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Safety & Seamanship

Steering with a Broken Rudder

Cruising Club of America member Mike Keyworth, has done some significant research into emergency steering. Mike has had decades worth of ocean racing and cruising experience coupled with running one of New England’s premier boatyards. His own vintage Swan 44 was his research platform and the approach he developed for emergency steering is worth serious […]

Emergency Rig Repairs at Sea

Rigging problems at sea are like broken shoelaces. Ideally, replacement is in order, but in reality a knot might be the right short-term solution. The following tools and techniques offer better-than-a-knot solutions to rig emergencies, a jury rig that should suffice until you can make more permanent repairs that restore the rig’s integrity.   1. […]

Safe Options for Stowing LPG on Deck

Disposable propane cylinders are darn handy, powering stern-rail grills, propane torches, and catalytic cabin heaters. I’ve also had the valves fail twice, the result...

Sailboat Safety on Deck

We often think of safety on deck in terms of PFDs, lifelines, and jacklines, but the falls they protect against only happen after something else has gone wrong. Some of the most serious injuries and even fatalities happen without ever leaving the deck. We’re here to help prevent that. Some of our suggestions may be […]

RAM Lights for Sailboats

We have the minimum required lights, including running lights for sailing and motoring, and an anchor light. We might even have an electronic distress...

Powering Portable Devices Safely

Most mariners, especially those on the West Coast, have heard about the horrific fire aboard the dive boat Concepcion near Santa Cruz Island, California, in September 2019. The combined cell phones and personal devices of the crew and 34 guests were plugged in to charge overnight. Fire experts suspect these caught fire and the fire […]

Lifesling Inspection Tips

For many in the northern hemisphere winter is the off-season, which means it's a great time inspect safety gear. Lifejackets and throwable rescue aids like the Lifesling which incorporate materials that degrade over time deserve particularly close attention. Even new safety equipment deserves close inspection. Probably the most startling safety equipment failure we've experienced was that of a newly bought child's safety harness with a polypropylene tether that immediately broke under very little load.

Cordless LED Spotlight Update

Our first LED flashlight test appeared in March 2000. Even two decades ago, we were becoming concerned with beam patterns. In fact it was...

Practical Boarding Ladders

Every year I read of near-drowning episodes that were compounded by the deficiency or complete absence of a boarding ladder. A fall from a...

Going Aloft with the Multi-use Prusik

At least once each season, someone should make the trip up top to inspect the rigging. There can also be more immediate needs. An...