by Tor Pinney

Tor Pinney has logged 150,000 miles under sail. He is the author of Ready for Sea: How to Outfit the Modern Cruising Sailboat

When I bought my aft-cockpit ketch, Silverheels, she had no bimini top at all. While I attended to other upgrades in preparation for tropical cruising, I pondered how I might have full-time shade in the cockpit and still get at the mizzen sail to furl and reef it.
Dawn on the morning of my 40th birthday, singlehanding 300 miles offshore, I had just wrapped up an ambitious, five-year work stint that provided for the sailboat of my dreams plus a kitty to take her cruising.

Iguana in Exumas

by Tor Pinney, Posted January 14, 2015
The outlying Bahamas islands of the Allens Cay group offer a pristine, almost landlocked anchorage for yachts transiting between the Exumas and points west and north. One of them, Leaf Cay, is also the last refuge of the endangered Allens Cay Rock Iguanas
Every once in a while you hear about a boat stored ashore that leaked enough rainwater to fill the bilge and flood the cabin. What a mess! And even a little water in the bilge, if it freezes, can cause damage.

Things that work: Granny Bars

by Tor Pinney, Posted September 10, 2014
Anyone who has stood working at the mainmast aboard a sailboat underway in heavy weather knows how awkward, even dangerous, it can be, juggling a halyard, reef cringle and lines, and a winch handle while simultaneously hanging on for dear life...
Forget those pricey marine compounds. Rope caulk, a non-hardening stranded putty that costs a few dollars at any hardware store, is ideal for bedding just about anything above the waterline.  

Reversible Weather Cloth

by Tor Pinney, Posted April 9, 2014
When sailing in rough weather, cresting waves can send buckets of seawater flying into a cockpit.

DIY Foredeck Rain Catcher

by Tor Pinney, Posted February 27, 2014
Sometimes it can be difficult to refill water tanks while cruising. Local water may be unsuitable, expensive or simply unavailable. Watermakers can also come up short, as you shouldn’t run harbor water through them
When anchoring on chain rode it is usual to fasten a length of nylon line between the chain and the boat as a snubber. This absorbs shock loads if the chain suddenly gets yanked up tight. 

DIY Hardtop Dodger

by Tor Pinney, Posted February 8, 2014
My ketch Silverheels didn’t have any cockpit canvas when I bought her, just an old two-bow dodger frame. I had visions of installing a hard dodger and bimini, but a lack of time, patience and skill caused me to opt for a hardtop for the dodger frame instead.
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