Cruising Tips

Waterspouts are not just “tornadoes over water.” Meteorologists admit they still have much to learn about these phenomena, but there is a typical “waterspout cloud” that usually generates them. These dark, flat-bottomed cumulus clouds generally get no taller than 20,000 feet. As clouds go, this is noticeably low. Waterspouts get their energy from heat in the water, so they are most frequently

File Your Sandpaper

by Zuzana Prochazka, Posted March 14, 2012
If there’s one thing I hate more than varnishing it’s not having all the tools at hand to do the job right. Besides brushes, old cans of varnish, new cans of varnish and thinners, there is the sandpaper.

Freshwater Engine Flush

by Don Casey, Posted June 12, 2012
As warm-water sailors, we do not winterize our boat. However, we do store it out of the water for hurricane season, and as part of our decommissioning procedure we run the engine on the hard to pass fresh water through the raw-water circuit and flush out salt and guard against corrosion.

What's an Ocean Gyre?

by Teresa Carey, Posted November 1, 2012
A few years ago, the Gulf Stream swiftly carried me home from the Bahamas while simultaneously tormenting me with waterspouts. It got me thinking...

Cruising Tips: Heaving-To

by Andy Schell, Posted January 21, 2013
During the 2011 edition of the Caribbean 1500 cruising rally, nine yachts of the fleet of 62 broke off after crossing the Gulf Stream and sailed toward Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos. 

How to Cruise without Budget-Bruising

by David Griffin Brown, Posted June 20, 2013
If you chug into a marina needing urgent repairs or are simply looking for a good price on a tourist attraction, ask after the local expert. Most marinas have a long-term resident who can point you to the best mechanics and cheapest markets. 
When an offshore earthquake near Japan resulted in a destructive tsunami in March 2011, I, along with sailors everywhere, held my breath. My eyes were glued to the Internet. I watched videos of massive volumes of water rushing ashore, displacing families, killing people and destroying villages.

Anti Chain-Pyramid Rod

by Tor Pinney, Posted February 7, 2014
Like most long-range cruisers I carry a lot of anchor chain, but I was having a problem with pyramids in my chain locker. When weighing anchor my chain piled up beneath its deck pipe, sometimes reaching up high enough to block it, so that the chain being fed in would suddenly jam the windlass gypsy. 

Cruising Tips - March 2006

by Sail Staff, Posted March 23, 2006
This month: "talking" with signals; using signal mirrors; great-circle for GPS.VisibilitySignal AdvantageIf 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

Bound For Cruising

by David Schmidt, Posted August 6, 2008
Every sailor yearns to voyage beyond the horizon, but most of us have to settle for an annual cruise of a week or two. Make sure your boat is well prepared, and you’ll go far toward guaranteeing that you’ll spend your time trimming sails, chilling out in quiet anchorages, and enjoying early-morning swims rather than visiting the nearest boatyard. Know your boat “As a rule, every
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