Holiday Gift Ideas for Sailors

Sailors are a practical lot. Sure, wed all enjoy a Fruit of the Month membership, but if you really want to make a sailors holiday bright, then gift them with something more useful. Weve rounded up some practical (and fun) gift ideas that any sailor would appreciate, whether theyll be decking the halls or the main saloon this season.

Practical Sailor Reviews boat tillerpilots: the Simrad TP10 and the Raymarine ST1000 Plus

Offshore sailor Skip Allan tested two entry-level tillerpilots, the Simrad TP10 and Raymarine ST1000, aboard his 27-foot sloop during last years Singlehanded Trans-Pac race. The autopilots were used during varying weather conditions and sea states, including gale conditions. The review considers characteristics of the Raymarine tillerpilot and Simrad tillerpilot, including price, power supply, drive thrust, installation ease, user friendliness, construction, and performance.

Where Credit Is Due: August 2013

Two years ago, I purchased a Water Witch bilge pump switch. When it developed a glitch, I called Kathleen at Water Witch Inc.s San Diego office (www.waterwitchinc.com). She asked me a couple of questions, then assured me the replacement part would be shipped the following day. It was, followed by an email saying it had shipped. It arrived 10 days later (international), complete with a personal note. Does it better than this? I think not.

Mailport: 12/06

MARINE INSURANCE REDUXI have been reading with much interest your articles about marine insurance this year (April and May 2006).

Chandlery: August 2011

Practical Sailor Chandlery: August 2011. This month reviews a tiller, tool toter, and smart-phones.

Rhumb Lines — Getting a Fix on Reality

It was mid-July 1990 on the Caicos Banks, a stretch of shallow, gin-clear water extending for about 70 miles east to west in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Along with a dozen other cruisers whod chosen to thumb our noses at hurricane season (ah, those were simpler times), we were pausing in Providenciales before heading south. …

Chandlery: June 2011

Although the ease and convenience of electronic chartplotters has ensured their place aboard most every vessel these days, the punch-and-go navigation that makes them so popular has also spawned a generation of slack-jawed zombies when it comes to even the most rudimentary of navigational skills. Prudent mariners continue to carry paper charts, both as backup to chartplotters (and their “one diode away from disaster” nature) and to have the big picture view that a plotter just can’t match.

Multi-Tools: Leatherman Wave Covers the Waterfront

Leatherman leads the way with a quality tool at a good price. The Gerber 800 Legend, the Kershaw, SOG's Powerlock, and the Spyderco SpydeRench also top our list.

Years Later, Mast Mate Still Riding High

Mast steps are a great help when going aloft, but they add weight where it hurts most (aloft), and halyards love to get stuck behind them. One alternative is the Mast Mate webbing ladder, which hoists on your mainsail track.

The Ins and Outs of Aftermarket Bowsprits for Light-air Sails

A salty Kiwi named Ross Norgrove once said that the most important tool for the owner of a wooden yawl adorned with a bowsprit is a sharp ax. To some degree, his witty comment holds true for contemporary sailors contemplating a mini-bowsprit.