Dry Boxes

Ever dig out your first-aid kit or boat's registration only to find it damaged by the wet, salty surroundings? Dry boxes can help. In our tests, Pelican edged out UWKinetics and Otter.

Safety Tethers Under Scrutiny

On November 18, 2017, Simon Speirs, an experienced sailor, went overboard while at the bow assisting with a headsail change on a Clipper Round the World Boat CV30. It was blustery, with sustained winds of 20 knots, gusting to 40 knots. Shortly after he went overboard, his safety tether detached and he was separated from his boat. His body was recovered 34 minutes later. The cause of death has not been determined but drowning is the suspected cause. While such accidents are tragic, they offer a chance to re-evaluate equipment standards within a real-world context.

Wrapping Stainless Steel for Better Grip

The very first project tackled on my new-to-me catamaran a decade ago was to wrap the helm wheel with line. Our delivery trip home took place in late December on the Chesapeake Bay, and I didn't want to spend the next three days with an icy stainless steel wheel sucking all of the heat from my fingers. Instead, I spent a productive hour before dinner wrapping the wheel with line.

Mailport: DSD; PFD Testing; Water Purification; Rewiring; Air Conditioning at Anchor

Like Tom Taylor and Joseph DiMatteo (see Mailport PS August 2019), Ive stopped using inflatable PFDs and instead wear inherently buoyant foam versions. I found that ones designed for dinghy sailing are often very comfortable and have convenient pockets for knives, whistles, flashlights, and even handheld VHFs (I keep one with GPS and DSC on myself, especially when single-handing).

Coast Guard Seeks LED Input

Back in 2010, Practical Sailor and others raised the alert that a conversion to LED navigation lights can have some unintended consequences, including distorted color shifts. And weve long been concerned about LED lights, both interior and exterior, interfering with VHF and AIS radio transmissions.

Mailport: August 2010

Letters from the August 2010 issue of Practical Sailor. Subjects include: Shore anchoring, feathering props, earth-friendly cleaning products, staying hydrated and dink repairs.

Caring For Your Marine Diesel Engine

Expecting calms for most of the passage, we set out in a flat calm with 70 gallons of fuel. Six hours later, around mid-day, the engine wailed, screeched, clanged, and died. Hardly a ripple stirred the Gulf of Panama.