Cruising Tips

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.

Protecting Wires on Deck

by Connie McBride, Posted September 20, 2013
We have an extra solar panel we keep unmounted on deck so we can move it where the sun is brightest. This leaves us with two loose wires running across the deck that are easy to trip over. My husband, Dave, found this unacceptable and decided to sheath the wires with an old piece of doublebraid rope.

DIY Foredeck Rain Catcher

by Tor Pinney, Posted February 27, 2014
Sometimes it can be difficult to refill water tanks while cruising. Local water may be unsuitable, expensive or simply unavailable. Watermakers can also come up short, as you shouldn’t run harbor water through them

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

Go Fly a Kite!

by Craig Davis, Posted August 3, 2009
Recent years have seen a minor revolution in downwind sailing. We have witnessed not only the rebirth of the a symmetrical spinnaker (A-sail), better-designed and stronger-built symmetrical spinnakers (S-sails), but even more recently, the Parasailor2, a sail that might lead many long-distance cruisers to rethink their off-the-wind inventories.We tested these these

Letting go a sheet

by Tom Cunliffe, Posted August 18, 2009
When the boat is tacking taking the loaded jibsheet off a winch can be a just cause for nervousness. On boats up to 40 feet or so, the safest way to do this is to first ease the sheet off a few inches; keep the flattened palm of one hand pressed against the turns on the drum as they begin to surge around it. This slight easing removes the worst of the load. Depending on the

Passage Power

by Bruce Balan, Posted January 3, 2011
We are always told when outfitting our boats for cruising that we need to make sure our onboard electrical system can handle our projected daily power usage. But that raises an important question: what sort of day are we talking about? Is it a day spent at anchor, the day we have a lot of guests and friends on board, a day spent in a marina, or—and very often this is not considered—a day spent

Tools for your Cruise

by Don Casey, Posted August 22, 2011
Cruisers who sail long distances typically carry a vast array of tools and spare parts, but weekend sailors tend to buy parts as needed and depend on tools normally kept at home, in the trunk of a car, or even hanging on the rack at a hardware store. But what happens when you take your boat out of home waters, with house, car, hardware store and chandlery left behind? This is a good question to
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