Big Adventures in Small Boats

April 26, 2011

I've always admired adventurers in small boats. If I were to trace my sea addiction it would likely be to Kon-Tiki, a book that fell into my hands as a boy. So I was happy this month to get the chance to spend some time aboard Kevin Jeffrey's Norseboat 21.5, the sort of craft that inspires small boat adventures. In fact, two Royal Marines were so taken by Jeffrey's Norseboat 17.5, that they sailed one through the Northwest Passage.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 11:24AM Comments (4)

A Practical Look at Waxing and Polishing Your Boat

April 19, 2011

Reader Tim Nesterak, owner of a Monk 36 trawler, had some good questions about hull-waxing this month. Recognizing that a number of our readers are facing the same challenge Tim faces—more than 3,000 square feet of oxidized hull to protect—I thought it would be a good time to re-cap hull-waxing do's and don'ts and point you to a few of our many articles on the topic. …
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 04:06PM Comments (3)

Welcome (Part II) and Meet the Skipper

April 8, 2011

In keeping with this blog's theme of offering a glimpse of what's going on "inside" Practical Sailor, this post—our second since we've revamped the new website—will offer a brief introduction to who is behind these missives. Most of the posts from the old Inside Practical Sailor blog have been transferred over here, but a few entries, including biographies of other crew at Practical Sailor have not. We'll find a home for these at the Practical-sailor.com soon.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 03:53PM Comments (1)

Welcome to the new Practical Sailor Website

March 18, 2011

Practical Sailor is pleased to announce its completely redesigned website. Practical Sailor is the independent resource for sailboat and gear tests for the serious sailor.
Posted by at 04:33PM Comments (28)

Port of San Diego Publishes Antifouling Paint Study

February 7, 2011

San Diego port officials forwarded the “Final Report on Safer Alternatives to Copper Alternatives to Antifouling Paints for Marine Vessels” to the EPA on Feb. 4. Presenting data on a wide range of alternative antifouling paints that contain limited or no harmful biocides, the 152-page report is based on both controlled panel tests and field tests on several different powerboats and sailboats that berth in the port district.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 10:04AM Comments (1)

Quickline Recalls Cast Stainless-steel Flip Swivels

December 15, 2010

Quality Marine Importer, Quickline, Recalls UFS8 Swivel Designed For Use With 1/4- and 5/16-inch Anchor Chains.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 10:18AM Comments (0)

Is Stainless Steel Really the Best Metal for Use in an Anchor?

December 15, 2010

Each time Practical Sailor conducts an anchor test, we get questions about the materials used in anchors, particularly stainless steel. Stainless steel is much less prone to unsightly and destructive oxidation than mild steel, even when it has been hot-dipped galvanized and protected by a heat-bonded zinc coating.
Posted by Darrell Nicholso at 11:06AM Comments (0)

Build Your Own Long-range WiFi Antenna for Less than $100

November 22, 2010

As most sailors have found, trying to use a typical laptop WiFi card to connect to a marina or yacht club hotspot doesn’t cut it. A more acceptable compromise is an amplified WiFi card which can theoretically boost transmission power to about 1,000 milliwatts.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 11:13AM Comments (10)

New High-Tech Rope from Yale

October 13, 2010

Tom Yale, of Yale Cordage, unveils the company’s new Ph.D. (Performance Handling Delivered) single-braid Spectra 1000/polyester line.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 11:42AM Comments (0)

Attack of the Mutant Barnacles?

August 31, 2010

Several alert Practical Sailor readers passed on news reports regarding new research by Professor Anders Blomberg at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Blomberg reports that his team, along with researchers in Finland, has discovered the gene that reacts to a medetomidine, a veterinary medicine that has been shown to prevent barnacle larvae from attaching to boat hulls.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 12:31PM Comments (0)

PS Reader’s Letter Sparks West Marine Tether Recall

June 30, 2010

In response to a Practical Sailor query regarding the design of a popular offshore safety tether, West Marine issued a voluntary recall of its tether (Model 9553512).
Posted by Ann Key at 12:43PM Comments (1)

The Ultimate Underwater Camera Housing Endurance Test

June 15, 2010

Annie Greenberg’s Associated Press story of the underwater camera housing that kept its Nikon camera in pristine condition and survived a 2,000-mile voyage, including a possible turtle attack, kept me chuckling this morning. Sounds like a good protocol for a Practical Sailor test. According to the story, the camera and its housing were lost off the coast of Aruba by a diver, only to arrive months later in Key West, Fla. The housing was encrusted with…
Posted by Darrell Nicholso at 03:09PM Comments (0)

Online Learning Worked for Me

June 14, 2010

A little voice said “check your ego at the door” when I plunked down my $700 for the Mariners Learning Systems’ online course for OUPV, Master’s 100-Ton Upgrade and Sailing Endorsement.
Posted by Tim Cole at 05:11PM Comments (0)

Abby Sunderland Awaits Rescue

June 11, 2010

Like any sailor, I was very relieved to hear that Abby Sunderland (right) was alive and well after a harrowing dismasting in the Indian Ocean. The 16-year-0ld teen was attempting to become the youngest sailor to circumnavigate when her boat was dismasted in the Indian Ocean.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 05:20PM Comments (1)

About Inside Practical Sailor

June 3, 2010

Inside Practical Sailor offers a personalized look inside what’s happening at Practical Sailor magazine. Here’s where you’ll find news about upcoming tests, previews of new products, and opinions on all things sailing related.
Posted by at 10:20AM Comments (0)

Reader Questionnaire

Which of the following best describes your approach to bottom paint?