Pace On When the Breeze is Off

How to coax out more speed and miles when the wind goes light  (published June/July 2017) Waves of rising heat seem to distort visions of the distance, and the sounds of insects seem to increase as everything else grows more silent. The surface of the water has assumed a flat,

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Work Horse Winches

(published April 2017) If you have never pulled apart your sheet and halyard winches, you might be surprised at what simple and elegant machines they are on the inside. Winches are built around the drum on the outside that carries the sheets or lines. They come in a range of

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Modern Sailing Handling Systems

Technical and design developments have created sail handling systems that make sailing safer, easier and more fun  (published April 2017) In the last few decades, sail handling has come a long way and it has changed not only how people sail, but how long they can continue to keep sailing.

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Building a Better Cruising Sail

(published April 2017) It’s time for our semi-annual review of sail construction and material options. While most of this is well documented, an overview is handy given the bewildering variety of ways available to build a sail. In the good old days, the whole debate centered on the weight of

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Before the Wind

There are a number of options for comfortably running downwind  (published March 2017) There is nothing quite so awesome as a warm breeze at your back, your biggest spinnaker pulling strong and the horizon ahead in a wide arc like outstretched arms just waiting for you. That’s the way it

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Downwind Sails

There is nothing quite so awesome as a warm breeze at your back, your biggest spinnaker pulling strong and the horizon ahead in a wide arc like outstretched arms just waiting for you  (published October 2016) That’s the way it is for many cruisers, but for others it’s the engine

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Our Final Sail

The decision to switch from a symmetrical spinnaker to a Parasailor proved to be the right one for this cruising couple aboard their Pearson 424  (published June 2016) About six months before leaving for full time cruising, we decided to spend some time practicing with our spinnaker. We had almost

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Sail Fabrics part two

As yacht design and engineering becomes more refined with the use of exotic materials in the hull and rig, sometimes disguised to look traditional such as a carbon mast covered with a wood veneer, sailmakers are also getting in on the game building high tech sails for cruising boats  (published

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Choosing the Right Fabric For Your Sails: part one

For many years the only choice sailors had for fabric and engineering for their sails was cross-cut Dacron sails and for many years cross-cut Dacron sails suited them just fine. They were durable, aesthetically pleasing and not too costly, all good attributes in a sail. Things, however, have changed and

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