker cloth. First lay out the entire chain on the dock and flake it in even

Cruising Tips - August 2006

by Sail Staff, Posted September 25, 2006
This month: Steering toward a buoy, trip lines, a Cutter that cuts it, and how to change an impellerMaintenance A “Burned” ImpellerImpellers for the engine’s raw-water pump don’t last forever. Even if they aren’t destroyed by having been run dry following a blockage in the raw-water line, they still deteriorate over the years. If you’ve never had to change one,

Pole Up, Ge'nny Out

by David Schmidt, Posted May 11, 2009
Spinnakers and asymmetricals are great for ticking off miles when sailing downwind, but they can be a chore to handle shorthanded. They require constant trimming, and there’s always the possibility of a crash gybe or a knockdown. For a fully crewed raceboat this isn’t a concern, but for cruisers it can be daunting enough that many simply roll out their headsail instead and call
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