True Reliability

Where to look when building redundancy into your boat's systems  (published January 2014) Cruising boats are simple but contradictory things: a heap of essential, often complex, systems that you rely on for transportation, comfort and safety. Failure of a critical system at the best of times can be expensive and

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New Developments in Nautical Chart Distribution

(published December 2013) NOAA recently announced that the U.S. government is discontinuing printing of the traditional lithographic paper charts in April, 2014. The reasons given include the popularity of e-charts, and more to the point, the NOAA print on-demand (POD) paper charts have now gained wide acceptance. Agents who can

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Piloting Practice with Geocaching

  How to use this popular GPS game to become a better navigator  (published November 2013) The hobby of geocaching has been popular for many years now. In its simplest form, you hide a small container with a logbook in it, and then post the GPS coordinates of the cache

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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

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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

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True Wind from Apparent Wind

How to calculate the true wind and why it matters to sailors  (published September 2013) There are several ways to define the wind. For weather work at sea we care only about the true wind. This true wind is the speed and the direction of the wind relative to the

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Wicked Bad News!

Hurricanes aren't as entertaining in real life as they may appear on TV  (published September 2013) The warm September morning started out peacefully enough. As dawn approached, seawater was lapping up over the normally-dry parts of the low lying coastal land.  Later in the morning, as everyone went on about

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Gulf Stream Gallop

The mighty stream showed its many moods on the passage from the Bahamas to Newport, R.I.  (published July 2013) The afternoon we got away from West End, Grand Bahama, after clearing customs and immigration, the thunderclouds began to build ominously just as we sailed into the steamy waters of the

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Poles & Sprits

For downwind sailing, spinnaker poles, whisker poles and sprits enhance sailing fun and performance  (published June 2013) Downwind sailing is the course of choice for most cruisers and to enjoy this favored angle you really need downwind sails and the right poles for setting those sails. Your genoa is the

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