Cruising Tips

“Wake up! Wake up! I think we’re dragging anchor!” Peg’s words pierced my sleep like a needle popping a balloon. In an instant I was standing in the cockpit, face to face with the bowsprit of a large Island Packet that had been anchored three football fields away the night before.
I watched through stinging spray as my fiberglass dinghy was swamped, turned into a sea anchor, and then quickly snapped its painter as my O’Day 31 surfed down 6-foot seas on Long Island Sound. It probably was unwise to be out on the water that day.
For many cruisers with simple electrical needs, a laptop computer can be the biggest power hog onboard. On our Creekmore 34, Eurisko, we need a laptop not only for my writing, but for our three homeschoolers.
The fog was rolling in quickly, and the sun would soon be setting. I was bound for Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod, a long peninsula that extends east and loops north like the tip of an elf’s shoe.

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

Stability is the Key

by Dave Gerr, Posted October 10, 2004
For multihulls, there are four important indicators of performance and stability: the Bruce Number; the Real Performance Index; the Stability Number; and the Stability Factor.Bruce NumberBruce Number is another form of the sail area-displacement ratio (a power-to-weight ratio). It shows how much sail area relative to displacement (weight) a boat has, but tells nothing about a

Cruising Tips - First Aid

by Sail Staff, Posted July 28, 2006
Bad Backs and Boats (May 2006)Several months ago I wrote that I had to be very careful of my back when I was on board a boat. Since then I've received a number of letters from sailors asking whether I do anything specific to protect my back when I'm sailing. The answer is that I've tried many things over the years to reduce my back pain, including limited surgery, visits to

Extending whisker poles

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 20, 2009
A standard spinnaker pole is as long as the J measurement on your boat – that is, the distance from the base of the mast to the forestay chainplate. This is purely a racing rule requirement; longer poles are penalized under PHRF rules. If you’re cruising, your whisker pole can be any length you like.On a couple of occasions when I’ve wanted to run downwind with

Go Fly a Kite!

by Craig Davis, Posted August 3, 2009
Recent years have seen a minor revolution in downwind sailing. We have witnessed not only the rebirth of the a symmetrical spinnaker (A-sail), better-designed and stronger-built symmetrical spinnakers (S-sails), but even more recently, the Parasailor2, a sail that might lead many long-distance cruisers to rethink their off-the-wind inventories.We tested these these
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