Cruising Tips

Refreshing Pause

by Steve Henkind, Posted May 18, 2009
This summer, many sailors will embark for the first time on a long, non-stop coastal or offshore passage that involves one or more nights at sea. If you are sailing a long distance, you should set and follow a formal watch schedule. Some boats utilize a “catch as catch can” approach—but this can lead to exhaustion and is a recipe for disaster. Watchstanding routines can range from a very basic

Easy-clean anchor chain

by Sail Staff, Posted August 5, 2009
If you spend any time anchored in warm water, your anchor chain will attract enough growth to make bringing it back on deck a messy operation. I’ve watched cruisers whose anchors have been down for a while take a full day to scrub each link of chain clean. I have a better and easier way.Because growth on anchor chain will be limited to the section of the chain that extends from the surface

Shaft Seal Cruising Tips - On Deck

by RON SCHAPER, Posted October 1, 2009
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

The Fine Art of Gunkholing

by Kevin Walters, Posted March 10, 2011
July in Lake Huron’s North Channel is a special time. The cruising season is in full swing and what is normally a quiet wilderness area begins to come to life with cruisers looking for the perfect anchorage. Last year my family and I spent nearly a month in the North Channel visiting sleepy ports, rugged islands and one of the world’s largest freshwater fjords.The 1,000-mile round trip

Extrasensory Perceptions

by David W. Shaw, Posted September 28, 2011
The night sky over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel flashed white with lightning, like a silent artillery barrage. The storms were so far up the bay the sound of the thunder never reached Sonata, the 1981 Pearson 36 cutter...

Sail Cover Tactics

by Charles J. Doane, Posted March 14, 2012
Getting a sail cover on and off a mainsail is often harder than it should be. Once it’s off the sail, it can be hard to tell which end goes where, and when you spread it out to check, the wind will wrestle you for control of it.

No More Cotter Pins

by Connie McBride, Posted June 18, 2012
Standing at the bow of Eurisko, our Creekmore 34, my heel always scrapes the turnbuckle for the cutter stay when I operate the windlass. For many years I inevitably returned to the cockpit after setting the anchor with a bloody foot where the cotter pin had gouged me.
I’ve been on the wrong end of a towline twice. At the very least, being towed will ruin your afternoon. At worst, it can cause serious damage to your boat or injury to your crew. Knowing what to expect and what to do to help yourself—or to help others help you—will ensure things go safely and smoothly.
Seven things I wished I'd known before taking my nautical leap of faith
Which sail should you reef first when the wind gets up—your genoa or mainsail?
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