Sailing Magazine - Technique Tue, 27 Feb 24 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Repairing delaminated core - Catch wet, delaminated core early and the fix is not difficult It’s not unusual for boats, particularly those of a certain age, to have some areas of wet core and delamination. This is often found near deck hardware, often because of poor mounting and bedding p...]]> Splicing Dyneema - Embrace the splice because knots aren’t best on the extremely strong fiber Dyneema Dyneema is seriously strong, but a very slippery fiber. The slipperiness means that you can’t efficiently use knots to terminate it. Even the best knot will degrade the ultimate strength of the rope...]]> DIY custom bug screens - Keeping insects out of the boat’s cabin is a matter of safety and comfort As sailors, we’re often drawn to the sea by the promise of adventure, the thrill of exploration, and the beauty of untouched landscapes which is how my husband Chris and I ended up sailing our 1979 ...]]> Anchoring and mooring a catamaran - Life in an anchorage is great on two hulls so long as you know how to moor the boat You can’t beat a catamaran for liveability, and no monohull can stand up the comfort provided by a catamaran in a beautiful anchorage. But before you can get to the part where the water toys come ou...]]> Co-owning a boat - Sharing the cost, labor and enjoyment of boat ownership can be the perfect solution when structured properly The lucky boat owner is one who enjoys a boat partnership. Owning alone (or with a non-interested co-owner) versus owning a boat with another passionate sailor is like the difference between a dead we...]]> Installing a steering wheel - Swapping out a wheel is a quick job that may require a little ingenuity Sometimes a new steering wheel is called for. Changing to a wheel that’s a slightly different size than the existing wheel, or a different design, such as a foldable wheel that allows easy access th...]]> Helming skills - The key to being a good helmsperson is equal parts concentration and practice Just about every crew position on a sailboat comes down essentially to one word: concentration. I became a decent helmsman from my years of concentrating on spinnaker work. The spinnaker is very capri...]]> Captain your own charter The waters are teeming with sailors who own and handle their own boats with aplomb. But all too often, these same sailors who skillfully ply their local waters, reject the idea of chartering, over dif...]]> Asymmetric spinnaker skills - This sail can be key to getting downwind fast with a few skills and a bit of practice For many sailors spinnakers conjure thoughts of mayhem, chaos and shouting. Anxiety reigns over some at the prospect of the windward and leeward marks approaching and the skipper calling for a set or ...]]> Multihull sailing for monohull sailors - Thinking differently is the key to getting the most out of more hulls A sailboat is a sailboat, right? In general, the answer is yes, but if you’re looking to maximize performance and sailing pleasure the differences between monohulls and multihulls, make a big d...]]> Installing a boiler for cold-weather sailing - Heating Quetzal for high-latitude sailing is a complicated project with a big payoff Many sailors dream of sailing in the islands with sandy beaches and warm trade winds, but some of the most exciting and rewarding sailing is found in colder climates. Sailing was never meant to be com...]]> Race your cruising boat - It doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to get out on the race course Almost every local weeknight racing series has a cruising division filled with sailors looking for an excuse to get out on the water and away from life’s demands. The idea of racing might seem daunt...]]> Diesel engine care - Diesels are tough machines that can provide power for the life of a boat if treated properly The marine diesel engine is an amazing piece of machinery. These engines are reliable, safe and require minimal maintenance. If you look after just a few things, your engine can easily run for 10,000 ...]]> How to get help in an emergency - Getting assistance at sea starts with knowing how to reach help Days on the water are often great, but things can go wrong. When they go wrong, your ability to get help is determined by your communication ability, and it’s important to know  the gear and co...]]> Get new crew and be great crew - Owners need sailors and sailors need boats; create great sailing relationships that last Sailing is haunted by a problem that, on its face, seems very easy to solve. Many owners have a hard time finding people to go sailing with them and sailors new to the sport have a hard time finding b...]]