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Rhumb Lines

Rhumb lines

Zen and the Art of the Endless Refit

The forlorn monuments to Sisyphus are clustered in one corner of the boatyard where the summer weeds grow tall. They arrive by towboat, strapped...

Introducing Sweet Opal

Twenty-one years ago, my planned four-year circumnavigation was going on its 11th year. (If you’re young and broke, that’s precisely how a four-year circumnavigation goes, trust me.) We were roaming around Phuket, Thailand when an enticing opportunity landed in my inbox. Friend and underwater cinematographer Peter Zuccarini had a proposition: Would I like to help […]

Buying a Boat? Insight into the Owner Helps.

At the height of the pandemic last summer, a sailing-surfing pal I knew from my days on Guam (a great place to rebuild the cruising kitty) contacted me out of the blue. He was looking for a boat. He’d had it with the madness of South Florida and planned to hightail it to the Bahamas. […]

Bridging the Ocean Between Us

In the year 2000, when I stepped off of ye ol’ Tosca and into the roles of full time sailing editor, husband, and father, the world of offshore sailing was going through a rapid transformation. Most of the changes were technological. Computers were smaller and faster, and the internet reached out into remote places on […]

Rhumb Lines: Memories of Multihulls Big & Small

This month’s study in multihull stability reminded me how deep an impression that first multihull capsize can leave on a sailor. I grew up just a few miles from Miami’s Hobie Beach, on Rickenbacker Causeway, where you could back a trailer up to the flat beside the Miami Seaquarium (Home of Flipper), step the mast, […]

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.