Medicine on Board

By the time you're looking for your medical kit, it's already too late to start getting prepared  (published July 2012) Racing around the world in the 1998-99 Around Alone Race, singlehanded Russian sailor Viktor Yazykov faced a potentially life-threatening situation—the abscess on his elbow required draining. Even to a former

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Finding Faults

Understanding the ins and outs of electrical circuits  (published June 2012) If anything on your boat is run by electricity, sooner or later it will fail. The corrosive combo of salt and moisture provides such a hostile mixture that it is remarkable any electronics work at all. Keeping the boat

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Correcting for Current

(published May 2012) In many inland waters, tidal current flow is a dominating factor in navigation. In special cases like the Gulf Stream, it can also be crucial in the ocean. With a working GPS, it is less of a challenge once underway because we can see directly from our

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Weather Wizardry

Sailing season is the time to be aware, and the place to start is www.weather4sailors.com  (published May 2009) We’ve all seen the headlines and read the stories. Each year, someone is caught unaware by an approaching squall, knocked down in a gale or storm, and hurt—or worse. Last year it

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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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