Cruising Tips

The Mayday that Wasn't

by Stan Wreford, Posted July 1, 2011
This article originally appeared in the October 2009 issueWe were 450 miles south of Bermuda and three days into a passage from Bermuda to St. Martin on Dream Weaver, our 50-foot cutter, when Dawn, my wife, asked me, “Why is the sink filled with water?”. With moderate northerly winds we’d made good progress for two days, but then the wind had died and turned southerly. We’d been
“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.

Solar Panel Lifelines

by Connie McBride, Posted September 20, 2013
Finding a place to locate solar panels on a small boat is a challenge. We wanted our two 50-watt panels to be adjustable, but secure. Ultimately, we were able to meet both criteria by mounting them on the lifelines of Eurisko, our Creekmore 34.
Moor your dinghy on an outhaul and have a stress-free time ashore

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
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