Reaching Into Your Bag of Tricks

With enough time and miles at sea, encountering problems and equipment failures is inevitable. Having the original equipment manufacturers' authorized spares and repair kits onboard is not. Regardless of those mutually exclusive constraints, getting home safely is still your responsibility  (published May 2016) After years of rigorous training and practice,

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OPB (other people’s boats)

(published April 2016) Sun sparkled on the water on a perfect late fall day as I joined my friends getting a Hallberg-Rassy 43 ready in her slip and pulling the spinnaker on deck. We were soon clear of the marina and rolling out the in-mast furling mainsail and big orange

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Doublehanding for the Distance

Shorthanded sailing presents both benefits and difficulties. Most of the difficulties can be overcome with a little forethought. Establishing a good watch system lays the foundation for problem avoidance as well as problem solving.  (published April 2016) Consensus thinking often leads one to believe that fewer crew implies fewer logistical

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Gaining an Understanding

Regardless of what you're trying to accomplish as a team or crew, clear communications is central to success  (published March 2016) Anchored off a lee shore the wind began to build around 2:00 a.m. The catamaran’s anchor had been well set in good holding ground, but as the seas stacked

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Saving Lives at Sea

The onboard medical kit  (published February 2016) After a few days ashore at a new destination everyone falls ill with a terrible flu. Is there enough medication onboard to treat everyone? While cleaning the bottom you cut your hand on an oyster and now it is looking red and inflamed,

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Another Uncertain Outcome

Getting a 48' Gunboat catamaran to Cape Hatteras in mid-December might seem like a good idea to some folks, but it could leave a great deal of risk to the imagination  (published February 2016) Anjella, a Gunboat 48 I helped to move north from Cape Town, South Africa ten years

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Digging Into the Bag of Tricks

As technology continues to drive deeper into our lives, it's important to remember that an elegant simplicity still exists with the traditional navigational tools and solutions  (published January 2016) I’m scrambling. With one and a half days before I fly to France for another transatlantic passage, I’m deeply immersed in

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Night Eyes

Never enter an unfamiliar port at night  (published January 2016) That’s the rule. Or at least that’s the rule for many passagemakers and coastal cruisers. And the prudent skipper is considered to be the one who plans landfall accordingly. The truth, though, is that even familiar ports can be difficult

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