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Practical Sailor

The Disappearing Do-it-Yourself Boatyard

The chance of a boat owner finding an affordable do-it-yourself boatyard is becoming less likely with each passing year. What's worse, in many places where we are required to use the yard's staff or a short list of outside contractors, there is dire need for skilled workers. So, not only are we paying through the nose to have our boats fixed, but the people doing the work lack the expertise we expect for that price.
Practical Sailor

Sailboat Winter Covers: What to Look For

The approach of winter in the northern hemisphere brings with it that age-old question: How best to protect the boat from snow and ice? Already boats on Lake Superior are being pulled from the water, and sailors as far south as the Chesapeake are beginning to think about buttoning up for winter. While many power boats choose shrink-wrapping over a more permanent solution, sailboats-with their masts stepped or unstepped-are perfectly suited for reusable, custom, or semi-custom covers.
shorepower connection

Ensuring Safe Shorepower

Power pedestals are handy and safe when they match the power requirements of the boat. Thirty amps for a 30-amp boat. Fifty amps for...
boom brake

Be Careful with Boom Brakes

I love the idea of a preventer that can be engaged by pulling on just one line and that can be eased just as...
jibe prevention

Controlling Jibes and Case Studies

We are vehemently against using a boom brake to prevent a jibe. Even using them to control a jibe introduces problems, requiring that we...