Cruising Tips

The Zero Knot Sailor

by Sail Staff, Posted February 5, 2009
High and dry in the unchanging latitude of my zero-knot armchair, I was an excellent sailor. Always at the ready, nimble and knowledgeable, never seasick or tired—I was eager, eternally young, and unafraid.You need only ask some of my former illustrious shipmates. Joshua Slocum, Sailing Around the World Alone, found me a stalwart companion. With Richard Henry Dana, Jr., I spent

Spinnaker Flying

by Patty Hamar, Posted August 3, 2009
Mention the word “spinnaker” and most sailors think of spicy downwind runs. But some of us have another use for those sails, namely flying. Given the right conditions and some stouthearted companions, getting airborne is a blast.How it worksFirst, you need a symmetrical masthead spinnaker, not a gennaker, an asymmetrical, or a cruising chute.

Timely toss

by Don Street, Posted August 18, 2009
Every crewmember on a boat should know how to coil and accurately throw a 50-foot length of 1/2" dock line. Skippers who will be asking new crewmembers to throw a dock line to someone on a fuel dock should show them how to do it well before the moment arrives. Throwing a line is not hard to learn, but the skill does need to be practiced. A good throw can save the day during a
With sustained winds of 100 mph, Hurricane Irene is expected to strengthen as it approaches the U.S. mainland this weekend. Irene, already a Category 2, should avoid the southeastern states, but Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are battening down the hatches for a storm that could hit as early as Saturday afternoon. The forecasts echo those of 2010, when Hurricane Earl arrived with

Hardening Targets

by Jan Irons, Posted June 16, 2011
We were savoring a meal of fresh mahi-mahi with new friends and soaking up the quirky backpacker atmosphere of the Caribbean beach town we planned to explore the following morning. Winterlude, our Passport 37, was anchored less than 100 yards away, just out of view. After lingering over one last rum punch, we dinghied back out to our boat in time to catch the last rays of the setting sun

Running Commentary

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 5, 2012
When we talk about downwind sailing, the debate often seems to be about the relative merits of symmetrical versus asymmetrical spinnakers, or gybing a headsail to go goose-winged. It’s easy to forget there’s more than one way to pluck that particular goose.
Dropped your dinghy’s outboard motor overboard? No need to panic. First, get the motor out of the drink quickly and rinse it thoroughly with fresh water; most importantly, do not let it dry.
On arriving at Alligator River Marina after a 15-mile passage across Albemarle Sound, we got a bit of a surprise. The place was practically empty, which was weird considering it was October, the height of snowbird season.

Crossing Seas with Kids

by Amy Schaefer, Posted December 19, 2012
What could be more relaxing and peaceful? Until you hear cries of, “Dad! My Barbie shoes went down the bilge!”, “Mom! James is sick again!” or the ever popular “I’m hungry!”
Keeping sharp knives in drawers on boats is not only a waste of prime storage real estate, it is also dangerous, as you can easily cut yourself rummaging through the drawer with your fingers.
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