Stroll through your local marina, and youll likely see plenty of resurrected, vintage sailboats sporting fresh paint and new rigging, but all too often, antique mainsheet blocks have somehow escaped the upgrade. Part of the reason for this oversight is that the sheaves get only an occasional, no-load test spin, and all but the most severely deteriorated pass the scrutiny. A mainsheet tackle upgrade can be a relatively inexpensive investment that pays high dividends in improved sail efficiency. Practical Sailor tested eight 4:1 mainsheet tackle systems sized for 20- to 30-foot sailboats to find out which is the best. The test field included fiddle blocks and fiddle blocks with cams from Antal, Garhauer, Harken, Ronstan, and Selden.
Lifejackets and Harnesses
For this test, we rounded up six high-performance, U.S. Coast Guard certified Type III personal flotation devices (PFDs) designed for children (50 to 90 pounds) participating in active sailing and other watersports. The test lineup comprised life jackets from five manufacturers:...
When boats are buttoned up in humid climates, the battle against mildew begins. With the goal of keeping onboard humidity below 65 percent, we compared compressor dehumidifiers and thermo-electric dehumidifiers, two active systems for removing moisture, with...
In the course of writing five books about accidents and survival at sea, Michael Tougias interviewed many survivors who shared with him the things they would have done differently, as well as what helped them survive. They did this to help prevent accidents and to help those who...
Inside Practical Sailor Blog
May 21, 2013
Before you fire up ye ol iron genny for the first smoke-belching run out to the mooring, to the dock, or to the fuel station (I sure hope its not to the pumpout station), you might want to think about your alternator belt. It's another one of those inexpensive engine parts that often gets overlooked until it's too late.