Cruising Tips

Search Patterns for Sailors

by Sail Staff, Posted April 5, 2011
It’s late at night and you’re sailing downwind in a moderate breeze. You hear a faint scream, quickly go up top to investigate and discover, to your horror, that no one is on deck. Apparently, your shipmate has fallen overboard. You hit the MOB function on the GPS, get the boat turned upwind and proceed to the approximate spot where your companion fell overboard. He is nowhere to be

Five Space-Saving Galley Items

by Jan Irons, Posted November 15, 2011
I lost at least 25 percent of the storage space in my galley when we installed our watermaker, because the only place it could fit aboard our cramped 37-foot sailboat was directly under the galley sink. Now I’m constantly looking for ways to save space in the galley. Here are a few of my favorites.
The eternally fascinating mental exercise of choosing, equipping and organizing priorities on my ideal cruising boat has kept me awake on countless night watches over the last 30 years and 300,000 miles of bluewater sailing and coastal cruising. No matter where I sail or how ambitious my plans, there are a few things on my dream boat that are not negotiable.
It's just you, your sails, the wind and water. You don't need anything else to enjoy a good summer cruise. Oh, who are we kidding? There's all kinds of fun and useful gear, and our ten favorites for this summer are sure to take your next cruise into some serious fun territory.
See our five most useful boat items and then share your own! If we like your list, we might print it in an upcoming issue of SAIL.

Cruising Tips: Knot Log Drain

by Bill Bleyer, Posted February 11, 2013
If you’re like many boatowners, you’ll only learn that the hoses connecting your cockpit drains to the transom through-hulls have failed when you see your floorboards afloat.
Picture this: you’ve got the opportunity of a lifetime to crew aboard a great cruising sailboat. All that’s left is to pack your duffel. In addition to the essential layers of clothing, here are a few items that will keep you comfortable and happy at sea.

DIY Hardtop Dodger

by Tor Pinney, Posted February 8, 2014
My ketch Silverheels didn’t have any cockpit canvas when I bought her, just an old two-bow dodger frame. I had visions of installing a hard dodger and bimini, but a lack of time, patience and skill caused me to opt for a hardtop for the dodger frame instead.
This month: coping with fog, inshore pilotingSeamanshipSailing in fogSummer sailing and fog seem to be inextricably linked in some parts of the country, and everyone who races or cruises will run into a bank of the gray stuff at one time or another. When you do, your priorities change from making good time toward your destination to not running into other

Nets Work

by Don Casey, Posted August 21, 2008
Providing proper stowage for clothing often seems to be way down the priority list on a cruising boat; most cruisers give a higher priority to stowing food, spare parts, and tools. But what happens to your clothes if there is no closet, dresser, or even a single drawer for them to occupy? Often they wind up in a locker with a front-opening door and lie there, loose on the shelf. While you may
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