I recently bought a Passport 47, and it’s in really good shape but a bit of the running rigging is tired. I need to replace the mainsheet and I have questions on the running backstays. First off, what type of line should I use for the mainsheet? It is just regular double braid now and the guy at the chandlery suggested Dyneema, so I am not sure what to use. Second, the boat has running backstays, do I need to use those all the time? They are made of wire and hard to handle, they tend to rub on my nice new mainsail too. Can you shed some light on this?
I’d like to install some USB ports to charge phones and tablets on my boat. I have a J/35 built in 1986, so the entire interior has exactly one 12-volt receptacle built into the electrical panel next to the starboard quarterberth. I’m OK with that, but my kids seem to run their iPods all the time, so I need a way to charge them without fighting over the single receptacle. My thought was to install two USB ports, one going forward to the V-berth and one over to the port quarter berth. How do I connect them to the electrical system?
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.
Dear Boat Doctor, I decided to upgrade my head to a new electric model. I chose a new model with the pump integrated into the base and it fits in the same spot as my old head. I followed the instructions to place a vented loop in the seawater inlet line to prevent the head from siphoning water and flooding the boat.
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.
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.