Know-How

In recent years it has become more feasible than ever to navigate using a smartphone or tablet. Apps have improved to the point where they rival paper charts and chartplotters. With so many good navigation apps available, the question is: which is best for you?
The process of piloting in deep water is the same at night as in the daytime. Once clear of channels and buoys, it’s down to GPS fixes checked against estimates, distances and courses to steer. 

Fridgeless Cruising

by Andy Schell, Posted April 16, 2014
First off, let’s get this straight—we cruise on Arcturus without a fridge by choice, not necessity. Granted, we have limited space on board and a limited budget—both financially and in terms of amp-hours...
Forget those pricey marine compounds. Rope caulk, a non-hardening stranded putty that costs a few dollars at any hardware store, is ideal for bedding just about anything above the waterline.  
If you didn’t learn knots when you were young, you can still master them quickly. The key is to learn what a given knot should look like when completed, then practice tying it until you can do it with your eyes closed.
There’s no longer any reason to rely on frozen water to cool your food and beverages 

Know Your Rudder

by Don Casey, Posted April 10, 2012
After hull integrity, rudder integrity is the most vital component of a seaworthy vessel, yet most sailors pay more attention to LED lighting or smartphone apps than they do to their boat’s rudder. Before you shrug off rudder failure as a remote concern, consider that the incidence of mid-ocean rudder failures is close to 1 percent.

Beat the Barnacles

by Peter Nielsen, Posted May 16, 2012
Do you antifoul your propeller? Looking around the yard where we keep our project boat, Ostara, the consensus seemed to be “no”. Most propellers showed the telltale signs of barnacle infestation, as indeed did our three-bladed Gori folding prop.

Downwind Sails for Cruising

by Chip Lawson, Posted August 28, 2008
I’m a real fan of downwind sails because they add a lot of speed and fun. On my 40-footer I carry a 1.5-ounce symmetric spinnaker in a sock, a 75-ounce asymmetric, also in a sock, that I set on a collar around the headstay, and a 2.2-ounce Code 0 that I have mounted on a Harken furler. I use the symmetric when I have a good crew but leave it ashore when I’m sailing shorthanded. The Code 0 is

Too Hot to Handle

by Nigel Calder, Posted May 11, 2011
Anyone who has played with electrical gear for any length of time is familiar with the distinctive smell of burned windings. Unfortunately, this smell, wafting out of engine rooms from fried alternators, may soon become familiar to a much wider audience. Why might alternators, generally known for their reliability, become more likely to fail in the next few years?The answer lies in
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