Keep Her Running

Here is an introduction to your annual diesel engine maintenance program  (published April 2014) Taking care of your diesel engine(s) is one of the fundamental jobs on any cruising boat. We say engines with an “s” because many skippers have catamarans with two primary diesels and many monohull owners also

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Spring Safety Checks

Commissioning for the upcoming season is the perfect time to inspect your boat's safety equipment  (published April 2014) As springtime rolls around and we start to get our boats ready for the upcoming season, we turn our attention to doing the usual chores; bottom paint, varnish, engine maintenance and all

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Leave and Return with Peace-of-Mind

A guide to decommissioning and commissioning your boat in a foreign port  (published April 2014) A high percentage of cruisers we meet each year plan on leaving their boats in a safe place and flying home, often once a year. Avoiding cyclone season in the Pacific and hurricane season in

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Water of Life

How to get, store and use one of our most precious resources while cruising  (published March 2014) Water is useful stuff. We like to drink it, wash with it and clean things with it—pretty much in that order. And the abundant liquid we float on is second best for these

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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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Radio Check

A guide to VHF radio communication and your safety  (published February 2014) In the ever-evolving age of modern marine electronics, the humble VHF still stands out as one of the most simple and effective communication tools we have aboard. Whether using it to hail for a bridge opening, to call

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Satellite Phones at Sea

Voice and data communications has never been easier for cruisers  (published February 2014) The call came in on schedule from Lime’n at sea. “Can you hear me?” Tony called into the handset of the Spot Globalstar phone. “Loud and clear,” I answered from the relative safety of my desk at

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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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Gift Ideas for Sailors

Here are a few products that we identified at this fall's boat shows as unique and worth a look for the serious blue water cruiser  (published December 2013) Colligo Marine - Soft shackles and snatch blocks It is fairly evident that the future of sailboat rigging is in modern, high-tech

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Sew What? Sew Everything!

Learn how to choose materials and sew canvas throughout your boat  (published December 2013) Over the last winter before we took our Pearson 424, Regina Oceani, back to saltwater after three years of refitting in a Colorado cornfield, we focused our work on the topside canvas. SETTING UP Before starting

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