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Practical Sailor

Ground Tackle Inspection Tips

Your anchoring system is only as strong as its weakest component, which includes not only the rode, but also shackles, splices, mooring bitts, cleats—in short, any gear used to secure your boat while at anchor. Proper maintenance includes inspection of these as well as...
Practical Sailor

Taking Care of Your 12-Volt Lead-Acid Battery Bank

Marine boat batteries can fail due to various reasons, and understanding these potential failure modes is crucial for ensuring their reliability. Here are some common ways 12-volt lead-acid marine batteries can fail: Sulfation: This occurs when lead sulfate crystals build up on the battery plates due...
Practical Sailor

Waste Not is the Rule. But How Do We Get There?

Along with sustainable sailing, green boating, and ocean conservation, you've probably heard the term "zero waste." And on the surface, for me, at least, zero waste sounds impossible. Surely, we sailors have to generate some trash, some garbage, some waste, right? But cruisers, and...
Practical Sailor

How to Perform Your Own Pre-Buy Inspection

Boat buying is an exciting, maddening exercise that can test the tolerance of even the most patient sailor. Much of the maddening part has to do with trying to ferret out a boat’s problems before buying (and thereby making them your own). Obviously, you should...
Practical Sailor

Cabo Rico’s Classic Cutter

If we made a short list of traditional-looking cruising boats with trailboards and oodles of teak that dreamy-eyed readers most want to know about, the Cabo Rico 38 would be near the top. Others of her ilk, like the Canadian-built Gozzard 37 and 44,...
Practical Sailor

Living Aboard with an Alcohol Stove

When we downsized from a cruising cat to a sporty trimaran, we also downsized to an Origo stove. Familiar to many small-boat sailors, the simple stove has a reservoir that you fill with fuel. A wick draws fuel up from the reservoir to the...
Practical Sailor

Choosing the Right Fuel for Your Alcohol Stove

By law, ethanol is subject to considerable taxes and restrictions on sale unless denatured (rendered undrinkable) by adding solvents or other unpalatable ingredients. The list of ingredients used for denaturing is long and contains many toxic solvents, including acetone, benzaldehyde, n-butyl alcohol, methyl isobutyl...
Practical Sailor

Penetrating Epoxy—Another Marketing Gimmick?

In “Stopping Wood Rot,” December 2023, Practical Sailor busted the myth that you can reliably seal wood with epoxy. Some sailors have suggested that penetrating epoxy is different because it soaks into the wood. True, penetrating epoxies can soak into cracks, rotten wood, and very...
Practical Sailor’s online archives features dozens of bottom paint tests.

The Best Tools for Bottom Painting

In the quest for speed, sailors endlessly debate sail trim, the best cloth, the hottest cut, and which folding prop will do everything. In reality, nothing slows you down more than a dirty bottom, the primary motivation behind Practical Sailor’s trademark bottom paint trials. A...
Practical Sailor

Diesel Performance Additives

We think of ourselves as sailors, but we all depend on reliable power to propel us in and out of harbor, through calms and often to assist in storms. A good diesel can provide 10,000 hours or more of faithful power, but this depends,...
600-watt solar panel system on Summer Twins 28 sailing catamaran Caribbean Soul 2. (Photo/ Clifford Burgess)

Thinking Through a Solar Power Installation

The practical aspects of your solar panel system will be governed by the design and size of your sailboat, your overall project budget (% DIY project) and how you currently use your sailboat versus your future plans for your boat. The intent of this...
The top stanchion was treated with stainless steel cleaner Citrisurf 77, while the bottom part is untreated and is rusting.

The Hidden Maintenance Problems That Can Ruin Your Day: Part 1

What jobs can push down on your ‘to-do’ list for later, and will there come a time when you really regret doing that? Sometimes the answer to that question is obvious. If the engine won’t start or the main halyard fell in a heap...
Practical Sailor

Hallberg-Rassy 42 Used Sailboat Review

European boats exported to the United States are generally of above-average quality, simply because the associated costs of marketing and shipping are more easily absorbed in higher cost products. Examples include the Trintella from the Netherlands and Hallberg-Rassy from Sweden. These last are exclusively...
Practical Sailor

Anchor Rodes for Smaller Sailboats

The usual advice for anyone seeking all-rope anchor rode is usually to just get some three-strand nylon anchor. The makes sense. Three-strand nylon is inexpensive, wears best, and is easy to splice. But one size, or even one type of rope, does not necessarily...
Practical Sailor

FULL INTERVIEW: How To Buy Sails With Joe Cooper

Join us for the full interview with Joe Cooper on sails. Joe shares his knowledge of sail fabrics, sail manufacturing, and sail selection for us based on our boats, what we aim to use them for, and how long we plan to make our...

An Italian Go Fast Sailboat – The Viko S 35 |...

Looking to buy a 35-40 foot sailboat? Considering a Viko S 35? See a Viko S35 for sale? What are the pros and cons...