Boat Handling

I share a 1995 Beneteau 42s7 with a friend. We (and most of our other sailing friends) are getting on in years, so we’ve made some changes to help make the boat easier to sail.
Getting set for the first sail of the season? Here's a quick guide to getting the best out of your furling headsail.
Perhaps you’re looking at a cat as an option for an extended cruise, or you’ve chartered a catamaran for a week in the British Virgin Islands. You’re expecting some thrilling multihull speed, but once on the water you find you are disappointed.
Setting a stern anchor is not for the faint of heart and can be a real pain. My friend Maurice Roper belongs to a club that always anchors in the same cove where anchors fore and aft are mandatory.
“We're trying to teach women to be more safe and confident on the water,” explained Joan Thayer, co-chair of the conference and president of NWSA, “You don't have to listen to your husband screaming and yelling, you can do your own thing. You can dock the boat—let him be the bumper person!”

Walking The Prop

by Tor Pinney, Posted December 10, 2013
Prop walk, the tendency of a turning propeller to push a boat’s stern sideways, can be a real nuisance when maneuvering under power. Or it can be your biggest ally. The trick is to understand it, anticipate it, and make it work for you.

Cruising Tips - Sailhandling

by Sail Staff, Posted March 27, 2006
A Cutter that Cuts It (August 2006) For many cruisers, a cutter rig is the one that works best—so long as the staysail is cut for windward work, fairly flat with its draft well forward. A staysail also needs a good sheet lead. Sheet tracks and leads for many staysails seem to be placed more for convenience than effectiveness and often fail to take into account the staysail’s dual

Faster Mainsail Reefing

by Don Street, Posted July 10, 2012
On my old yawl, Iolaire, I always used a mainsail reefing method that seemed odd to guests, but was very fast and worked well. After first casting off the mainsheet, we would hoist the end of the boom a full six feet into air—the depth of the reef—with the topping lift...

Let the Wind Do the Work

by Peter Nielsen, Posted January 20, 2014
The first time I tried to pick up a mooring singlehanded in a stiff breeze, I approached from dead downwind in the usual manner and stopped the boat with the pickup buoy right where I wanted it.
Going sideways (January 2006)It's no secret that bow thrusters are a big help when you're maneuvering in close quarters, which is why they are becoming common on boats in the 40-foot range. One reason for this popularity is that the units themselves have gotten better. But it's also true that freeboards are getting higher and many of us either are getting older or are sailing with
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