Even the best helmet will fail if poorly fitted. Expect this to take some time. Measure your head and get the right size. Loose is no good, and too small will sit high or give you a headache.
Practical Sailor 2016 Index
The SOLAS-grade Pains-Wessex Pinpoint flares are bright and spatter-free at a reasonable price.
Over the last few decades, theres been exponential growth in the availability of accurate weather forecasts and the net result is safer voyaging. Government spending on weather data gathering and forecast development has soared. Satellites and data buoys have filled in some of the oceanic gaps caused by an absence of weather balloon sampling at sea. State of the art, algorithm-driven, model data and ensemble-based forecasting have turned electronic guesswork into a better understanding of atmospheric volatility. The net result is an increase in the validity and reliability of marine forecasts and a trend that has stretched 24-hour forecast accuracy into 48- and 96-hour time frames. So, if anything deserves the label don't leave homeport without it, it is todays, better than ever, marine weather forecast.
World sailing offers fairly explicit expectations regarding jackstays. And PS offer its own additional advice, including one that recommends jacklines ideally be installed so that a sailor who is clipped in can't go over the side (see Jackline Installation Advice, November 2015). This is not always possible, especially on monohulls. In most cases, he chest-high lifeline on Mahina Tiare will keep above water the head of the person who is overboard.
Practical Sailor tested the FLIR system (www.flir.com) in the June 2008 issue, and we tried out the company’s new First Mate recently (look for that report in an upcoming issue). While the FLIR images are impressive and offer some information not available with radar or even night-vision gear, infrared thermal imaging is no replacement for radar. FLIR bases its readings on thermal contrast, and objects that are the same temperature as their surroundings remain invisible. Take for example, a steel buoy or granite ledge that’s the same temperature as the sea surface at night. Another drawback: FLIR doesn’t offer any range or bearing information.
Man overboard recovery failures have become a frequent headline, and details about these tragedies hold lessons worth learning.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is seeking public comment on ending production of traditional paper nautical charts. The transition to Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) set for 2025 is already underway, but this does not mean the end of backup paper charts, and hopefully not the end of the navigational skills associated with traditional pilotage. Even if you do not intend to make a public comment (see link at bottom), here are…
Most of us have boats built of fiberglass and have only a vague idea that the hard outer surface is made of gelcoat. Beyond that, our knowledge of the boatbuilding process approaches zero.