The Penny-Pinching PhD Sailor
A smaller, working marina may not be immaculate, but it’s affordable. Slips at working marinas and private slips often lease at a fraction of the rates for “yacht” yards.

The Penny-Pinching PhD Sailor


A key principle, at least from my perspective as an engineer, is knowing your boat. In 30 years of boat ownership, I’ve only used contractor services for major sail work, new canvas (only because I’ve never taken the time to learn), and hauling out. As a result, I know my boat inside out; that’s a good feeling, an important part of seamanship, a blessing when something goes bust on a cruise, and a big help when time is available but funds are thin.

Read More

  • Sails, Rigging & Deck Gear

    Controlling Porta Potty Odor

    Another consideration is that many day sailors avoid using the boat’s head at all, often going for many months at a time without needing it. When it is used, once in a blue moon, is it worth the hassle of hauling it home to clean it out, knowing that most likely it will not be...

    Read More

  • Safety & Seamanship

    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...

    Read More

  • Belowdecks & Amenities

    How to Tap and Rivet Into A Sailboat Spar

    Single taps cost about $15, though you will need a handle. A small set (#8 through ¼-inch) sells for about $60. Carbon steel taps are fine for aluminum. High speed steel is required for stainless steel. Chose “starting” taps for typical through-threading work....

    Read More