Live It, Learn It

Hands-on sail repair and maintenance with Carol Hasse and crew  (published April 2013) Though my home was moored in the shadow of Carol Hasse’s front door at Port Townsend Sails, I didn’t feel the need to dig out the tape recorder for our meeting. The objective wasn’t to delve into

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Mast Hysteria

What to look for in your rig before heading offshore (published April 2013) Everything has its place, purpose and importance on an offshore quality sailboat. But when completing a blue water passage, nothing could be more essential to your safety and success than your standing and running rigging. With a

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Up, Up and Away

Tips and tricks for going aloft safely  (published February 2013) Climbing a sailboat’s rig is not something that prudent sailors should have to do on a regular basis, especially at sea. But at some point, every self-sufficient cruiser will need to climb his or her mast in order to perform

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Nav System Basics

Three options for building the perfect nav system for your boat and your budget  (published January 2013) Over the past five years, we have seen quite a bit of consolidation among marine electronics companies. As these mergers and acquisitions have been digested, there has been a lot of standardization of

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Surefire Survey Strategies

Getting the most out of every type of boat evaluation  (published December 2012) If only we knew then what we know now! In five years of owning our current boat, a 1981 Dufour 35, we’ve had three professional surveys of vastly differing qualities. Comparing our experiences taught us how to

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Barracuda!

A cruiser in Cuba experiences a close encounter of the predator kind  (published November 2012) We were anchored in a lovely spot in the lee of Cayo Sal on the south coast of Cuba. The islet, a mere rock about 50 nautical miles offshore, is no more than sharp limestone

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Avoid Boom Doom

Rigging a preventer or boom brake  (published November 2012) Warning: The only way to start this is with a dramatic, yet frightening reality.  “BOOM” isn’t exactly the noise it makes when it hits a crewmember. The sound is more akin to getting knocked in the head by a baseball bat.

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Year 5: What Worked, What Didn’t

(published October 2012) Setting off from Rhode Island five years ago to sail around the world, we installed a multi-page list of new equipment on our old Valiant 40. But nothing on a long range cruising sailboat stays new for long. Here is a short list of items that are

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Fitting Out for Cruising

15 top upgrades that transform your boat into a liveaboard voyager  (published October 2012) Whether you are buying a new boat through a dealer or a used boat through a broker, you will have abundant help deciding just which model is right for you and your cruising plans. But once

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