Wooden Anchor Chocks

Conventional commercially available anchor chocks, though convenient, can be nasty metal toe stubbers and not particularly attractive. In contrast, wooden chocks are easy to make, handsome, and relatively snag- and toe-proof.

Building a Custom Safety Tether

A safety tether keeps you safely on board, but it also comes with its own risks. Previously, we investigated jackline materials (Jackline Materials Evaluation, Practical Sailor, November 2016), testing both common materials and commercial products. When redesigning a new tether, tester Drew Frye wanted something that fit his boat-very short for the side decks, but long for the broad decks and cockpit of his catamaran.

Navigation Software

The CAPN Voyager is the USCG's choice, but we found Nobeltec's Visual Navigation Series hard to beat, in either raster or vector mode.

Safety Tether Caution

The hallmark of an overboard fall protection system is a system of jacklines running along the deck, with tethers attached so that the sailor can move throughout the boat with relative freedom. But this is not the real backbone of the system. A review of overboard accidents reveals that very few fall when transiting from cockpit to bow-they get washed overboard when they stop to perform a task. While moving, sailors are focused, holding on with two hands, and mindful of the approach of waves and the motion of the boat. But while taming a headsail or straightening up a tangle of line in the cockpit, the mind wanders, the hands are occupied, and risk increases. A wave strikes, we tangle our feet or step on a sail, and whoosh . . . were overboard.

Offshore Log: Waiting at the Panama Canal

Before transiting the Panama Canal, Calypso stops in the San Blas Islands and the PCYC.

Consumer Alert: Surveyor Problem

I purchased a 1990 Beneteau in Florida in 1995 for $75,000 that had been in charter for five years in Tortola. The boat was...

Trouble-Free Winter Sailing

For most sailors the off-season begins on Labor Day, which is a shame because fall brings the best sailing of the year in many of parts of the country. Of course, extending the season also brings the risk of snow and ice on deck.

Steering Our Way to Safer Passages at Sea

With so many conveniences aboard the modern cruising boat, it’s easy to forget that the bare...

Operator Error Strands Vestas Wind

When it comes to speculation, it makes sense to do some research before second-guessing any maritime mishap. And with this in mind, Ive spent the last couple of months sorting through statements, Race Control press releases, and information deduced by the authors of the Volvo Race Independent Report (VRIR) into the stranding of Vestas Wind.

Simple Tips for Maintaining Stainless Steel

When applying a paste cleaner, a toothbrush is useful for buffing tight spots and working into the pores of welds; follow by buffing with a cotton cloth. A green 3M scrubby pad helps for removing more aggressive stains. Continued rusting in welded areas might indicate a developing failure, requiring replacement. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and mild soap when done buffing.