Boat Handling

Compass Mask

by Connie McBride, Posted December 18, 2012
 Sunlight is not good for your compass. The liquid inside gets cloudy over time, making it hard to read a heading.
My initial reaction when I first saw a bow thruster on a 40-foot sailboat was to laugh my docksiders off. I’d spent a lifetime threading awkward boats with single props into tricky berths and could imagine no sensible reason for compromising sailing performance by drilling a hole the size of a baby’s head through the bow of a perfectly good boat. As thrusters became more common and I watched

Clearing an Anchor Rode

by David Emsellem, Posted December 6, 2012
Here’s a simple trick I’ve used many times to clear a rope anchor rode caught on a keel. First, I get out my 15lb mushroom dinghy anchor and attach it to the snap shackle...

Mastering the A sail

by , Posted July 14, 2009
Though asymmetric spinnakers date as far back as 1865, credit Australian skiff sailor and designer Julian Bethwaite with the invention of the modern asymmetric, which he tested and developed on his Australian 18 designs during the 1980s. Bethwaite needed a spinnaker with a long luff and flat leech on either gybe. This would enable crews to sail the skiff’s tight apparent-wind angles without

Parbuckling Dock Lines

by Tom Cunliffe, Posted January 14, 2013
If ever you find yourself with a heavy boat tied to a dock or wall, blowing off so that no amount of heaving will bring her in, you can always use the simple principle of parbuckling on your docklines.

Spinnaker Flying

by Patty Hamar, Posted August 3, 2009
Mention the word “spinnaker” and most sailors think of spicy downwind runs. But some of us have another use for those sails, namely flying. Given the right conditions and some stouthearted companions, getting airborne is a blast.How it worksFirst, you need a symmetrical masthead spinnaker, not a gennaker, an asymmetrical, or a cruising chute.
“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.

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

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. 

Safe Anchoring

by Jan Irons, Posted August 18, 2009
Even in the most idyllic of anchorages, the wind can come up in the middle of the night and cause trouble. At times like this we always have an action plan to follow if our anchor begins to drag. Experience has convinced me that when something goes wrong while a boat is at anchor, trouble is caused not by the conditions, but by how the crew responds to those conditions. Having
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