Cruising Tips

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
When Mark Edwards, a rigger from Auckland, New Zealand, molded the deck for his 50-footer Relapse, he deliberately included raised toerails that trap water on deck for most of the length of the boat: as in, all the way back to the fill-point for the water tanks.

Deck Bladders

by Aussie Bray, Posted October 15, 2012
Fuel capacity usually isn’t an issue in home waters, but it becomes important when long-range cruising sailboats have to motor for extended periods.
“We’ll only be out for an hour,” he promised, and I decided to believe him. The wind out on Lake Ontario was light, the seas were calm, and despite there being some dark clouds in the distance, it looked like a great afternoon for a sail.
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