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2018 September 1

There’s more to getting the most out of your mainsail than just the sheet

It is quite common to hear that proper mainsail trim and setup is only important to those who are racing or trying to go fast. The reality is it is important for everyone. It provides an avenue for th
2018 July 1

With a trailerable boat the next adventure is just a highway away, but you have to get there first

There’s a freedom that comes with trailerable boats, whether dinghies, small keelboats or powerboats. Your next adventure is just a highway away. But first you have to get there. But that’s not to
2018 June 1

When your boat is aground, survey the situation and proceed with caution to float free

In the moments after you realize you have run your boat aground, it’s best to take a deep breath and recite The First Rule of Holes: “When you’re in one, stop digging.” Many of the steps you a
2018 May 1

Preventers can keep accidents from happening, but they should be used with caution

A boom violently crashing across a cockpit can be deadly, toss a crewmember overboard or cause serious damage, so it’s worth making an effort to prevent it from happening whenever possible.&nbs
2018 April 1

Taking the helm of a charter boat requires different certifications depending on the location and company

Chartering is more popular than ever and charter companies have gotten creative about how to get people on boats easily. Crewed charters have always been offered, but companies now offer middle-of the-road options for sailors who lack the confidence for a full-on bareboat experience. Flotillas organized by schools and charter companies provide the comfort of sailing in a group with help at the ready should it be needed. Some companies, like Cruise Abaco, offer a hybrid solution where a captain sails with the boat during the day then is whisked away in a dinghy once the boat is at anchor for charterers to enjoy the evening.
2018 March 1

A diesel engine expert shares a list of jobs to get the iron genny in gear for sailing season

Engine maintenance is rarely at the top of anyone’s list of favorite fitting out chores, but skipping it is hardly a wise option. With luck, major jobs were done before the boat was laid up, so the list of spring jobs is short enough that most DIYers should be able to get through them relatively quickly. And then you can sit back and enjoy the sailing season, knowing that you’ve done what you can to avoid engine problems. 
2018 January 1

Upgrading your boat’s power grid is a good investment in time, money

Some upgrades and repairs on a sailboat are no-brainers. It’s not difficult know when you need new sails or the paint job and brightwork need attention. But figuring out if a battery upgrade is necessary and how to do it is at times less obvious. Odds are, though, that if the house batteries are more than five years old, you are going to want to think about replacing them. Wet-cell lead acid batteries have a life span of about five years. Some can be coaxed to perform longer, but their performance will degrade over time. If you’ve found that you are constantly charging the batteries or can’t run many of the systems you’d like to for long periods, it may be worth considering a battery upgrade as well. 
2017 October 1

Coaxing a big cat into a tight space requires a new way of thinking and a bit of practice

Catamarans are by far the favored boat for charterers, and charter fleets, which are full of cruising catamarans with a handful of monohulls reflect that. And it’s easy to see why: Not only is there
2017 September 1

Avoid the feeling of a wheel loose in your hands with routine steering system checks, before it breaks

 My definition of “boat” entails three essential capabilities—flotation, propulsion and steering. If you lose one of these, things are going to get difficult. We all know about keeping the water out, the rig up, and engine working, but we tend to take steering for granted. I have had a wheel go loose in my hands, and I can attest to the helpless feeling that accompanies it.
2017 July 1

Sailing at night is a special treat but requires a different skill set than daysailing

Sailing at night is challenging, rewarding and dermatologist approved. Gliding through the dark under the stars can be a surreal experience. And you don’t have to go very far from the harbor for the experience. It is a different world that requires new skills and awareness to be fully enjoyed. 
2017 June 16

Instead of turning on the engine, discover the art and pleasure of coaxing a boat through a small breeze

Sailing in light air is a science and an art. The science comes from adjusting your sails and position of sail to get the maximum lift and momentum. The art is the patience and fortitude for you and your crew to remain still, quiet and aware while resisting the urge to reach for the start button on the “Iron Genny.” With some experimentation and focus, you’ll fine that it’s not difficult to keep the boat moving well in light air, and it can be surprisingly pleasurable sailing too. 
2017 June 1

Take a deep-dive into intricate weather routing with onboard computer software

For years sailors were mostly left to call on experience and instinct when it came to routing a passage. Today, onboard computing power relying on copious amounts of data can show sailors any route with any number of variables applied.
2017 May 24
Rig tuning isn’t just about maximizing performance, although that’s a nice benefit to a properly tuned rig. At its most basic level, a tuned rig will make your sails more efficient, prevent damage and help you get more life out of your equipment.
2017 May 1

Get your boat where it’s going safely by keeping an eye on what hauls it

Some of the best adventures happen on trailersailers. On what other kind of sailboat can you explore far-off inland lakes, wide rivers or obscure bits of estuaries all in the same weekend? In fact, one of the only drawbacks to being a trailersailor is that you’ve just doubled your maintenance requirements: not only do you have to take care of the boat, you must take care of the trailer, so that it will take care of you.
2017 April 11

Bone up on your knot-tying skills with a few out-of-the-box fun and useful projects

Basics knots, like a bowline or Figure 8, are the foundation of sailboat knots and have been since the beginning of time. These knots are used to terminate control lines, prevent the loss of lines and perform other important tasks. Lesser known “fancy knots,” such as monkey’s fists or different braids, can be useful or just nice to have around from a decorative perspective. Fancy knotwork can be a lifelong pursuit, getting as complex as you like, but there are a few knots that are easy to learn and are still useful. And practicing these less-than-everyday knots can up your knot-tying game. 
2017 March 1

Planning an ocean passage starts with knowing when to go and which way will get you there fastest

The notion of ditching the job and house, buying a boat and sailing away to the tropics, across an ocean, or even around the world, is a fantasy that lurks in the mind of every sailor. Some actually follow their dreams and find a suitable boat and prepare it for serious sailing. Dreams collide with reality when it comes to the daunting task of route planning logistics, literally, “When to sail where?”  Timing the right seasons and prevailing winds for offshore passages with the need to avoid hurricanes and heavy weather requires a bit of forethought. 
2017 February 1

A calm approach combined with preparation can help avoid catastrophe at sea

 Most of the time, sailing is probably no more risky than other outdoor pursuits, but when something goes wrong the situation can get very serious very quickly. Any sailor can think of several onboard worst-case scenarios that can be enough to scare you straight to your couch. The secret to dealing with this is to have an idea of what to do when the worst happens but not allow that knowledge to take away from enjoying sailing.Schedule
2016 November 1

Get comfortable sailing by yourself or with a partner and you'll be stuck at the dock again

 Whether by choice or chance, at some point most sailors will find themselves sailing shorthanded. Your first experience might be a trip to the fuel dock with your own boat, an end of the season delivery with a loyal friend or sailing with a group of four or five friends before realizing only a couple of them are sailors. The sooner you learn shorthanded seamanship, the sooner offshore waters become a comfortable backyard in which to play.Schedule
2016 September 1

Although the same principles apply, rescuing a person from the water on a multihull requires a different approach

Few seamanship skills are more important than recovering a person from the water. Although many sailors are well versed on MOB recovery methods on monohulls, the sailing and handling characteristics of a catamaran require a different approach to rescue, one that should be practiced before any multihull passage.
2016 July 1

Knowing when and how to use your last means of survival is paramount to good seamanship

 There’s an old saying, “Step up into the life raft,” implying that you should not launch your life raft prematurely in an emergency. And while many old sayings are often just that, old and out of date, there’s merit to this wise advice. 

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