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Practical Sailor

Better Living with USB

Standard power on cruising sailboats is 12 volts, and since the beginning of time, the standard low-voltage outlet, as a consequence, was a 12V...
Practical Sailor

Outboard Steering Tricks

Outboard powered boats can be slow to respond when maneuvering around the docks at low speed. With no prop wash over the rudder, it...
Practical Sailor

Wood Ash Absorbs Odors Best

The media serves several purposes in a desiccating toilet. It provides visual cover, draws moisture away from the solids (good wicking and coating are...
Practical Sailor

Dissecting the Desiccating Head

Our first cruising boat had a conventional portable toilet. We didn’t like it, but we made peace with it, cruising for up to two...
Practical Sailor

Exterior Wood Finish Update at 2 Years

Boxed and stored as PS went through three office moves in a short time frame, the wood samples we varnished in late 2015 finally...
Practical Sailor

Overheating in Docklines and Rodes

With hurricane season hitting full stride, many of us are going over our rope inventory, making sure we have more than enough lines to secure the boat. Chafe gear fights external friction on our lines, but how do we combat internal heat build-up? Dock lines are particularly susceptible to overheating. If the boat is exposed to short-period chop from the side, the frequency can be high and the force can exceed the 10:1 safe working limit, and even with rain or spray to cool the rope there may be significant weakening due to internal friction.