Upgrades

What does it take to turn an old boat into an ocean-ready passagemaker? That was the question facing my father, Dennis, when he decided to fulfill a decades-old dream of crossing an ocean aboard his own boat.

Build a Boarding Step

by Sail Staff, Posted August 27, 2008
As you get older, you usually discover it’s a little harder to climb on and off a boat. At least, that’s what’s happened to me. Attempting to improve my lot, I tried out several commercially available boarding steps. Some had good features, but I wasn’t really happy with any of them. Then one day Vince and Dianne Purcell stopped by aboard Finn MacCool, their classic Bill Tripp–designed
I’ve always liked the versatility that comes with a centerboard. The ability to vary your boat’s draft from deep to shallow greatly increases the options you have when cruising. The other side of the coin is maintenance.A centerboard can be made of anything from foam or plywood sheathed in epoxy to solid bronze or cast iron. The former will need fresh antifouling each year. The latter will

Update Your Reefing

by Duncan Kent, Posted January 30, 2013
Traditionally, all sailboat mainsails were reefed by simply pulling down the reefing lines through cringles in the luff and leech of the mainsail, then securing the reefing pennants—often permanently attached to the mainsail—to the boom to tidy the sail up.

Galley Upgrades

by Sail Staff, Posted August 28, 2008
Thinking hard about the little things increases efficiencyBy Rob LuceyMost production galleys are fine for a weekend cruise, but if you’re thinking about a longer time frame for the galley’s use—extended cruising or living aboard—any shortcomings will quickly become apparent. Fortunately, you don’t have to settle for what you are given. For example, my wife and I

Friend or Faux?

by Adam Cort, Posted January 10, 2011
One of the most eye-catching boats at the Newport boat show last fall, the Scandinavian Cruiser 20, is a fast daysailer with a narrow hull and a traditional teak deck. At least it looked like teak. As I was checking out the SC20, something about those decks struck me as being a little off. Then it hit me: they looked too good, too clean to be real. The fact that I had to ask to make sure they

On the Right Track

by Peter Nielsen, Posted March 21, 2013
Here is a sad truth relating to older boats: the more desirable the piece of equipment you want to install, the harder it is to remove its predecessor.

Deck gear

by Sail Staff, Posted December 23, 2008
Upgrading the deck gear on your boat can seriously enhance your sailing pleasure. Once you’ve sailed a boat set up with low-friction blocks, good rope clutches and jammers, and genoa-sheet cars that are quick and easy to adjust, it’s hard to go back to the creaky, friction-riddled 30- or 40-year-old deck gear that so many older boats are still saddled with.We had always planned to replace

Blasting Your Hull

by Charles J. Doane, Posted February 17, 2011
Soon after I bought my aluminum cutter Lunacy it became apparent I needed to remove the heavy 20-year accumulation of hard antifouling paint from her hull. After I brought the boat from Florida to Maine all the old paint started flaking off in alarmingly huge chunks, presumably due to the dramatic change in water temperature.My initial plan was to soda-blast the boat down to its
When I moved my new Nicholson 32 sloop, Alibi of Bridham, from a marina to a mooring this summer I also had to rethink my power requirements, since the change meant severing my umbilical to the grid. Although I had a powerful (read: noisy) wind generator as an alternative power source, along with a small photovoltaic (PV) solar array to keep the engine’s cranking battery topped up when the wind dies, I’ve since decided to lose the noisy windmill and go wholly solar.
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