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Practical Sailor

Winterizing Your Boat’s Water System

Much of your winterizing success will depend on the initial condition of your existing water system. If it is nearly sterile (effectively chlorinated water), there may be too few bacteria and fungus present for infection to start. However, if you use less than 20 percent alcohol or glycol (after dilution with water left in the system) you are at risk of biological growth; the lower the concentration the greater the risk. This is the reason why vodka and other alcohol-based winterizing fluids should be avoided. In our testing these solutions acted like an invitation to a microbial feast. 
Practical Sailor

Playing the Wind Shifts for Fun or Sport

When high-pressure dominates, it is normal for the wind direction to oscillate 15-20 degrees every 5-20 minutes. In theory, hitting the shifts correctly will...
Practical Sailor

Going Aloft with the Multi-use Prusik

At least once each season, someone should make the trip up top to inspect the rigging. There can also be more immediate needs. An...
Practical Sailor

Mailport: December 2021

IN PRAISE OF KOVER KLAMPS Thanks for this great article on winter covers (see Inside PS blog, “What to Look for in a Winter Cover”),...
Practical Sailor

8 Bells for Ted Brewer

You don’t have to spend much time in the sailing world to recognize it is filled with some of the planet’s most creative, good-spirited...
Practical Sailor

Safe Navigation in Poorly Charted Waters

I often worry that the topic of chart accuracy, which we revisit in the upcoming April issue of Practical Sailor, downplays the importance of other skills, published sources, and equipment we should use to solve a navigational puzzle. A recent bottom-scraping cruise I took along the ever-changing coast of Southwest Florida reiterated some key points regarding coastal navigation.