Pro Tips to Hauling Out

Once a boat has been shored and blocked, its a good idea to layer tarps or plastic sheeting beneath it. That keeps cleaners, paint, paint removers, and other chemicals from contaminating the ground. Layering the tarps means you can remove a soiled one and have a clean surface to kneel or stand on.

Gearing Up for Winter Sailing

While many North American sailors have already hauled out their boats for winter, there are plenty of cold-weather diehards who refuse to bow to the season. In a recent issue of Practical Sailor, contributor Drew Frye shares his tips for sailing year round above the frost-line. It has always seemed a shame to me that the great majority of boats in the country are only used in the summer," says Frye, who sails through the winter on Chesapeake Bay. "[In winter] I have the waters virtually to myself.

Homemade Mildew Preventers That Really Work

If youre getting ready to put your boat into storage in a wet or humid location, then youll probably be interested in some of the cheap and easy mildew "cures" we've come upon in our testing. PS tester Drew Frye made a pleasant little discovery when he was researching and testing various anti-mildew protectants. Two inexpensive homemade concoctions did as well as or better than retail formulas that are 20 to 100 times more expensive.

In Search of the Magic Spray

Given boaters' wide range of expectations for anti-corrosion sprays, it is simply impossible for one spray to fit all our needs. Some spray petroleum products are good for loosening bolts, some seal electrical connections, some protect against corrosion, some even claim to improve conductivity. Unfortunately, not all of these sprays live up to their lofty claims.

Choosing a Sailmaker

If you are planning to add a new mainsail or genoa during the Northern hemisphere winter, now is the most likely time to be able to negotiate a good price. While the migration to high-volume lofts abroad has smoothed the peaks and valleys of sail prices, there are still seasonal bargains to be had. Generally, the lull occurs October through December. By the time spring rolls around and the sailmakers find themselves swimming…

Refinishing Your Boat’s Non-skid Deck

Although you can allow your varnish and hull paint to fade, crack, or peel with no more penalty than the disdain of those who mistake shine for soul, you dont want to let your non-skid deck paint lose its grip. Even the most soulful boat evokes a sense of pity if its owner is lying flat on their back asking for help.

Fuel Storage Tips for Sailors

Sometimes it is not what has been added to your fuel that matters, but what is missing. Anywhere between 5 to 20 percent of the contents of a portable or installed polyethylene tank can vanish during the course of a year, the result of breathing losses and permeation. The remaining fuel is lower in octane, contains fewer of the volatiles that are so essential for easy starting, and has reduced solvency for gum and varnish. It often looks perfectly good, but is perfectly rotten and potentially harmful as fuel.

Bracing for Cold and Wet Sailing

As any cold-weather sailor will tell you, the battle against the elements involves more than just bibs and a jacket. Keeping out the wind and wet begins with underlayers, boots, and gloves. Whether youre dreaming of high latitude adventures, or just want to keep sailing through October, weve got you covered. Here is a summary of past reports on cold-weather sailing apparel.

Buyers Beware of Post-Storm Bargains

If you are in the market for a used boat and live where winter storage is the norm, now is probably one of the best times to bargain in North America. The owner is looking at another year of storage bills for a boat he no longer wants, and he knows that trying to sell a boat thats buttoned down for the winter is like trying to sell a house thats under a circus tent. However, if you are anywhere near the pathway of last years Hurricane Matthew, that bargain boat might well turn out to be your worst nightmare.

Caring for Encapsulated Ballast Keels

If your boat has an encapsulated iron keel, don't get lulled into believing that you are completely free of keel worries. Although you are...

Beware of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless propane water heaters carry serious risk of causing carbon-monoxide poisoning or oxygen depletion when mounted in a tight or sealed space. Because a boat is more tightly sealed than a shoreside home, the carbon monoxide is more likely to become trapped.