A mainsail halyard shackle needs to be as reliable as an on/off switch on a table saw. Its a one-act pony thats counted on to perform perfectly each and every time. These essential shackles fly under the radar and have become so much a part of every sailors routine that they are simply taken for granted. They terminate mainsail, mizzen, and foresail halyards aboard sailboats ranging from dinghies to mega yachts. We become so familiar with the hardware, that idiosyncrasies like a slightly bent clevis pins, damaged threads, or a misshapen stamped fork opening are tolerated.
After the roller-furling jib, the most valued piece of gear aboard for many sailors is the autopilot. So fond of autopilots are skippers and first mates, many even name their unitsOtto the autopilot, Joshua (after infamous sailor Joshua Slocum),...
Systems & Propulsion
Protecting marine water systems from freeze damage is a deceptively simple goal. The terminology and various product claims can be confusing, and what seems like a good common-sense decision can lead to trouble. We tend to think that all water systems are the same; that boats as...
Personal Gear & Apparel
During the 12-month period from September 2013 through August 2014, Practical Sailor evaluated dozens of boating products, ranging from autopilots and water heaters to hose clamps and sanitation hose. The following products not only earned Practical Sailors Best Choice...
Inside Practical Sailor Blog
by Darrell Nicholson on August 18, 2014
The worst squalls we encountered struck near Papua New Guinea, where vicious, but short-lived storms always seemed to arrive on the blackest nights and brought torrential rain. We usually tried to reduce sail early, but if we were caught off guard, our usual tactic was for Theresa to take the tiller and run before first gust, blanketing the jib with our gaff main while I shimmied out on the bowsprit and dropped the yankee. Of course, modern boats with a roller-furling jib make dealing with squalls much easier, but as I found last week, that ease can breed complacency.