Projects

Fresh air below

by Warwick M. Tompkins, Posted August 4, 2009
Despite all the progress in sailing gear and equipment certain aspects of life at sea never change. Keeping water out, maintaining good boatspeed, preserving and conserving food stores, and carrying adequate spares for the inevitable failures that occur are all perennial priorities. Plus one more thing; having a good supply of fresh air below.Someone once observed that

A New Hatch for Keewaydin

by Spencer Howe, Posted March 8, 2011
The forward deck hatch on our project boat, Keewaydin, a 1967 Allied Seabreeze, did not let much light into our dark and dingy forepeak. There was no mechanism to hold the molded fiberglass hatch open, and it was hard to adequately secure from the inside. We decided to replace it with a new waterproof hatch.The Vetus hatch we chose was slightly larger than the original hatch,

Taming Full Batten Mains

by Adam Cort, Posted January 5, 2012
One of the great ironies of sailing is that as hard as it can be to get your mainsail up, it can often be just as hard to get it back down. This goes double when tucking in a reef with a slab-reefing system—one reason why so many sailors are willing to sacrifice sailing performance for the sake of in-boom or in-mast furling.

Ask Sail: Centerboard Corrosion

by Don Casey, Posted September 27, 2012
After I fix the pin and remove the rust, what product do you recommend to protect the steel before I reinstall the board? The boat is sailed in both fresh and salt water, and is stored on its trailer.

Boatyard Zen

by Don Casey, Posted February 28, 2013
Waiting for the spring as your boat sits on the hard may not seem the best time to improve your seamanship, but a boat truly at rest does provide an ideal environment for enlightenment through contemplation.
Problem: how do you install an inboard autopilot on a boat with such cramped hindquarters that finding somewhere to put a drive unit is next to impossible?

Coil with the Sun

by Tom Cunliffe, Posted August 21, 2008
In general, a line is happier and therefore behaves better if you coil it in a clockwise direction. Any three-strand line will try to kink up if you force it the other way. A multibraid line may be able to go in either direction, but the habit of right-handed coiling should be so ingrained that you couldn't do it counterclockwise if you wanted to. Old-time sailors called it "coiling against the

Deck makeover

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 12, 2009
As part of the refit of our project boat, Ostara, a 1973 Norlin 34, I decided to scrap its vintage hydraulic system for tensioning the backstay, boomvang, and babystay, along with the control panel in the cockpit. In its new role as a coastal cruiser and occasional racer, the boat had no need for such powerful trimming gear or for hoses full of hydraulic oil leading

Anti-siphon valves

by Dick Everett, Posted August 4, 2009

Beat the Wrap

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 12, 2011
The last thing you want from your furling gear is for it to jam up in a rising breeze—or ever. I must be some kind of roller-reefing Jonah, because it’s happened a few times on boats I’ve been sailing aboard. On two of those occasions, halyard wrap was to blame.Halyard wrap sounds like something you’d tear off a new piece of rope, but it’s actually the most common cause of
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