Overheating in Docklines and Rodes

With hurricane season ramping up, many of us are going over our rope inventory, making sure we have more than enough lines to secure the boat. Chafe gear fights external friction on our lines, but how do we combat internal heat build-up? Dock lines are particularly susceptible to overheating. If the boat is exposed to short-period chop from the side, the frequency can be high and the force can exceed the 10:1 safe working limit, and even with rain or spray to cool the rope there may be significant weakening due to internal friction.

Annapolis Spring Boat Show Features Great Courses for Cruising Sailors

Spring is a busy time for the cruising sailor, and it's also a good time to sharpen your skills. Sailors moored in the Annapolis...

PS First Look: Selden’s Code X Furler

In Practical Sailors last review of Code 0 furlers, in the March 2008 issue, testers found many benefits to incorporating light-air sails in a sailplan and to using a continuous furler rather than a sock to control some of those sails.

More Great Tips for Stopping Boat Stink

As our long-term test of sanitation hose winds its way through another long, hot-and progressively smellier-summer, it is a good time to think about ways to keep your plumbing system from becoming an olfactory horror. Here are some of the tips that hose manufacturers shared with us when we launched our test of sanitation hose.

Impossible Dream Finds a New Home

At about 9 p.m., the wind picked up and the temperature dropped to 56 degrees, Miamis version of the polar vortex. Sailing conservatively under staysail and main, the 60-foot catamaran ripped southward toward the city lights. Tucked behind the 18-inch wheel on the leeward hull, helmsman Harry Horgan, a wheelchair-bound sailor who founded one of the nations finest community sailing programs, squinted into the wind. To the west, the nearly full moon rose above Cape Florida Lighthouse.

Improving Roller Furling Efficiency

One of the easiest ways to improve the furling efficiency of all types of furlers is tackle the line-lead challenge. It starts with the angle that line leads on and off the drum, progresses into a sweeping arc as the line makes its way to the cockpit and ends with another change in direction that leads the line to the hands of a crew member or a winch drum.

Check Your Safety Tethers

Just as we were wrapping up the report in our December issue describing how to make your own safety tether, 60-year-old British sailor Simon Speirs went overboard and died during the Clipper Round the World Race in an accident linked to a tether safety clip failure. The race, which charges non-professional sailors to race with pro skippers, was already under scrutiny after two deaths in the previous running …

Low Friction Rings for Sailing

Our recent PS Advisor article on barber haulers illustrated an arrangement that relied on a low friction ring to control tension on the sheet. Although you can buy pre-rigged control lines that terminate with low friction rings, sailors should be able to do this themselves.

Simple Tips to Improve Boat Ventilation

As ventilation experts explore ways to make indoor spaces safer during the COVID-19 pandemic, we became curious about ventilation in our boats. As it turns out, where we install our exhaust or intake vents (portlight, hatch, or cowl) is just as important as what type of vent we use. Just as we can use the suction on the leeward side of a sail to pull the boat forward, we can use pressure differentials in the air surrounding the cabin to maximize the ventilation. Understanding the pressure differentials created by the flow of air over our boat’s deck is vital to the success of any passive ventilation scheme.

Welcome (Part II) and Meet the Skipper

In keeping with this blog's theme of offering a glimpse of what's going on "inside" Practical Sailor, this post-our second since we've revamped the new website-will offer a brief introduction to who is behind these missives. Most of the posts from the old Inside Practical Sailor blog have been transferred over here, but a few entries, including biographies of other crew at Practical Sailor have not. We'll find a home for these at the Practical-sailor.com soon.

The Tragedy of the Driverless Dinghy

In the wake of a terrible tragedy that struck a few days before Thanksgiving in Sarasota, Florida, home of the Sarasota Youth Sailing Program...