Propellor Paints Versus Barnacles

Practical Sailors search for longer lasting prop paints has led us down many rabbit holes, we've experimented with several different prop paints with varying degrees of success, although none of the results so far have been dazzling. Some of our testers have had better success with dedicated slick prop paints such as PropSpeed. In our testing, however, mostly in Chesapeake Bay, no prop paint had lived up to our increasingly faint hope that the paint repel growth as effectively as our hull paint.

San Fran ‘Stand-down’ = Government Meddling?

The Coast Guards request late last month that sailors stand-down and suspend any offshore racing outside San Francisco Bay in the wake of last months tragedy in the San Francisco Yacht Clubs Farallones Race rankled more than a few Bay area sailors. The response was not surprising. Critics decried the move as draconian, driven by overzealous safety mavens, an example virulent government intrusion, trampling of personal freedoms, etc. etc. etc. It is a…

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.

More Boat Tips: Unsticking Stuck Nuts and Bolts

My friend Nick and I had a discussion the other day about which bolts were tougher to break free: shaft-coupling bolts or the lug nuts on an old trailer. Nick pointed out that lug nuts are usually torqued down a whole lot tighter than a shaft coupling screw. On the opposite side, I argued that shaft coupling bolts require you to assume the yoga pose Downward Pretzel just to see the bolts. The argument…

Rigged for Living in Small Spaces

If you tear up root, branch, and all to go sailing, the return to the dirt-dwelling life is troublesome business. Youre accustomed to peace and solitude. Endless waterfront views. A procession of sunrises and sunsets. You can pick your neighbors and move on quickly if you choose. But for me, the most interesting transformation that the cruising sailor undergoes is our relationship with stuff. The most successful long-term sailors I know always seem to be paring down what they have, eliminating all but a few choice needs. For them, its all about quality not quantity.

Antifouling paint prices hold steady

I just finished my first run-through on bottom paint prices and noticed that, for the first time in recent memory, I don't see any significant price jumps. Naturally, with the lagging economy, it behooves paint makers to offer the best value to consumers. Nevertheless, I was surprised by some of the prices, particularly since copper prices have regained much of the ground they lost last year. Several of our Good paints in our six-month checkup fell right around $100/gallon mark.

The Sailing Books that Inspire Us

Although Thor Heyerdahls theory regarding human migration across the Pacific has been discounted, his 1948 book and 1951 Oscar-award winning documentary, Kon-Tiki, is responsible for inspiring more than a few dreams of cruising the Pacific. I find it interesting that when American sailors followed Heyerdahls path across the Pacific in the 1960s and 1970s, they often did so in Colin Archer-type boats, like John G. Hannas Tahiti ketch-and later, the Westsail 32, a variation on William Atkins Archer-esque Thistle. It is as if all roads to Tahiti first passed through Oslo, Norway, where I happen to find myself this week.

Pro Tips to Hauling Out

Once a boat has been shored and blocked, its a good idea to layer tarps or plastic sheeting beneath it. That keeps cleaners, paint, paint removers, and other chemicals from contaminating the ground. Layering the tarps means you can remove a soiled one and have a clean surface to kneel or stand on.

Eight Bells for Jeremy ‘Mac’ McGeary

Ive waited to write about Jeremy crossing the bar because I was waiting for him to get out of my head, as they say. But Ive given up waiting. Apparently, he has made himself at home in the aft cabin. The witty, talented, and dedicated crew who did some of the best work of anyone who has worked for Practical Sailor will surely be with us for years to come.

PS Tech Editor Launches Cruising Seminars

Practical Sailor Technical Editor Ralph Naranjo will be busy in October and November with seminars designed to set cruising sailors on the right course. If youre planning to go to the United States Sailboat Boat Show in Annapolis, Md., this weekend, be sure to catch Ralph at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, in the Arnold Room at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel. He will be presenting a free Gateway to Cruising mini-seminar that focuses on launching into the cruising lifestyle.

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...