Safety & Seamanship

PFDs for Extreme Events

Seldom does one size fit all, and the same goes for whether or not one type of life jacket can meet all lifesaving needs. The...

Rhumb Lines: Cruising in the New Normal

The Valiant 40 on the cover of this month’s issue belongs to longtime contributor the late Patrick Childress and his wife Rebecca. Patrick was...

The Ups and Downs of Shoal Draft Boats

As a longtime multihull sailor I’m often told that it must be wonderful to anchor wherever I want and tuck into the smallest of coves. Yes, there is some truth to that. An owner of a Phillip Bolger-designed classic leeboard Dovekie once bragged to me that his boat would float “on heavy dew.” But in […]

Making the Most of Centerboards

A deep, ballasted keel does a lot of good things. It lowers the center of gravity, provides lift to windward, and stabilizes the boat. It can add great strength if integrated into the construction of the hull, allowing the boat to sniff soft bottoms without damage. There are downsides. Trailering is impractical. Countless shallow creeks […]

Rhumb Lines: The Sailing Cure

This summer is shaping up to be a strange one—a pandemic moving through the land and an economy reeling from its strains. And now protests in the streets. A very strange summer indeed.  It is enough to make any sailor long for a return to the sea, to solitude, to the world we know best, […]

Rhumb Lines: Is Sailing Essential?

Let’s take away all the boats. Not the ships engaged in essential commerce, not the barges hauling goods, not the net boats catching fish....

New Marine Fire Prevention Tools

The ubiquitous dry chemical fire extinguisher is cheap, suitable for multiple fire types, and UL listed, but it has some serious shortcomings. The typical...

Insuring Old Boats

Editor’s note: Our recent article on marine insurance (see “Consequential DamageCoverage,” PS Jan. 2020) prompted many questions from readers regarding insurance for older boats. For answers, we...

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 essentials required to get us from here to...

Before and After the Cruise Checklists

Last October, PS Editor Darrell Nicholson wrote about the importance of checklists and his inbox was inundated with mail from sailors who shared their own lists. Here are two lists I use when sailing my Corsair F-24: the pre-departure list, and the return to home list. Neither list is meant to be exhaustive-but perhaps it is enough to think about as you craft your own.

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.