Smoke Signals, Morse Code or …

The boats on which we sail are not the only things that have evolved demonic speeds. Modern offshore communications have developed right along with them.  (published February 2015) With spray flying up to the lower spreaders, we roared down the face of a 50-foot wave, surfing at speeds between 30

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The Major Refit

Time and miles have taken their toll. It's time to manage a refit to all your boat's essential systems.  (published Ocdtober 2014) The miles have slipped beneath the keel, the storms have been endured, and the sunsets have been enjoyed. Periodic routine maintenance has kept your boat up to its

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Learning the Ropes

Lines run here, there and everywhere on a sailboat. It's worth knowing what their properties are and how best to use them.  (September 2014) A few years ago, as I was wandering the docks and checking out the fleet of Open Class 60s, I noticed that there weren’t any shackles

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The Dark Art of Weather Anaylsis

How learning the basics of weather can keep you in the right spots while on passage  (published July 2014) I stood there, facing the seated crowd of sailors and asked,  “How many of you have a basic minimum or less understanding of how to read a weather map?” At least

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Solitude, Self-Reliance, Serenity

Wheter alone or in the company of one or two others, shorthanded sailing means spending time on deck, alone and responsible for the safety of everyone else aboard  (published June 2014) It’s not always easy. In fact, sailing single or shorthanded can be exhausting at times. When confronted by heavy

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Dressed to the Nines

(published May 2014) Thirty-five years passes in a blink when looking back. Cell phones were non-existent. Few beyond the Department of Defense had a computer—and those required a room-sized space to grind out a few relatively simple solutions. It’s little wonder that high tech sailing clothes for most people consisted

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Blowout!

Sail repairs at sea are not a matter of "if" but "when"...since sails that are used hard offshore will eventually need your tender loving care  (published April 2014) As a team, we had crossed the North Atlantic twice and sailed from England to South Africa without a serious equipment failure.

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When Your Steering Fails

The best way to avoid steering problems is to maintain the equipment. But you also need to have a Plan B if it does fail.  (published March 2104) Winds were brisk at 40 knots and the waves were large as we beam reached across the Southern Ocean on the Whitbread

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