Sailing Magazine - Technique Sun, 04 Jun 23 00:00:00 -0400 en hourly 1 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 ...]]> Delamination repair - Wet core is a recipe for problems, but repairing the problem is often not as hard as you may think Wet core is one of the most common problems you’ll find in boats constructed with a cored-laminate hull or deck, particularly those of a certain age. Although tackling such damage can be a messy job...]]> Co-owning a boat - Teaming up can be an affordable route to boat ownership so long as you go into it with an agreement and a sense of whether its right for you  A growing trend suggests more sailors are opting for joint sailboat ownership. Painted in broad strokes, the concept seems relatively simple: if two people own the boat, it translates to ha...]]> Steering inspection - Steering problems are serious but many can be avoided with routine maintenance Steering problems are almost always serious and can quickly rise to the level of an emergency. But most problems can be avoided with regular inspections and maintenance. Steering systems are extremel...]]> Adding a staysail - A properly rigged staysail is a great passagemaking tool Sail selection is key for offshore sailing. You need a combination that provides speed without overburdening the boat and enough flexibility that you don’t have to make frequent sail changes.A fixed...]]> Weather routing services - Having a weather router dedicated to your passage can offer valuable information and peace of mind Menacing clouds hung low in the sky, and despite it being only 3 p.m., it felt on the verge of nightfall. The radar screen was lit up like a Christmas tree, and we did our best to dodge and weave the ...]]> How to make the most of your charter - Fine-tune your charter to your liking to create the ultimate sailor’s vacation The charter business was born 50 years ago in the British Virgin Islands with six 35-foot sailboats and a dream by Charlie and Ginny Cary to help people go sailing in one of the best cruising grounds ...]]> Inflatable life jacket maintenance The following multi-tiered approach to maintenance stems from recommendations from manufacturers and the U.S. Coast Guard, and covers both hydrostatic (pressure sensing) and bobbin type (water soluble...]]>