Maintenance

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

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

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

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

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

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
Not all boats are created equal. Some are built to high standards by people who care about what they’re doing. Others are not. This is as true today as it was half a century ago, when boatbuilders took their first tentative steps along the untrodden path of fiberglass construction.Because their builders erred on the side of caution with this new and strange material, those early fiberglass

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.

Keeping Cool

by Paul Esterle, Posted August 25, 2008
A covered foredeck helps keep the noon sun at bayBy Paul EsterleSpending a Tennessee summer on my 35-footer taught me that surviving the sun and heat calls for proper sunshades and awnings. I quickly learned that if I didn’t put up adequate shades, the noon sun would heat the cabin to such high temperatures that even air conditioning could not cool the space down until

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
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