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. 
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.  

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...
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.

Paper or Plastic?

by Sail Staff, Posted August 21, 2008
"You're not carrying any paper charts?" is a question I've heard at all the exotic landfalls and cruiser's hangouts I've visited during my circumnavigation. Many cruisers, it seems, aren't quite ready to fully trust their electronic chartplotters. While almost all cruisers, other than a few diehards, do have plotters on board, they also carry enough paper charts and tools for measuring and

To Varnish or Not?

by Don Casey, Posted April 13, 2011
Dorothy Parker once famously remarked: “I hate writing; I love having written.” I feel the same way about varnishing. Nothing flatters a boat more than the glow of well-varnished wood, but to bask in that glow, someone must suffer through the process of preparing the wood and applying the varnish.Almost all woods other than teak will weather and eventually rot if not
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