Testing Telemedicines Limits

Early into the 645-mile race between Marion, Mass., and the island of Bermuda in 2009, trouble brewed aboard the C&C 40 Corsair. The bizarre situation that the crew of Corsair faced is described in detail in a 2011 article, Lost at Sea, written by Diane Kelly in Ocean Navigator magazine. It all began when the navigator, 75-year-old Ron Chevrier, started acting strangely.

Float-Tech

Synergistic efforts carry strong potential, and that's essentially how Float-Tech—which is both a company and a product—got it's start. When now-CEO Cecilia Domingos and...

Winter Sailing Apparel

Mustang Survivals EP 6.5 Racing Dry Suit is the crme de la crme of its drysuit line. The dry suit is part of an impressive line of EP 6.5 apparel and gear including dinghy smocks, dry bags, and foul weather gear designed for the professional racing sailor.

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.

Lights On for Practical Sailor Headlamp Round Up

Headlamps compliment rather than compete with traditional hand-held flashlights. Lighting of more than one kind is invaluable on board, and headlamps have the advantage of freeing up the two hands of the sailor who always seems to need a third. Our test focused on LED headlamps that claimed water resistance and featured a crosshead strap for comfort, and did not require a battery recharge. We tested 17 headlamps from six manufacturers: Icon from Black Diamond, a rock-climbing and skiing gear maker; the HeadsUp Recoil 2680 from Pelican, maker of all things watertight; and Vizion from Underwater Kinetics, along with four headlamps from Petzl, five from Princeton Tec, and five from Streamlights. Our top picks were based on wearing, testing and using these headlamps for months. Best Choice honors go to the Black Diamond Icon, a lightweight lamp thats versatile and loaded with features. Recommended products include the feature-laden red-filter-equipped Petzl Tactikka and the lightweight, Lithium-powered Streamlight Argo HP. The Pelican outshone others on pure brightness.

Where Credit Is Due: May 2013

Two years ago, I replaced my incandescent stern light with a waterproof, sealed LED unit from OGM (www.miseagroup.com). This winter, while the boat was on the hard, I noticed that the seal had failed and drops of water fogged the lens. Although the LED continued to work, I was concerned that the moisture would reduce the visibility, or that the light would fail when I needed it most.

Lifesling Goes Throwable

Were safety conscious at Practical Sailor. Readers know that, from the numerous articles about our in-the-water and bench tests. We rarely fail to comment...

Fish Storage: Its in the Bag

If you like trolling while you sail, and youre good at it, youll inevitably land some fish too big for the cooler or ice box. Heres a powerboat-oriented product that might save you the trouble of spilling blood, and guts on your nice clean deck, just so you can put that oversized striper, wahoo, or mahi on ice. Enter insulated fish bags. We looked at three bags capable of holding a fish weighing 50 pounds, plus ice.

Good Lookin Leica

Sight is the mariners most important sense, and tools that enhance visual acuity can be worth their weight in gold. Leicas newest addition to its line of premium-priced, high-quality optics delivers brilliant viewing-and at $2,200 costs nearly its weight in gold-but for the sailor preferring an uncompromising pair of binoculars, the German-made Ultravid 7x42 HD is a navigators dream. Although they lack a compass, they do afford camera-lens quality resolution and their low-light gathering ability is truly astounding. The ergonomic two finger-focus adjuster, water-tight armored coating, and extendable eye cups round out their superior design.

Caring For Your Marine Diesel Engine

Expecting calms for most of the passage, we set out in a flat calm with 70 gallons of fuel. Six hours later, around mid-day, the engine wailed, screeched, clanged, and died. Hardly a ripple stirred the Gulf of Panama.