A Little PS Winter Reading


With winter upon us, and boats sitting on the hard in many places, its a good time to troubleshoot or update systems, and to make a to-­do list for the off-season and pre-season.

Stay Up to Date

Its never a bad time to update the software for your onboard electronics, but before you do, be sure to read the Pain-free Marine Electronics Update blog post (Inside Practical Sailor, March 31, 2015), as well as the May 2015 article, Playing with Cards, an extensive look at which digital-media storage cards are compatible with various marine electronics.

Dry storage

Looking for ways to keep your cabin dry during off-season storage, and to prevent that musty, mildew smell? There are a number of de-humidifying methods and products available, but good ventilation is the most effective. Other options include electric dehumidifiers (PS June 2013) and absorbent chemicals, or desiccan’ts (PS November 2012). Testers evaluated anti-mildew protectants in the November 2013 issue and mold-inhibiting products in June 2010, as well as commercial mold-cleaning products in the January 2009 issue.

Boat Stink

If you’re battling boat stink of the holding-tank variety, be sure to read our tips for stopping stink in the May 21, 2015 blog post, along with the many sanitation system product tests we’ve done in recent years. The December 2013 issue offers a 30-month update on sanitation hose and holding-tank vent filter tests; we reviewed holding tank treatments in the February 2012 issue; and offered advice on cleaning holding tanks in the November 2015 PS Advisor. You’ll find some of these articles and other useful info in our Marine Sanitation ebook series, which is available at www.practical-sailor.com/books.

Gift Shopping

Did those holiday gifts fall flat? A do-over is easy at PS online. Be sure to browse through our past Chandlery articles, which highlight new and innovative sailing gear. If you’re short on time, check out our online bookstore, www.practical-sailor.com/books, where you can select from the dozens of sailing resources that PS editors recommend, as well as Practical Sailors ebooks and subscription products.

Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and writer-photographer Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


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