Voyaging Tips

Securing for sea

Attaching gear to lifelines and stanchions is generally not wise and sometimes dangerous.

Emergency tillers

Emergency tillers are important items that usually appear designed with little consideration to actual use, and are often given equally little attention by their owners.

Sleep deprivation

You are headed into rough weather and thinking to yourself that you’re not going to get much sleep in the next few days.

Grabbing a mooring ball

Watching someone pick up a mooring ball has always been a source of amusement while sitting at anchor with an afternoon cocktail in hand.

Anchor chain swivels

Recently, there has been a good deal of interest in swivels placed between one’s anchor and chain.

Satellite hot spot offshore

In a recent issue, we spoke about our selection of software for our upcoming passages across the Indian Ocean (“Voyaging electronics,” July/August 2018).

Fitting a new SSB antenna

A couple of years ago, good friends from Islesboro, Maine, lost their rig overboard on their 40-foot sailboat off St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Must-have boat gadgets

You can go crazy adding all sorts of tools and gadgets to your boat, many of which you might never use.

Plugging bottom holes

Our very well-preserved 1972 Tartan 34.5 had two paddle wheel-type knot meters and two 2-inch thru-hull depth sounder transducers.

Easy-to-make fender covers

Fenders, as most sailors know, act as bumpers to keep your boat off the dock and prevent its hull from being scratched or chafed by whatever protrudes from the dock, like cement or wood pilings.

Homemade burglar alarm

The problem with all the battery-powered burglar alarms we have found at hardware stores is that the alarms were neither louder nor more frightening than a chirping canary.

Checking hoses

As a surveyor, it is my job to inspect hoses for problems as I go about my inspections.

Stuffing box inspection and replacement

The stuffing box is a critical part of the boat. It allows a driveshaft to spin through the hull without allowing water to pour into the vessel. These units are often deep down in the boat, behind the engine and with limited access.

Navigation by Google Maps

We all use charts for navigation, either paper or electronic, but undoubtedly have found that charts come in varying degrees of accuracy.

Are you over-propped?

Before heading out on a long multi-year trip, you might want to consider taking a good look at your propeller.

Sailing downwind

Under the right confluence of conditions, sailing dead downwind can be as bad as catching it on the nose.

Get set for splicing

One of the handiest little skills that I’ve picked up along the way has been splicing: three-strand, rope/chain and braided.