Online Help for Autumn


It’s getting to be that time of year, when many skippers haul out or head south. Fall also heralds the beginning of boat show season. Here are some PS articles from the online archives that are suited for the season.


If temperatures in your neck of the woods requires buttoning up for the winter, be sure to check out our 2014 articles on choosing the best antifreeze: PS November 2014 and September 2014. The September 2014 antifreeze test report also includes helpful, step-by-step tips on winterizing onboard systems. Protect your boat and sails from mildew during winter haulout with the prevention tips in our May 17, 2017 blog post. Also, if you’re in the market for a winter boat cover, find out what to look for in a pre-made cover and get details on custom covers in the November 2012 PS Advisor. Do-it-yourselfers will want to read the Nov. 2, 2016 post on building your own winter cover and frame.

Heading Offshore

Online Help for Autumn

This is a good time for those lucky crews sailing south for the winter to have their life rafts inspected; youll find our report on raft inspections in the February 2013 issue. If youre heading offshore and want to invest in some new foulies for the voyage, check out our top picks in the February 2015 (mens kits) and March 2015 (womens kits) issues.

Maintenance Chores

Online Help for Autumn

Winters freeze and thaw cycles can wreak havoc on a cored hull. Before the temps start dropping, take a look at our August 2010 test of marine adhesives and get busy with those sealing and re-bedding projects. Whether youre putting the boat away in the off-season or venturing offshore, your electrical connections need protection; we tested anti-corrosion sprays in the September 2007 issue and greases in the April 2017 issue.

Before You Go

Online Help for Autumn

Boat show season is underway. But before you tap into your cruising kitty for shiny new gear, consider stopping by a used-gear chandlery; we profiled some good ones in the February 2011 issue and offered a rundown on which marine gear is safe to buy used. For show newbies, check out our boat show survival guide in the September 2014 blog post. Our recent roundup of our Editors Choice gear picks (PS September 2017) should also help as you browse the glitzy boat show aisles and docks.

Darrell Nicholson
Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on sailboats and sailing gear for more than 50 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising. Its independent tests are carried out by experienced sailors and marine industry professionals dedicated to providing objective evaluation and reporting about boats, gear, and the skills required to cross oceans. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser who has been director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division since 2005. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license, has logged tens of thousands of miles in three oceans, and has skippered everything from pilot boats to day charter cats. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida. You can reach him at