Cruising Tips

Drain your Rudder

by Bill Bleyer, Posted December 11, 2012
When I bought my first cruising sailboat, I falsely assumed the rudder was watertight. I later learned otherwise when I began seeing rust streaks at the seams.
Getting set for the first sail of the season? Here's a quick guide to getting the best out of your furling headsail.

No-mess Charcoal

by Peter Nielsen, Posted August 2, 2013
I’m a barbecue traditionalist; I love to grill on a charcoal fire. The problem on a boat is the mess attendant to keeping bags of charcoal onboard. 

Cruising Tips - Visibility

by Sail Staff, Posted March 27, 2006
Signal Advantage (March 2006)If you have an on-the-water emergency during the day, keep in mind that a mirror is a very effective signaling device. If the weather is clear and there is sunlight, the reflection from a mirror can be seen up to 100 miles away. While it does need sun, a mirror doesn’t depend on batteries, satellites, or the electronic watchkeeping of a potential

Avoid a GPS-induced incident

by Steve Henkind, Posted November 21, 2008
GPS has greatly simplified certain aspects of navigation; at the mere touch of a button, a boat’s position can be determined within about 30 feet. Despite the reliability of these devices, boats are still being damaged because of navigational errors. After several decades of both navigating and teaching navigation, I’ve suffered a few close calls of my own and can recommend some ways to use your

Night Flight

by Patrick Childress, Posted July 7, 2009
Not a sliver of moon nor a single star could pierce the thick clouds. We were sailing, levitating, in total darkness. Keeping Brick House, our Valiant 40, just half a mile off the unlit rocky shore was the only way to stay out of the swift counter-current as we fought our way south along Mexico’s Caribbean coast. It was important to sail all night and make good time

Heat Beaters

by David Schmidt, Posted August 18, 2009
Cruising quickly becomes less enjoyable as the temperature soars, especially at night when sleeping becomes difficult. Mix in some sticky humidity and things rapidly get uncomfortable. AC works well , if you don’t mind being tied to shore power and a potentially noisy dock scene (we prefer quiet anchorages, thank you). If your boat carries a genset, then you’re still stuck listening to its

June 2010 Cruising Tips

by Sail Staff, Posted June 9, 2010
SEAMANSHIP: Snatch and Release If you anchor out a lot, as I do, eventually you will be in a situation where the flukes get snagged on something: a rock ledge or an abandoned cable are typical culprits. You’ll know you are hooked when you shorten up on the anchor rode and it will not break out, even when you power ahead over it. To retrieve the anchor you need to reverse

Rescue 21

by Gordon West, Posted May 9, 2011
First the good news. Throughout most of the continental United States, calling the Coast Guard on your marine VHF radio now ties you into one of the most modern marine radio networks in use anywhere on Earth. As of November 2010, the 26 Sector Command Centers in the Coast Guard’s Rescue 21 radio network can monitor transmissions along nearly 37,000 miles of coastline.
My wife, Penelope, and I recently enjoyed a wonderful cruise through the Florida Keys. Our boat, Alizee, a cutter-rigged Cabo Rico 36, was in excellent condition, with fresh bottom paint and recently inspected standing rigging.
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