Inside Practical Sailor

About Inside Practical Sailor

Inside Practical Sailor offers a personalized look inside whats happening at Practical Sailor magazine. Heres where youll find news about upcoming tests, previews of new products, and opinions on all things sailing related.

Your Nautical Chart Prices Just Doubled

The price for U.S. nautical charts of the world effectively doubled on May 1, when the Federal Aviation Authority stopped distribution.

Don’t Trash that Old Garmin 48 GPS!

I was rummaging around the dead letter office at Practical Sailor and came across this bit of advice tucked away in our old Mailport files. Knowing that many Practical Sailor readers, like me, are quite content with a set of charts and a basic GPS showing position, course and speed data, I thought it would be a good idea to resurrect this handy tip. Hopefully, it reaches you before that ye ol Garmin gets chucked out during some overzealous spring cleaning.

Google Sky Map for Sailors

My brother-in-law showed up for an Easter weekend reunion with his new Android phone and a cool little app that I wish I had when we were cruising the Pacific: Google Sky Map. Im not sure whether a similar product is available for the iPhone, but I imagine it is. Practical Sailor recently profiled a number of navigation apps for the iPhone in our April 2010 issue.

Tips on Preventing Mildew Growth on Boats and Sails

Ive been growing several interesting varieties of mold and mildew at home. It is glamorous work, I know. While my wife, Theresa, disagrees, I know that you understand. This Practical Sailor project led me to our last test of mildew cleaners, and some helpful tips for keeping mildew at bay.

Fast Cats on the Horizon

In the wake of last years article on performance-oriented monohulls, readers requested more coverage of multihulls. That report will be in the May issue, but for those West Coast Florida readers who can't wait that long, you might want to head down to Bokeelia, Fla. , where Ben Hall of Hall Spars is hosting the Admirals Cup, an event for A-Cats, an exciting open class of small catamarans

Traditional Sailboats: Bewitched by Some Sharp-looking Sharpies

I was scouting locations for a video Tuesday down at Historic Spanish Point near our offices, when I was magnetically drawn to the hard-chine sharpies gracing the waterfront.

Gear Graveyard: Expired EPIRB Batteries, Obsolete EPIRBS

We received the letter below yesterday from Practical Sailor reader Arnold Rowe. He was kind enough to let us share it (with some minor edits of his well-expressed and understandable ire), with the hopes of raising awareness of the limited service life of 406 EPIRBs. Having had a similar experience years ago with the torpedo-sized RLB23 (which set me back more than a $1,000 in the 90s) I can sympathize. The now obsolete RLB23 is officially consigned to Practical Sailors Gear Graveyard, and I expect a series of other newly obsolete EPIRBs to join it.

Cobra Handheld VHF with Cell Phone Capabilities

Cobra has been coming out with some interesting radio products at fairly affordable prices. Weve tested several of their products in recent years, and although they didnt always come out on top, theyve been very competitively priced. Their $100 submersible HH325, Practical Sailors top pick in our test of budget-priced submersible VHFs and fixed mount radios, has held up well in long-term testing. Another Cobra handheld, priced at about $150, compared closely with the higher-end portable VHFs.

First Look at Interlux’s latest marine coatings

As Practical Sailor reported in the one-year update for our long-term wood finishes test in the December issue, Interlux Yacht Paints recently released three new exterior varnishes: Perfection Plus, a clear two-part polyurethane; Schooner Gold, a high-viscosity, quick-building varnish; and Compass, a fast-drying hybrid of classic tung oil and polyurethane.