Beyond the Ditty Bag

Essential things every sailor should bring along when sailing on someone else's boat  (published December 2014) By now, the contents of a sailor’s ditty bag have been thoroughly discussed in countless articles. Every sailor knows how many hats—and what kind—they should bring, ways to sort and separate wet and dry

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Silent Running

Re-powering a 36-ketch with an electric motor  (published November 2014) When my diesel engine’s exhaust manifold, raw water header tank, and other critical and expensive systems collectively showed terminal stages of corrosive failure in late 2010, I was faced with a very costly decision: purchase new parts for the aging

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Bicycling While Cruising

Carrying a bike aboard can be extremely useful and nprovide you with additional enjoyment as you cruise  (published October 2014) One of the main joys of cruising, for me at least, is exploring the various places I visit. My absolute favorite way to do this is by bicycle. Nothing puts

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Get the Most from the Sun and Wind

A quick guide to maximizing your energy independence  (published June 2014) For decades now, solar and wind power have reliably provided inexpensive energy to cruisers. It’s not simply that the concept of harnessing power from the elements is inherent to the concept of cruising on a sailboat, it’s that these

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Getting the Best Wi-Fi on the Water

Understanding Wi-Fi boosters and antennas  (published April 2014) Along with GPS, satellite phones, and SSB radios with PACTOR modems, Wi-Fi boosters are another miracle of communications that are of tremendous benefit to sailors. Most recreational vessels, even those inhabited year-round, are not at sea anywhere close to the majority of

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SSB Email and Weather Made Easy

An instant guide to receiving SSB email and weather at sea  (published February 2014) SSB radios are one of the most useful tools for sending and receiving information while offshore or in remote locales. Due to their long range (several thousand miles is quite common), independence from complex networks or

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Navigation System Backups

Know where you are when your most important systems fail  (published January 2014) It’s a question of if, not when your main navigation equipment fails. Of course, it usually tends to do so right when you need it most, such as just after you’ve committed to shooting that chancy inlet

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Essential Offshore Gear

The SSB Radio demystified: Part Two  (published June 2012) Heard the SSB is too complicated to install or learn to use? Think again. Modern SSB radios are no harder to learn than your TV set, and new gear allows them to be installed far easier than before, at lower cost

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Essential Offshore Gear

The SSB radio, demystified  (published April 2012) SSB radios are king when it comes to reliable, long-range communications. Above and beyond satellite phones, the SSB gives you the unparalleled ability to communicate to many other listeners simultaneously, requires no service contracts, and provides a wealth of information to you at

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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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