Cruising Tips

Industrial strength safety

by Sail Staff, Posted May 18, 2009
Rope clutches, or stoppers, are wonderful items to have on board. Not only are they quick and easy to operate, they eliminate the need for extra winches. But each one must be labeled so the trimmer can see immediately what line that particular stopper controls.When San Francisco sailors Russ Irwin and Fay Mark labeled the clutches on their brand new 52-footer New

Wireless thermometer

by Don Casey, Posted August 5, 2009
If you know how cold it is inside your refrigerator, you can perhaps troubleshoot an electrical or mechanical failure in time to save the box’s contents from spoiling. A thermometer inside the box doesn’t tell you anything unless you open the box and check it. That’s why I like to use a wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer of the type that’s readily available in most hardware stores. I put the

September 2009 Cruising Tips

by Sail Staff, Posted February 4, 2010
SHAFT SEAL SQUEALI was powering at low rpm when my wife asked, “What is that high-pitched sound?” I thought it was a belt, but when I went below and looked in the engine box all seemed fine. The noise seemed to be coming from behind the engine, so I lifted the small hatch over the PSS (Packless Sealing System) unit and found that the shaft, boot, and clamps were too hot

Voice of Experience: Heading for the Rocks

by Travis Gill, Posted March 11, 2011
We were halfway into a three-week summer cruise through the San Juan and Gulf islands in the Pacific Northwest. Aboard Hannah, our Hunter 356, were my wife Chantil, my 15-year-old daughter, Sierra, my 11-year-old son, Aaron, and our dog, Jack; also with us were my nephews Andrew and Zack, who are 13 and 12. Our vacation was going so well I jokingly considered calling work and asking for

Fenders for Tenders

by Patrick Childress, Posted November 15, 2011
Inflatable dinghies are rough and tough, but their skin is thin. If your rubber duck leads a hard life, adding some protective padding in key spots will reduce chafe and help prevent the little boat from developing an odd list when least expected.
There aren’t many sinking sensations to compare with the one you get when your GPS decides to take an unscheduled break, especially if you’ve been relying on an electronic chartplotter. One minute you know exactly where you are. The next you’re surrounded by a trackless sea, feeling distinctly insecure. 
Some might say that seamanship has been sidelined by technology, with safety and security more dependent on button pushing than sail changing. There may be some truth to this. But at the same time, there’s no question that today’s technology does fill some very real needs. 

Smartphone Anchor Watch

by Donald McLennan, Posted November 8, 2012
Many onboard electronics systems include anchor-watch alarms that sound if a boat drifts too far from where you anchored it. But what if you’re ashore at that time?

The Gourmet Galley

by Meredith Laitos, Posted June 20, 2013
What happens when a big-city chef gets tucked into an itty-bitty galley and is challenged to cook like a sailor? We shanghaied Chef Gibson of Waban Kitchen in Newton, Massachusetts and set out onto Boston Harbor to find out. 

The Perils of Bureaucracy

by Steve Dublin, Posted January 17, 2014
One of the more mundane aspects of bluewater cruising is having to clear in and out of all the foreign countries you visit. The task is often routine, but can sometimes be frustrating, perplexing or even hilarious. We have found this to be true on any number of occasions.
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