Easy Does It

The not-so-daunting process of installing thru-hulls  (published 0412) The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) has developed standards for the installation of thru-hulls. These state, in part: “When installed below the maximum heeled water line, a thru-hull must have a valve mounted so that the system will withstand a 500-pound

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To Have and To Hold

Replacing leaky holding tanks for much sweeter sailing  (published April 2012) The winter after Tony Knowles and I purchased a well-maintained 10-year-old Jeanneau 45.2, we dismantled the boat’s interior so we could inspect all of the systems, plumbing, wiring and tanks. We’d renamed the boat Lime’n—we be lime’n under da

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Decking Out the Decks

Regina Oceani's refit continues...  (published April 2012) Having gained some painting experience by refinishing the spars on our Pearson 424, Regina Oceani (January 2012), our story continues with the refinishing of the decks. If painting the masts is the equivalent of sailing the Atlantic, painting the decks is like sailing

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Remasting in the Pacific

Part 1: What goes up should never come down  (published April 2012) From a soft breeze and tropical sunshine, the sudden blast of wind dimmed the horizon and stung us with horizontal pebbles of cold rain. With eyes squinched against the precipitation, I went to turn the wheel downwind to

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Post-its Be Damned

The art and ease of tracking progress with a passage performance worksheet  (published April 2012) With each ocean passage on board Horizon, our Hans Christian 38, we’ve made a conscious effort to improve our sailing performance. Our sailing skills got better over time, of course, but a simple tool designed

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Bermuda and Beyond

Getting from the East Coast to Bermuda can present a road full of potholes  (April 2012) It’s another Bermuda Race year. That, however, is just one of the many reasons that sailors fetch up on those wreck-strewn, reef-surrounded, sandy, and yet still hospitable shores. At times, it can be a

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EPIRBs: Your “Last Best Chance”

(published February 2012) We had just settled back on the anchor in a protected coral cove after a stormy ocean passage. I glanced out the companionway to see not a sunset, but a faint disc being smothered into darkness. No green flash tonight, but there was the muffled flash of

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Serious Safety

The capsize and rescue of Rambler 100 teaches us that not every catastrophe ends in tragedy-provided we take proper, and often simple, precautions  (published February 2012) For those of us in the northern hemisphere, these colder winter months provide excellent opportunity for reflection on lessons learned from last year and

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Twist in Your Sails

How to control (and why)  (published February 2012) When sailing around with friends or clients, I’m often critical of how other vessels trim their sails. Anyone who has been aboard with me knows that the sailing instructor in me instantly diagnoses the problem and goes through the machinations to fix

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Power to Spare

Revamping an electrical system for safety's sake  (published January 2012) During our crossing of the South Pacific Ocean, we learned of at least two boats that suffered fires caused by short-circuited batteries. Weeks of constant motion can chafe insulation off of cables. During our refit in New Zealand, we were

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