Seamanship

Hitch consistency

by Charles Mason, Posted August 18, 2009
If you plan to be sailing in reduced light conditions make sure everyone uses the same procedure to secure a line around a cleat. If someone decides to use a fancy hitch during the day to secure a line it is easy enough to figure out how to free it up because it is right there in front of you. But when you are trying to clear an offbeat hitch in the dark, you might turn the
It’s not as easy as pressing a button, but once you learn to use a windvane you’ll never get stuck hand-steering again.

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

How to Store Wine Aboard

by Jan Irons, Posted April 11, 2012
Wine connoisseurs will always agree that life is too short to drink bad wine. But wine can be difficult to keep on a sailboat.

Tender tricks and stress-free anchoring

by Charles Mason, Posted August 9, 2005
At the DockDinghy-dock smartsDon Street, who has been rowing rigid dinghies around harbors in Europe and the Caribbean for more than 60 years, thought he had learned everything there is to know about handling a dinghy in any conditions. But he’s come up with a new trick for handling a hard tender around a crowded dinghy dock. “The usual routine,” says Street, “is to

A Life Afloat

by Cindy Wallach, Posted September 3, 2009
Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in the big city. One day the little girl’s mother and father brought her to a big garden center. There were rows and rows of seeds and bulbs and saplings, and in the very middle there was a sailboat. She climbed on board and found a little kitchen, a little bed, and even a little toilet. Her mother called to her, “Honey, what

The Pee Pot

by Don Street, Posted April 12, 2012
Every skipper worries about losing crew overboard when it is blowing hard and the males aboard persist in “bailing ship” (their personal ships, not the boat) on deck. In this respect, a yawl or ketch rig beats a sloop or cutter six ways to Sunday, as the mizzen rigging is good for leaning up against when bailing ship.

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

Shaft Seal Cruising Tips - On Deck

by RON SCHAPER, Posted October 1, 2009
SHAFT SEAL SQUEALI was powering at low rpm when my wife asked, "What is that high-pitched sound?" I thought it was a belt, but when I went below and looked in the engine box all seemed fine. The noise seemed to be coming from behind the engine, so I lifted the small hatch over the PSS (Packless Sealing System) unit and found that the shaft, boot, and clamps were too
As a 30-year veteran daysailor, I feel a moral obligation to spare you some of the physical and emotional pain I’ve faced over the years. I’m talking about daysailing’s dirty little secrets, the bilgewater of our sport. Feel free to take notes.
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