Upgrades

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.

Electrically organized

by Chip Lawson, Posted March 11, 2009
This article assumes a 12-volt negative-ground DC electrical system, which is the most common system found on today’s production sailboats. It also assumes that all wiring is properly sized for the length (run) and load of the boat’s various electrical devices. The concepts described can be applied to most DC electrical systems but should be modified in some instances. The

A New Traveler

by Peter Nielsen, Posted February 17, 2011
I love the fact that an old boat can give you as much sailing pleasure as an expensive new one. The only proviso for me is that the sail handling systems be absolutely top-notch. Replacing hardware like mainsheet travelers, genoa lead cars, boom vangs and lead blocks with new, low-friction gear will repay you many times over in ease of handling and improved efficiency.A case in point was a

Building a New Front End

by Wally Moran, Posted October 23, 2013
A liveaboard cruiser transforms his anchor handling system    

Upgrade to energy independence

by Sail Staff, Posted March 31, 2003
When we bought Sea Spell, our 38-foot sloop, we realized she needed a major power upgrade. The existing electrical system was adequate for a boat kept in a slip, plugged into shore power and used for occasional weekend trips, but we intended to live aboard and cruise to distant tropical islands.Far from land, there is no grid to plug into. Instead, we now generate power with a

Murray Winches

by Charles J. Doane, Posted February 21, 2011
If putting new winches on your boat is one of the items on this year’s punch list, I urge you to check out these bottom-action Murray winches from New Zealand. I put a pair on my old Golden Hind 31 several years ago and absolutely fell in love with them.They look great on traditional boats, of course, but are also extremely functional. With the handle on the bottom of the winch, you never

Free and clear

by David Schmidt, Posted August 3, 2009
If you sail in Maine, you’ve likely heard the one about the best way to cross a channel (Answer: walk across on the lobster-pot buoys). This isn’t hyperbole; visit many harbors in Maine and you’ll find them choked with pot buoys, some of them in working channels. For sailors, a wrapped prop in a tight channel flanked by rock ledges is a serious predicament: not to mention the potential damage to

Paint Your Bottom

by Mark Corke, Posted April 11, 2011
Sailors early on recognized the importance of keeping the bottom of their craft free of fouling, as they discovered that a hull covered with barnacles and weeds performs poorly. They used sheets of copper to protect the underbellies of their boats, and this practice is still used on some large sailing vessels.Fortunately for modern sailors, we can now use paint with similar properties to
Just like life ashore, the modern cruising life comes with its share of encumbrances, a.k.a. essentials. Navigation and communications devices have antennas that must be placed somewhere...

Tension aloft

by Chip Lawson, Posted August 18, 2009
Whether you’re cruising or racing, an adjustable backstay is a helpful device for changing sail shape and controlling forestay tension for improved upwind and downwind performance. By dialing in the right backstay tension you can increase boatspeed. Regardless of whether you have a masthead or fractional rig, using an adjustable backstay is essential to good sail shape. While
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