Liveaboard Sailors Laundry Hacks
At home, laundry is about removing grease, grass, and coffee stains without damaging the fabric of the clothing. Energy and water efficiency only matter in a secondary sense. Rinse water is plentiful, and the only water quality consideration is that it is sufficiently soft to avoid interference with the detergent and calcium build-up in the clothes.
A Plunge into Off-grid Solutions Old and New
What did we think of the mop bucket and spinner as a laundry machine? It made it neat and easy to launder single items in a repeatable way for testing. In fact, it was a good deal easier on the hands than wringing. However, you can only spin one item at a time, and as a result it was no faster or drier.
Stowing Clear Plastic Windows
Some clear vinyls are sensitive to scratching, as has been revealed in our multiple tests. And, if not protected from the sun, it can yellow and grow brittle over years. For years weve been directing readers to roll their clear plastic in cotton sheets to prevent scratching, but the patented Clearstow bag offers a more practical solution.The patented Clearstow bag is constructed like a giant ex
Tether Lanyard Simplifies MOB Recovery
For years, safety advocates have touted the use of a four-part block and tackle attached to the end of the boom as the hoist of choice. It affords a great dockside demo, but put to use in a rolling seaway, a crew quickly notes that boat motion causes the boom to flail about and the hurriedly dropped mainsail further complicates using the boom as a hoisting tool.
Form Won’t Matter if it Doesn’t Fit
Even the best helmet will fail if poorly fitted. Expect this to take some time. Measure your head and get the right size. Loose is no good, and too small will sit high or give you a headache.
Protecting the Sailors Pumpkin
Head protection has become a hot topic among sailors. Volvo Ocean Race helmsman wear surf helmets with retractable visors. Americas Cup crew wears them, along with body armor and breathing equipment. Amateurs in high performance beach catamaran and dinghy classes are adopting them in big numbers, and some youth, college, and Olympic sailing programs have made them mandatory, like PFDs. Even cruisers are beginning to wonder about trips up the mast, heavy weather sailing, and even routine bumps. Is it the new thing, or just transition period until we work out where they make sense?
Luck and the Urge to Duck
At night, when only the counted seconds between the lightning flash and thunder-crack offer any clue of what is to come, the intertropical convergence zone seems otherworldly.
The Sailor’s Boot Dryer
I like the outdoors. I sail year-round, and I can endure as much heat and cold as my passions demand. But whether it is summer or winter, I just can't abide cold, wet feet. There is something about damp socks that chills me through. If my feet are warm, Im warm.
We can endure a great deal in the name of good sailing, but cold, wet feet chill us through, and wed rather not resort to heavy sea boots. Regardless of the weather, even in winter, we prefer deck shoes if possible.
Mailport: Cold Weather Suits
Regarding your recent Inside Practical Sailor blog post Drysuits vs. Survival Suits, I raft the Colorado river in Grand Canyon where water temps are around 50 F, even in the summer. The whitewater down there is furious and sometimes dangerous. I wear a 3 millimeter neoprene wetsuit under a full drysuit. If the drysuit rips, the wetsuit should slow down thermal loss. The problem is heat buildup in the sun. The solution is to jump in the cold water now and then to keep from over heating. On a sailboat that would be harder to do. There have been a few times sailing solo when I wore both garments, but it was pretty clammy inside. There is no perfect solution, just reasonable compromises by which to stay alive. Something to remember is that once a drysuit rips, it will take on hundreds of pounds of water. A high flotation PFD is mandatory, at least 26 pounds I would think.