Online Help for Autumn

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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.

Winterizing

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

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

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

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, 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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