Know-How

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

Diesel Injector Surgery

by Clark Beek, Posted September 20, 2012
Servicing fuel injectors on a diesel engine is something most any boat owner can accomplish with a few basic tools. The job is especially easy because it really just involves getting the injectors out and sending them to a diesel shop.

Easy Reefing

by Ian Nicholson, Posted August 21, 2008
Windage and drag are two of a racing sailboat’s worst enemies, especially around a sail’s leech. Many racers eschew in situ reefing lines until it’s absolutely necessary to reef. (Some cruisers also don’t use reefing lines, as they can chafe sailcloth.) The risk is that you can get caught out if you’re not careful. A smarter, faster way to reef without leaving reefing lines in

Down to the Bone

by Pip Hurn, Posted April 21, 2013
Often the hardest part of refinishing wood on a boat is getting the old finish off. Unfortunately, there is no magic solution. It usually takes a combination of methods, all involving a large tub of elbow grease and a bucket of patience.
Not so long ago, boat owners would recoil in horror at the mention of Cetol. It was a product used by amateurs who didn’t know any better and the result was an orange coating that dulled quickly and did nothing to enhance the grain of any wood.

Bailout Electronics

by Sail Staff, Posted August 26, 2008
As part of a major refit of our BoatWorks Bailout boat, a 1983 Ericson 34, we installed an up-to-the-minute electronics package. It was easier than expected.By Mark CorkeInstalling a new pedestal from Edson gave us space for a number of instruments, with the C80 display taking center stage. The C80 acts as a chartplotter, radar display, and, with optional modules, can be

Let It Flow

by David W. Shaw, Posted April 15, 2011
As I knelt beside the open cockpit locker of my 36-foot Pearson cutter Sonata, I could hear the gentle whir of my freshwater pump. It didn’t sound normal. I reached down and felt the pump housing. The pump was in constant-cycle mode and running hot. It could pump until it burned out and still fail to pressurize the freshwater system I thought I had just finished

Sails and Sailhandling Systems

by Sail Staff, Posted January 11, 2013
Six experts weigh in on the best ways to improve a boat’s sails and sailhandling systems.

Busted!

by David Schmidt, Posted August 27, 2008
Sailors have been tying knots for millennia, and no doubt innovators have been trying just as long to invent both stronger rope and better knots. Yet the basic problem still remains: Every rope is weakened when its fibers are bent. Loading a knot with a large amount of weight creates a sheer force on the fibers; given enough force, the fibers break and the rope fails. Today’s
  • facebook
  • twitter