by Andy Schell
During a recent conversation with retired Coast Guard rescue swimmer Mario Vittone, I asked for his take on safety equipment for sailing offshore, and he responded with an answer I’d never heard before. 
When we were sailing from the small French island of St. Pierre off Newfoundland before making landfall in Crookhaven, Ireland, 2,000 miles to the east. At the time, Arcturus was the first boat to cross an ocean fitted with Dynex Dux synthetic rigging

Fridgeless Cruising

by Andy Schell, Posted April 16, 2014
First off, let’s get this straight—we cruise on Arcturus without a fridge by choice, not necessity. Granted, we have limited space on board and a limited budget—both financially and in terms of amp-hours...
From a young age, my parents taught me that if you “follow your heart, the money will come.” Right after high school, I heeded their advice and pursued a career in golf. That, obviously, was short-lived.
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.

Sailing Through Reefs

by Andy Schell, Posted September 20, 2013
Negotiating a reef inlet, be it in the Bahamas or the South Pacific, requires precise navigation and skilled seamanship. Detailed charts are essential, and you should always consult any local sailing directions you have onboard in advance.
After reading “The Essence of Seamanship” (July 2013) by Tom Cunliffe, as well as the online banter that followed, it became apparent that the topic of “seamanship” is a hot one, especially in today’s ever-changing world of on-water and systems technology. Here’s my take: 

Free a Line from a Prop

by Andy Schell, Posted August 21, 2013
Eventually everyone wraps a line around a prop. I was told this on my first-ever job as a captain—leading teenagers on liveaboard dive-training trips in the Leeward Islands—and bragged about being the only skipper not to have done so.
Kedging works best with a long line. Unlike anchoring, it is scope rather than the weight of the ground tackle that provides the holding power.
I first went to New Zealand in 2006. I was 20 years old and setting off on my first long journey away from home, bound for Brisbane, Australia, for a semester of college at the University of Queensland.
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