Safety & Seamanship

Rhumb Lines: Kill Switches Save Lives

In the wake of a terrible tragedy that struck a few days before Thanksgiving in Sarasota, Florida, home of the Sarasota Youth Sailing Program...

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.

The Tragedy of the Driverless Dinghy

In the wake of a terrible tragedy that struck a few days before Thanksgiving in Sarasota, Florida, home of the Sarasota Youth Sailing Program...

Underwater Epoxy Test

Although laminating epoxies can tolerate some moisture, we know that excessive moisture can prevent a good cure. So how can we manage an emergency...

Rhumb Lines: Saluting the Practical Sailor Staff

It’s that time of year when I express my heartfelt appreciation for people behind this magazine. This year, I’m especially grateful for two sailors...

New Safety Switches for Outboard Motors

Buried deep within the recesses of the 2020 US Coast Guard reauthorization bill is a requirement that if a boat is planing or moving...

Rhumb Lines: Focusing on the Essentials

I truly believe that the experience of a long ocean passage on a small boat can change one’s view of the world and inspire...

Are Chart Lights Steering Us Wrong?

As the sun goes down your eyes begin to adapt. At first your pupils dilate. Then photo-sensing chemicals needed in daylight drain away, and vision becomes over 50 times more sensitive, often without our notice until the sun is well below the horizon. In order to preserve night vision, referred to as dark-adapted vision, safe […]

Kayak Test Update

Our previous favorite kayak in this category was the Walker Bay Airis, which we reviewed in two different evolutions (PS July 2008 and October...

PS Looks at DIY COVID-19 Mask Options

At present, the masks that are certified to provide reliable protection against COVID-19 (minimum rating N95) are in short supply, so we have to...

Fighting Off Marine Electrical System Corrosion

The boat's electrical system is often the most vexing for boat owners-but it doesn't have to be. With the right tools, quality materials, and a modest amount of preventative maintenance, you can ensure a flicker-free (or nearly so) existence on the water. If you've got a rewiring or electronics installation project ahead of you, or if just want to make sure nothing goes on the fritz once you're offshore, this information-packed blog post is for you.