Home / News / Technique
 
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. 
2016 May 1

Simple electric heads are better than they used to be and can easily replace a manual model

When a marine head goes bad there is usually a story to tell, and it’s never a good one. A clog or a leak can ruin a weekend. Even a properly working head can be awkward to explain to guests, “Well, you do your business, flip this lever, pump this lever and then don’t forget to flip that lever back or you can sink the boat!” Invariably, the guest has a problem. Often they ask for assistance that is neither fun to request or give. Or worse, they don’t ask. 
2016 April 1

Take steps to avoid lightning strikes, but be prepared if the odds are not in your favor

 To truly understand lightning and make a strategy for safe sailing, the best place to start is the fine print in your insurance policy. 
2016 March 1

Some of the best team leaders in the sport share tips on how to always get asked to sail again

 Finding an opportunity to go racing, whether it be on a Hunter 336 for a weekly beer can series or a professionally crewed TP52, can be daunting. All the way through the ranks, most sailboat teams are tight little units with core groups of regulars. Standing on the dock with a sign, or registering with an online crewfinder are ways to get a spot on a boat. Word-of-mouth helps too. But it’s what you make of those opportunities that will determine your racing career trajectory, no matter how small your aspirations.
2016 January 25

Arm yourself with a proper sail repair kit and a bit of knowledge to keep a passage intact when your sails aren't

Sail repair is a crucial offshore skill, many times it can save a passage. It takes a little planning to build a kit and to study some basic skills, but it is manageable for anyone. 
2015 November 19

Attaching fittings properly isn't difficult and protects your boat for the long term

 At some point in its life, every boat will need a deck fitting replaced or will develop a leak that must be corrected. And while replacing deck hardware is not a complicated operation, doing it incorrectly can cause serious damage down the road.
2015 October 22

Solar, wind can power a boat at anchor with system that take up less space than ever

Installing solar and wind power is easily than ever and gives you greater freedom to take your boat off the grid.
2015 September 22

We go inside a recertification to show what happens and help you decide if a new or used raft is best for you

The decision on whether to carry a life raft and what kind of life raft that should be can be a challenge for sailors. New six-person, non-commercial life rafts cost at least $1,700. Used life rafts can be a relative bargain, but all rafts need periodic maintenance. The decision on what is right for a boat can hinge on factors as varied as budget to the kind of sailing you do.
2015 August 17

Know how to perform this sailing basic correctly for better sets and the admiration of crewmates

 Folding a sail is a task that sailors do every day, on the dock or on the deck, and while it won’t make or break you as a sailor, knowing how to fold a sail correctly will make your sails last longer, make them easier to set and ingratiate you to the rest of the crew.
2015 July 1

Find the right balance between angle and speed to make the most of off-the-wind sailing

All sailors are used to tacking upwind. And if you think about it, it seems fair that if you have to tack up wind, you should also have to tack down wind. But when your destination is straight down wind, it’s almost irresistible to resist the urge to aim right at it. The problem is that when it’s windy, dead down wind is dangerous, and when it’s light, it’s slow. 
2015 June 1

Tweak your boat’s battery bank and wiring to make the most of your power

An unreliable electrical system is seldom dangerous but can be a major inconvenience. The good news is that new, affordable technology and good old solid electrical engineering can combine to make a n
2015 April 1

Paying attention, asking questions sets the stage for a smooth and successful charter

Few things can seem more inconvenient that the briefing all bareboat charters start with. You may be anxious to get off the dock and set sail, but the briefing is no time to let your mind wander. Pay attention, ask the right questions and you'll be on your way with crucial information in no time. 
2015 March 1

Don’t let a little drip turn into a gusher; fixing hatches isn’t as hard as you think

The time will come when you need to give your deck hatches some attention. Those little drips when it rains or when you have a deck washer passage are your first clues. 
2015 February 1

When your boat goes bump on the bottom, know how to save yourself without making the situation worse

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 are inclined to take can make matters worse. You may already doubt your own skills and your decision making. You’ll get a lot of advice, some of it noisy, a lot of it not grounded in experience. Chaos is lurking. 
2014 November 1

If the time comes when you need to come to the aid of a fellow sailor, know what to do and what not to do

Imagine yourself and your crew are spending a relaxing afternoon sailing or you are battling a storm to make it to the next port. Then without warning you find yourself in a position to render assista

Perry on Design

  • This carbon fiber cruiser contains a bevy of performance features

  • The king of the trimarans serves up 3 versions of a new model

  • Customize this beauty to make a personal dream yacht

Advertisement