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.  
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.
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.

Dream Electronics

by Sail Staff, Posted September 22, 2008
"We love to sail our older Hunter 34 and want to upgrade the navigation setup at the helm. We’d like to add a wind indicator and combine our existing speed and depth displays in a single unit, using the existing sensors if we can. We cruise on Lake Michigan and rarely leave the Wisconsin coast. Is there an economical solution for us, and can the new instruments talk to our laptop?"-- Peter

Hot Stick

by Tim Bartlett, Posted October 14, 2009
Jim Liggett of Cornish, New Hampshire, asks:"I am installing a lightning- ground system and plan to use a 5/8in rod extending at least 6in above my VHF antenna. Does it matter whether the pointed rod is solid copper or can it be copper-coated steel, as is often used for grounding rods on shore? If the steel rod will work equally well, is there a good way to keep the tip
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