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

Anti Chain-Pyramid Rod

by Tor Pinney, Posted February 7, 2014
Like most long-range cruisers I carry a lot of anchor chain, but I was having a problem with pyramids in my chain locker. When weighing anchor my chain piled up beneath its deck pipe, sometimes reaching up high enough to block it, so that the chain being fed in would suddenly jam the windlass gypsy. 

Anchor Rode Side Roller

by Tor Pinney, Posted February 3, 2014
The vertical windlass on my boat is designed to handle only one anchor. Like many cruisers, however, I carry two bow anchors and occasionally need to use both. The problem is my windlass, like most vertical windlasses, feeds just one anchor rode through a deck pipe built into its casing.
For years I’ve been using a 3-gallon insecticide spray can as a portable pressure-water dispenser. You’ll find these in any hardware store.

Walking The Prop

by Tor Pinney, Posted December 10, 2013
Prop walk, the tendency of a turning propeller to push a boat’s stern sideways, can be a real nuisance when maneuvering under power. Or it can be your biggest ally. The trick is to understand it, anticipate it, and make it work for you.
Back in the day I owned a salty gaff-rigged ketch named Autant. Traditional to a fault, she had no electricity, plumbing, winches, roller-furling or any other modern conveniences. Nor did she have an engine, though there were plenty of times when I wished it were otherwise. Like it or not, those years I spent cruising without an engine were emphatically educational.

Isla Beata

by Tor Pinney, Posted September 20, 2012
I was singlehanding, bound for Ile à Vache, Haiti, 200 miles west along the south coast of Hispañola. Any break along the way would be welcome. So when I cleared out of the Dominican Republic in Las Salinas, I planned to stop over at remote Isla Beata...

Can Pigs Swim?

by Tor Pinney, Posted July 10, 2012
Can pigs swim? In the Exumas they can. The Bahamian island of Big Majors Spot in the Exumas is home to a small herd of free-range domestic pigs.
Mediterranean mooring—docking a boat end-on to a quay, as opposed to tying up alongside—is a common practice in many parts of the world, especially in non-tidal waters. Any skipper setting sail for foreign ports will find docking this way is often mandatory, as it saves dock space and protects boats from wake damage.

Dodging Sea Monsters

by Tor Pinney, Posted May 9, 2011
Most commercial ships are run by competent professional crews. Still, close encounters with yachts are not uncommon. Every once in a while a ship arrives in port with a mast wedged in her anchor—and no one knows how it got there.To an offshore sailor a large merchant vessel can seem like a modern-day sea monster, capable of obliterating a yacht and spitting out the scraps
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