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Books Charts

Printing Your Own Charts While on Board

I am a novice sailor, but after taking a few more courses, I plan to buy a 30- to 50-sailboat with a few other aficionados. Two questions:

Summer Sailor Reading List

The question were often asked as we set out on our summer cruise is, What do you do with all that free time you have? There is a general misconception that cruising sailors do little more than sit around all summer watching ripples on the water and enjoying the spoils of slackerdom. Truth is, there is almost always some work to be done, but theres still time for a good book. If youre still searching for summer reading material, heres Practical Sailors semiannual list for 2017.

Editors Picks: Winter Reading for Sailors

Practical Sailor editors have put together a roundup of marine-related books that we think are deserving of a spot in your library. Most are new titles, and they run the gamut from fiction to how-to guides. Enjoy.

Stocking Stuffers for Sailors: December 2016

The holidays are upon us, and if youve waited until the last minute to get your gift shopping done, fear not; weve got you covered. Here are some great stocking-stuffer ideas that any sailor would love to unwrap.

Cruising Guides

Since our last review of cruising guides for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and the Bahamas, weve come across a few more resources worth adding to the list, and one of our top-pick cruising and anchoring guides has ceased publication. Heres the latest on cruising guides and resources.

Escape with a Good Sailing Book

Weve compiled a list of books fit for summer reading, whether youre relaxing in the cockpit, hanging in a hammock on the bow, or parked on the beach. The list includes page-turning tales of adventure and survival, and lively accounts of maritime history.

Resources for Cruising to Cuba

Although Cuba is terra incognita for many Americans, it has been a popular destination for Canadian and European cruisers for more than a decade. Here, we look at some resources for cruisers planning-or dreaming of-a cruise to Cuba.

In the Perfect Position to Fail

For centuries, navigators have been coping with two key variables that convey major consequence. The first is the quest for an accurate position fix, and the second is the hope that the chart theyre using is an accurate representation of their surroundings. Up until a couple of decades ago, cartographers were winning out and chart accuracy trumped sextant-derived fix accuracy. The tide has turned.

USCG Now Allows Digital Instead of Print Charts

Heralding in a new era for electronic navigation, the U.S. Coast Guard recently published guidance that allows mariners to satisfy chart-carriage requirements using electronic charts and electronic publications instead of paper ones.

Nautical Chart Accuracy

I often worry that the topic of chart accuracy, which we revisit in this issue, obscures the importance of other skills, published sources, and equipment we should use to solve a navigational puzzle. A recent bottom-bumping cruise along the changing coast of Southwest Florida reiterated some key points regarding coastal navigation.

Winterizing Your Boat’s Water System

Much of your winterizing success will depend on the initial condition of your existing water system. If it is nearly sterile (effectively chlorinated water), there may be too few bacteria and fungus present for infection to start. However, if you use less than 20 percent alcohol or glycol (after dilution with water left in the system) you are at risk of biological growth; the lower the concentration the greater the risk. This is the reason why vodka and other alcohol-based winterizing fluids should be avoided. In our testing these solutions acted like an invitation to a microbial feast.