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Practical Sailor

Connecting Very Small Wires on Boats

If new LED lights or marine electronics are your horizon, you'll soon find yourself tangling with tiny wire connections that seem so fragile it's hard to imagine any crimp or connector providing the reliability we need in marine systems. Although it's fairly easy to create a reliable crimp or connection between size AWG 12 wires used to power many 12-volt accessories, once the wire sizes start creeping down into AWG 22 size commonly used in data cables and LED lights, creating robust connections requires some specialized tools and techniques.
Practical Sailor

Building a Better Boat Fender

My main problem with boat fenders is that they appear to violate the cardinal rule of cruising: any object you bring aboard should serve at least two purposes (the way your crewmate's favorite yellow shirt makes a great Q flag). A fender, however, does only one job-cushion the blow between the hull and something hard-and then it swallows up valuable lazarette or anchor locker space when that one job is not required.
Practical Sailor

PS Advisor: Belaying Safety for Mast Climbing

Mast climbing accidents have occurred because the crew member either misunderstood or did not perform their duties attentively and properly. Belaying should be considered...
Practical Sailor

Clean and Shine Surprises

An entire category of cleaning agents has sprung up to deal with waterline stains, so we’re always curious about new products (see “Practical Sailor...
Practical Sailor

Rhumb Lines: Salute to the Miracle Glues

In a stick-built boat, a shipwright builds piece-by-piece the interior furnishing—lockers, berths, settees, etc. The interior structures on contemporary boats, by comparison, are often...