When the King of Sweden ordered the newly launched warship Vasa to sea in 1628, he gave little thought to the stability implications of the bronze canons perched on two upper decks. Just 1,500 yards into her maiden voyage, the Vasa capsized and sank, relegating the fire power intended to be pointed at Poland to ignominiously sink in Stockholm Harbor. This was neither the first nor last case of poorly calculated vessel stability, and todays sailors, boat designers, naval architects, and boat builders continue to debate just how much stability is enough.
After a briefand for testers, much neededhiatus from testing wood finishes, we recently launched a new long-term evaluation of exterior wood coatings. Our last round of tests, a two-year death match, wrapped up in 2011. Although the test field this go-around is smaller...
Systems & Propulsion
You would think that with all the emphasis cruising sailors put on their boats and equipment, we would pay a little more attention to ensuring a clean and safe supply of water. This is less a concern in developed countries, where dockside water is safely treated or bottled water is...
Sails, Rigging & Deck Gear
Standing rigging has been evolving ever since natural fiber lines were lashed, knotted, or spliced to wooden spars, and led down to crudely fashioned, iron deck hardware. The challenge has always been the transition point where the straight-line pull (tension) changes direction,...
by Darrell Nicholson with Drew Frye on May 26, 2015
Those of you who missed Practical Sailor's report on how a weak winterizing solution can create a Sandals Beach Resort for waterborne bacteria may be noticing a pungent odor coming from your galley tap. Regardless of the cause of your onboard water woes, our favorite chemist-sailor Drew Frye offers a series of simple steps to decontaminate that tainted water tank.
- Special Report: Dissecting the Art of Staying Upright
- Exterior Wood Finishes
- Water Tank Filters
- Screw-on Rigging Terminals
Which of the following best describes your approach to bottom paint?
- I choose my own paint, but I let a professional apply (521 votes)
- I let a professional apply the paint that he (or boatyard) recommends. (329 votes)
- I choose my own paint and I apply it. (1639 votes)
- I apply paint that a local professional or boatyard recommends. (254 votes)