Radio Check

A guide to VHF radio communication and your safety  (published February 2014) In the ever-evolving age of modern marine electronics, the humble VHF still stands out as one of the most simple and effective communication tools we have aboard. Whether using it to hail for a bridge opening, to call

READ MORE...

Tune In

Tips for replacing tang assemblies and tuning your rig  (published January 2014) As I hoisted myself up the mast I could see rust stains on the lower starboard shroud tang and when it reached eye level I quickly noticed small hairline cracks emanating from the rust spots. There was no

READ MORE...

Bank On It

How to assess and choose the right house batteries for your boat  (published November 2013) We were reaching south halfway between Annapolis and Norfolk when the chartplotter faded and blipped off. I immediately knew the problem, low house batteries, but was puzzled because they were inspected and topped up before

READ MORE...

Safety At Sea

recommendations and consideratioins for outfitting your sailboat to go offshore  (published October 2013) With the amount of gear and opinions available on what you should or should not have, fitting out a sailboat for blue water has never been more daunting. Couple that with the highly personal nature of the

READ MORE...

The Snubber

A simple piece of cruising equipment with a big job  (published September 2013) It was around 3 a.m. and I awoke to a building breeze pushing us back on our anchor and chain. From the warmth of my bunk I could tell the wind had veered as it was predicted

READ MORE...

A World of Opportunities

Flotillas are a great way to enjoy a sailing vacation in destinations worldwide  (published August 2013) Just outside English Harbour, Antigua, Jill and I raised the sails on our chartered Jeanneau 44i and I looked at three other identical boats nearby to check how they were doing. With bright white

READ MORE...

Southern Learning

Why heading south this winter for a sailing course might be right for you  (published August 2013) Having taught everything from Learn to Sail to Race Weeks to Offshore Passagemaking classes in beautiful southern locales, one theme—besides sailing—typically appears: students aren’t just there to learn, they’re on vacation. Over the

READ MORE...

Fishing Bay, Orcas Island

In the San Juan Islands, unplanned anchorages can often be the best  48° 41.5' N 122° 54.4' W     (published July 2013) Go cruising and you usually have a well thought out plan of the anchorages you’ll use, ports you’ll visit and sights you’ll see. More often than not, though, when

READ MORE...

Small Boat, Big Lake

When two brothers venture out on Lake Michigan, the destination doesn't really matter  (published July 2013) “Make sure you’re back by next Thursday at 6:30 for the yacht club dinner!” my Grandma warned us as we left the house for the marina. Later that night and out in the middle

READ MORE...

Performance Reefing?

How to trim roller furling sails when reefed  (published June 2013) Like it or not, furling sails are the new norm. Sure, furling headsails have been around for years, and to a lesser extent so too have in-mast furling mains. But now they are commonplace on the vast majority of

READ MORE...