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)

Two New "Green" Marine Products

June 3, 2010

Practical Sailor welcomes any new technology or product that lessens boaters’ environmental impact and encourages more sustainable practices, but we’re always a little skeptical when companies unveil new “green” products. Are they truly eco-friendly innovations, or simply marketing attempts to snag consumers willing pay a little more to pollute a little less?
Posted by Admin at 04:02PM Comments (0)

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)

Your Nautical Chart Prices Just Doubled

May 28, 2010

The price for U.S. nautical charts of the world effectively doubled on May 1, when the Federal Aviation Authority stopped distribution.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 05:25PM Comments (1)

Earthquake and Tsunami Awareness and Response

April 20, 2010

John Neal and Amanda Swan Neal of Mahina Expeditions bluewater voyaging school have weathered a few earthquakes and tsunamis in their decades of teaching others aboard their Hallberg-Rassy 46 sailboat, Mahina Tiare III. In the wake of the 2009 tsunami on Samoa, they devised an earthquake/tsunami awareness and response system that they now include in the Mahina Expeditions curriculum. With the goal of helping other sailors, the Neals have allowed Practical Sailor to post this strategy here on Inside Practical Sailor.
Posted by Ann Key at 05:29PM Comments (0)

Don't Trash that Old Garmin 48 GPS!

April 13, 2010

I was rummaging around the dead letter office at Practical Sailor and came across this bit of advice tucked away in our old Mailport files. Knowing that many Practical Sailor readers, like me, are quite content with a set of charts and a basic GPS showing position, course and speed data, I thought it would be a good idea to resurrect this handy tip. Hopefully, it reaches you before that ye ol’ Garmin gets chucked out during some overzealous spring cleaning.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 09:40AM Comments (7)

Google Sky Map for Sailors

April 5, 2010

My brother-in-law showed up for an Easter weekend reunion with his new Android phone and a cool little app that I wish I had when we were cruising the Pacific: Google Sky Map. I’m not sure whether a similar product is available for the iPhone, but I imagine it is. Practical Sailor recently profiled a number of navigation apps for the iPhone in our April 2010 issue.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 09:49AM Comments (0)

Tips on Preventing Mildew Growth on Boats and Sails

March 29, 2010

I’ve been growing several interesting varieties of mold and mildew at home. It is glamorous work, I know. While my wife, Theresa, disagrees, I know that you understand. This Practical Sailor project led me to our last test of mildew cleaners, and some helpful tips for keeping mildew at bay.
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 10:13AM Comments (3)

Fast Cats on the Horizon

March 24, 2010

In the wake of last year’s article on performance-oriented monohulls, readers requested more coverage of multihulls. That report will be in the May issue, but for those West Coast Florida readers who can’t wait that long, you might want to head down to Bokeelia, Fla. , where Ben Hall of Hall Spars is hosting the Admiral’s Cup, an event for A-Cats, an exciting open class of small catamarans
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 10:50AM Comments (0)

Reader Questionnaire

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