> Make the most of a charter briefing - Tap into charter staff knowledge to turn a good charter into a great one Charter briefings—those meetings with charter base staff that help familiarize you with the boat and the cruising grounds—can feel like a hurdle that has to be overcome to get underway, but it’s...]]> New season, new paint - A fresh bottom paint job and a topside touchup will have your boat looking and sailing great A protected and fair boat bottom looks good, but it’s the performance-related benefits that make a good bottom job worth the work, and the price.The first step in any bottom job is choosing the...]]> Replacing standing rigging - Quetzal’s rig gets a top to bottom refresh in preparation for a some big passages Quetzal is ready for thousands more miles of ocean passages following a standing rigging refit.Standing rigging is not set it-and-forget-it equipment; it requires maintenance. All that shiny stainless...]]> Reduce the roll - Take some motion out of the ocean for a good night’s sleep at anchor Every time we post a photo of our boat at anchor we immediately get asked “What’s that off of your spinnaker pole?” The answer is simple: it’s insurance that we will get a good night of sleep....]]> Splicing three-strand line to chain - A smooth transition from rope anchor rode to chain is a necessity, and in need of frequent inspection The best way to attach three-strandline to chain is with a thimble and screw-pin shackle. The shackle provides a large, smooth radius for the rope, as well as providing chafe protection. A shackle can...]]> Jury-rigging steering - Losing steering is an emergency but good seamanship skills can lead to a fix to get you home Losing steering is an emergency, but it’s one that you can prepare for by having a plan tucked away in the back of your head. When a boat loses steering you know it quickly. Sometimes there’s clun...]]> Understanding sail trim - Proper trimming goes beyond getting the telltales to fly and sheeting until it stops luffing If music is how we feel math, then sailing is how we live physics. And sail trim, like playing an instrument, is our touchpoint with the medium. In fact, apart from steering a sailboat, which is one o...]]> Selecting the right propeller for your boat - Choosing the correct propeller will give you the best of all worlds for performance sailing, club racing, motor sailing or motoring Should you ditch your fixed propeller? If your goal is to sail or motor to your destination more quickly, whether to the anchorage for cocktails or to your first waypoint on a passage, then a folding ...]]> DIY canvas repair - Get the most life out of your canvas work with easy repairs you can do yourself Canvas doesn’t last forever. UV rays, wind and regular wear take their toll on sail covers, biminis, dodgers and more. Replacement is an investment, but there’s a good chance your canvas work can ...]]> Sailing safe on a multihull - The monohull rules don’t necessarily apply to multihulls, so understand the difference before you set sail There was a time when multihulls were enough of an oddity that they’d routinely turn some heads as they entered the harbor. Sailors have now embraced the many benefits of multihulls, and more and mo...]]> Seeing better at night - Night vision devices can be an important tool in safe sailing in the dark Although night-vision technology has been available to sailors for many years, most people find their first purchase a bit daunting. And for good reason: there’s a great deal to know and understand....]]> How to polish a hull back to a super shine - Modern marine paints don’t take well to buffing, but polishing with a ceramic coating can bring new life to old paint jobs Marine paint has come a long way. Modern paints are amazing, they are shiny and colorful, abrasive resistant and survive many years under the punishing rays of the sun. They stand up well, but over ti...]]> How to charter safely - Chartering has changed in the time of Covid-19, but there are plenty of ways to stay safe onboard Like everything else, chartering has changed in the pandemic. Charter companies have adapted to help keep customers and staff safe, but more importantly they have found ways to help sailors feel comfo...]]> Understanding boat insurance - Navigate the complicated waters of insuring your boat amidst hurricanes, fire and other damage When a big storm pounds across a boat-packed harbor, some sailors shrug off the prospect of serious damage or total loss with words like, “Hey, no worries. My boat is insured.” While that may be ...]]> Docking under power - Become a docking master by understanding the mechanics at work in getting a boat in a slip Even the most competent sailor may bristle at pulling into a tight slip with a strong cross breeze. But understanding the mechanics at play in docking a boat make smooth landings far easier.Sailboats ...]]>