Rethinking Anchor Shank Strength

One topic often overlooked in any anchor discussion is shaft strength. Yet, as anyone who has spent any time around boats knows, bent anchor shafts are hardly rare. Sure, sometimes the anchor gets wedged into a crevice where bending might be excused, but were hearing about more and more anchors bending under what would be considered normal use.In the upcoming April issue of Practical Sailor, contributor Jonathan Neeves explores this topic in great detail. In his view, the reasons behind bent shafts are many.

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.

The View from Havana

Do they check your boat when you go back to America?They do, I said, though I had no idea if anyone did. And I think the Cuban customs officials bring dogs on board, before we leave, to make sure no one is hiding on the boat.

Corrosion Protection: Ethanol Fuel Additive Test

Those boatowners preparing their gasoline-powered boats for winter storage will want to take a look at our gas additive test which compares the corrosion fight characteristics of such products as Biobor EB, Valv Tect, Sta-bil Marine Formula, Mercury QuickStor, Sea Foam and others. It is important to keep in mind that additives cant solve real gasoline-quality problems. At best, consider additives to be only a final tweaking opportunity, something to supplement the following fuel-management practices.

Coast Guard Nav Light Safety Alert

The U.S. Coast Guard has determined that an increasing number navigation lights being used on sailboats do not meet the basic requirements for these lights, making them less visible to nearby ships. According to the Coast Guard's Inspections and Compliance Directorate, part of the problem is that some boat owners are retrofitting existing incandescent nav lights with LED lights, or LED components that were designed for powerboats.

Ten Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Alternator

Before you fire up ye ol iron genny for the first smoke-belching run out to the mooring, to the dock, or to the fuel station (I sure hope its not to the pumpout station), you might want to think about your alternator belt. It's another one of those inexpensive engine parts that often gets overlooked until it's too late.

I Have Seen the Future of Cruising

The spectacle of computer-molded carbon fiber screaming across San Francisco Bay in the America's Cup 34 has brought heaps of attention to the sport of sailing, and if one more kid signs up for Opti camp this summer because of it, I suppose it is worth it-even if he does infuriate the rules committee in his next Pinewood Derby. Just as importantly, I can see all sorts of ways the AC trend toward automation can trickle down and revolutionize cruising sailing. Here are just some of the Cup-inspired inventions I envision for our brave new future-when the virtual world is more real than we would ever want it to be.

Florida’s Anchoring Debate Heats Up

The state of Florida is at it again. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission held a couple of poorly advertised workshops earlier this month to discuss the future of anchoring in the state. The public hearings made it clear that the state is once again trying to tighten anchoring restrictions in coastal areas, particularly in urban areas along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Roll-bar Anchors in Mud

The Fortress anchor tests bore out a commonly known fact: Danforth-style anchors, which feature flukes that are proportionally larger than other types of anchors of the same mass, tend to hold better than older, plough-style anchors in soft mud. One of the most interesting results-although not entirely surprising given the nature of the bottom-was the poor performance of some reputable anchors that have done well in past tests. Some anchors refused to set at all.

Tips on Caring for Marine Canvas

Canvas dodgers and biminis are the hallmark of a cruising yacht, keeping the sun at bay and allowing the crew to dodge the worst of the weather. On board, canvas also protects sails, windows, and machinery. Collectively, these represent a substantial financial investment, and we wanted to find the best way to protect the investment and get the most life out of the canvas.

Simple Tips for Maintaining Stainless Steel

When applying a paste cleaner, a toothbrush is useful for buffing tight spots and working into the pores of welds; follow by buffing with a cotton cloth. A green 3M scrubby pad helps for removing more aggressive stains. Continued rusting in welded areas might indicate a developing failure, requiring replacement. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and mild soap when done buffing.