Seamanship

Keep Your Eyes Moving

by Charles Mason, Posted August 21, 2008
SailsBecoming a good helmsman is similar to becoming a skilled driver or pilot. In all three cases the best operators follow a routine that lets them continuously check many variables: the outside environment—the road, the airspace around them—the navigation instruments, and other important inputs, such as how much "pull" the machine might have when it goes into a

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.

Nets Work

by Don Casey, Posted August 21, 2008
Providing proper stowage for clothing often seems to be way down the priority list on a cruising boat; most cruisers give a higher priority to stowing food, spare parts, and tools. But what happens to your clothes if there is no closet, dresser, or even a single drawer for them to occupy? Often they wind up in a locker with a front-opening door and lie there, loose on the shelf. While you may

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
Mediterranean mooring—docking a boat end-on to a quay, as opposed to tying up alongside—is a common practice in many parts of the world, especially in non-tidal waters. Any skipper setting sail for foreign ports will find docking this way is often mandatory, as it saves dock space and protects boats from wake damage.

The Shipping News

by Sail Staff, Posted August 21, 2008
When our wind generator stopped spinning in Fiji, we wanted to have parts sent to us by the manufacturer. Then several friends told us they were having trouble getting gear sent from overseas; the problems ran from having packages stopped in customs to shipments that never even showed up. So instead of having our purchases mailed directly to us at our marina, we asked a local chandlery that

Say Again

by Rod Glover, Posted January 18, 2011
There are many different ways to embarrass yourself while sailing. Having fenders hanging over your topsides or large scallops in your mainsail between the slides are two popular examples. Another is to use improper radio procedures. This demonstrates your incompetence not only to those who can see you, but to everyone within 20 miles.I am constantly frustrated by the poor procedures I

The Zero Knot Sailor

by Sail Staff, Posted February 5, 2009
High and dry in the unchanging latitude of my zero-knot armchair, I was an excellent sailor. Always at the ready, nimble and knowledgeable, never seasick or tired—I was eager, eternally young, and unafraid.You need only ask some of my former illustrious shipmates. Joshua Slocum, Sailing Around the World Alone, found me a stalwart companion. With Richard Henry Dana, Jr., I spent

The Fine Art of Gunkholing

by Kevin Walters, Posted March 10, 2011
July in Lake Huron’s North Channel is a special time. The cruising season is in full swing and what is normally a quiet wilderness area begins to come to life with cruisers looking for the perfect anchorage. Last year my family and I spent nearly a month in the North Channel visiting sleepy ports, rugged islands and one of the world’s largest freshwater fjords.The 1,000-mile round trip
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