Know-How

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
Many sailors embarking on ocean passages will take along the obligatory storm jib and trysail, with the vague idea that they may come in handy. Few sailors, however, have a real understanding of how and when to set them.

Decommissioning Checklist

by Sail Staff, Posted October 25, 2006
By Charles MasonBefore you do anything else, compile a detailed list of all the projects that need to be done before the boat goes back in the water next year. Detail each item as carefully as possible and take photos and measurements of the project area so you can use them when ordering materials and in planning work sessions. Make this list when the boat either is still in

Rig check

by Charles Mason, Posted August 4, 2009
Your mast is back in the boat—or it may have been there all winter—the shrouds are tuned, the engine is checked, and all the battens are in the sails. You are ready for your first sail of the season. Without doubt, many boatowners follow this path, but if you’re one of them, be ready to act quickly if a piece of gear holding the mast suddenly fails and the rig begins to

Vavuud Wind Meter

by SAIL Editors, Posted June 20, 2014
The Vaavud wind meter (currently being distributed in North America by Ronstan) is both accurate and truly pocket-friendly, with a compact two-cup durable plastic rotor and low friction PTFE bearings.

Keeping Connected: Communications for Cruisers

by Sail Staff, Posted November 13, 2007
The rapid evolution of communications technology in the last decade has meant that more of us are able to keep in range of a regular cell phone. We asked many of the entrants in the 2006 ARC transatlantic rally how they planned to stay in contact with those back home and received a variety of answers. Here we describe what systems were chosen and why, and explain some of the

First aid kit

by Sail Staff, Posted August 24, 2009
Few sensible sailors would consider setting out without some form of first-aid kit on board. Scraped knees, cuts, bruises, and bumped toes are all part of the sailing experience—everyone suffers them at some time or other. Being able to deal with these appropriately makes them minor annoyances rather than life-threatening emergencies. Of course, don’t be slow to call for help
When we arrived in Cartagena, Colombia, after a year of cruising, I knew we had work to do. While we had kept up with the necessary (read: constant) maintenance on our 45-year-old Bill Tripp yawl Papillon during our first year aboard, now it was finally time for some major upgrades.
When the going gets tough is when it’s most fun to steer
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