Know-How

Autopilot Manufacturers

by Sail Staff, Posted September 14, 2004
Alpha Marine Systems, Mercer Island, WA"Alpha" "Spectra"Web: www.alphamarinesystems.com B&G/Brookes & Gatehouse, Clearwater, FL"Network," "H1000," "Hydra" & "Hercules" "Pilot" linear drives & hydraulic pumpsetsWeb: www.bngusa.com Benmar Marine

Can you hear me now?

by Sail Staff, Posted January 12, 2009
Having a VHF radio on a boat is always a good idea. It allows you to communicate with other boats, marinas, and rescue services if necessary. I have two on my boat, one a handheld and the other a fixed set. Fixed sets have a maximum radiated power output of 25 watts, while handhelds normally have a maximum output of 5 watts. The more power a transmitter has, the farther its signal can travel. The

Stairway to Heaven

by Charles Scott, Posted August 24, 2011
I was sailing solo to Bermuda one year when the weather turned wicked. The wind and waves kept building, until finally I lay ahull with the sails furled. Knockout blows from the steep seas pounded my Westsail 32, Antares. When at last the storm blew over I found both halyards were loose and had wrapped around the masthead in a huge tangle. I had no choice but to climb. Going aloft in a

Why Low-Drag Propellers

by Duncan Kent, Posted October 24, 2013
Would you buy an automobile whose rear brakes locked up and dragged along the road when going downhill? Not likely. So why do so many sailboat owners do much the same thing by dragging the blades of a propeller through the water behind them when the engine’s off?

Wireless Resources

by Sail Staff, Posted November 5, 2004
No Strings AttachedWireless technology is constatantly evolving and improving. To keep abreast of the latest developments log on to the following sites:www.BandG.com; B&G’s site has information about the company’s RemoteVision wireless system that can control and monitor various electronic systems wirelessly

8-Strand splice

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 30, 2009
When I replaced the ground tackle on our project boat I did not hesitate to relegate the 15 feet of half-inch three-strand nylon rode to the bottom of the cockpit locker. During the years I spent sailing around Europe, I became a firm fan of plaited nylon anchor rode. It piles up tightly in the anchor locker and pays out neatly, without kinking or twisting, and I believe its shock-absorption
Tutorials about electrical systems and multimeters often involve theoretical analogies to flowing water. In these primers, the authors test well-designed, functioning circuits, and everything behaves exactly as anticipated.

A Tale of Two Props

by Peter Nielsen, Posted October 24, 2013
Although I have sailed boats fitted with every conceivable make of folding or feathering propeller, I have long-term experience of only three. When we acquired our 1973 Norlin 34, it was equipped with a vintage two-bladed Martec Geartec folding propeller. 
This is now: SAIL contributing editor Ben Ellison, after a pilgrimage to the government's Tropical Prediction Center on the campus of Florida State University, some 12 miles west of downtown Miami, says: "Without doubt the most thorough and timely hurricane information is on the World Wide Web. The Web is also a terrific place to pursue background studies and collect resources for those

Looking after sails

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 30, 2009
Dacron is a tough, long-lasting cloth that has only two real enemies—sunlight and chafe. There is not a lot you can do to ward off the effects of ultraviolet light except to make sure the mainsail cover is always in place when you’re not using the boat and to check that the sacrificial strip on the leech and foot of a roller genoa is in good condition.Chafe is another matter. It likes to
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