Labor-saving devices like headsail and mainsail furlers and powered anchor windlasses have become commonplace on sailboats as small as 30 feet, so it’s not surprising that the quest for an easier life is extending even further. Powered sheet winches have long been the rage on cruising boats of 50 feet and up, but this technology too has filtered downward. Lewmar’s L34 lays claim to being the world’s smallest electric winch, and it’s aimed at sub-40-foot boats. Install a pair of these, and short-tacking up a narrow channel actually will become a laughing matter. Lewmar Inc; 203-458-6200; www.lewmar.com
Ask Sail: Are Self-trackers Worth It?
Q: I’m seeing more and more self-tacking jibs out on the water (and in the pages of SAIL) these days. I can’t help thinking these boats are all hopelessly underpowered, especially off the wind, when compared to boats with even slightly overlapping headsails. But I could be ...read more