Cruising Tips

Weather Tactics

by Tom Cunliffe, Posted August 18, 2009
Modern weather forecasting is so good that we aren’t often caught out, but we all take a chance once in a while, especially when we’re under pressure to be somewhere else. Coastal sailing in near-gale conditions isn’t the same as ocean storm survival. Instead, we have to think hard about possible shelter and local dangers. Different boats have varying abilities. So do crews. Here’s a hypothetical

April 2010 Cruising Tips

by Sail Staff, Posted April 28, 2010
SAFETY: Deck SureHatches, like windows, are designed to allow light and air to enter the interior space. But there’s a price to pay if someone accidentally steps on top of a wet hatch. A slippery hatch can suddenly turn an orderly footstep into a chaotic crash on the deck. Or worse. The best solution—applying bands of anti-skid tape on the hatch—isn’t very pretty and lets

Dodging Sea Monsters

by Tor Pinney, Posted May 9, 2011
Most commercial ships are run by competent professional crews. Still, close encounters with yachts are not uncommon. Every once in a while a ship arrives in port with a mast wedged in her anchor—and no one knows how it got there.To an offshore sailor a large merchant vessel can seem like a modern-day sea monster, capable of obliterating a yacht and spitting out the scraps
We were maybe a quarter-mile from the mooring, motoring slowly home on a still summer evening, when the piercing bleat of the engine cooling-water alarm made us all jump. I looked over the side: Sure enough, the flow of water out of the exhaust had ceased.

The Pee Pot

by Don Street, Posted April 12, 2012
Every skipper worries about losing crew overboard when it is blowing hard and the males aboard persist in “bailing ship” (their personal ships, not the boat) on deck. In this respect, a yawl or ketch rig beats a sloop or cutter six ways to Sunday, as the mizzen rigging is good for leaning up against when bailing ship.
Night had fallen several hours earlier. The full moon was bright enough to cast shadows on the deck. But as we reached along through the tropics, an ominous line of black clouds slowly obliterated the stars behind us. A squall line was overrunning us from behind.

Don't Over Trim

by Charles J. Doane, Posted November 28, 2012
Next time the wind goes soft, instead of submitting to this self-fulfilling prophesy of slow-going, try opening up the slot between your mainsail and headsail.
Anchoring involves more than dropping a chunk of metal overboard and fastening your boat to it. The best way to improve your technique is through practice, but this can be hard to come by if your boat is often on a mooring or dock.
Maybe you’ve seen the popular shirt around the marina that reads: B-O-A-T/Break Out Another Thousand. It’s a pretty accurate saying when it comes to boat ownership and maintenance, but you don’t have to take the same financial blow to capture quality images offshore.
This month: carrying a kite; a shorter scope; steering tips; sail saver; using lights on the high seas.VisibilityTo Flash or NotFlashing white lights are far more noticeable than fixed ones and can be much brighter for the same average power drain. However, it’s dangerous and illegal to show anything that could be confused with a navigation aid, so
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