Where Credit Is Due: September 2013

Alpenglow I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to (and recommendation of) the folks at Alpenglow Lights (www.alpenglowlights.com). We have many of their fixtures and have contacted the company on numerous occasions for new sales, upgrades, and technical questions. Without fail, they have exceeded our expectations, from offering to perform upgrades at minimal cost, to telling us secret workarounds that enabled us to use locally sourced parts and supplies to re-invigorate their excellent lighting units.

Practical Sailors Heavyweight Anchors Test 2008

In a followup to the November 2008 shoreside testing of three large cruising anchors, this field report offers a glimpse of how the Manson Supreme, Manson Ray, and Rocna anchors perform in the real world. The test products, two roll-bar anchors (Rocna and Supreme) and one Bruce-style anchor (the Ray), are all acceptable as main cruising anchors. They are all good, but with distinctive strengths and weaknesses, so we tried them out, anchoring in dense kelp, soft mud, and hard rock bottoms, as well as in anchorages where short scope was required.

Carving Out Cores

A modified roofing nail is perhaps the most versatile tool for removing core when sealing fastener holes. It is much easier to control than bent nails or cut-down allen keys, which can jump around as they spin. Core removal is more uniform. Wood chips are finer and easier to remove. It is faster than a Dremel cutter and undercuts twice as far.

Bottomless Lockers Be Gone

Storage is a challenge on small boats, and my new-to-me Corsair Marine F-24 trimaran was particularly Spartan this regard. The skinny hulls provided minimum volume and the race-focused designer intentionally omitted proper lockers. A performance-oriented boat such as this must be kept light if she is to sail to her potential. But even day sailers and racers attract a certain amount of necessary clutter, sure as honey attracts flies. Something had to be done, and yet, as a new owner its tough to know what will best suit your needs and what the boat needs. Its even harder to cut the first hole. This project was 100 percent non-invasive.

All is Lost and Found

A photographer friend stumbled upon this photo of my wife, Theresa, from our cruising days. It was taken in Fiji around 1995. She doesn't usually look this serious; it probably had something to do with having two guests on board a cramped 32-foot Atkin ketch for a couple of weeks. I thought the image illustrated well something that Ive been thinking about lately: the value of resourcefulness while cruising. This notion of the self-sufficient sailor came to mind most recently while watching the movie trailer for All is Lost, in which a single-handed sailor (played by Robert Redford) tries to keep his beloved Cal 29 afloat.

Advice on Buying a Pre-Owned Anchor

Since defects are usually obvious, anchors is one category of gear in which “what you see is what you get.” Certainly, there are counterfeits and home-welded one-offs that you’ll want to avoid, but the fakes and do-it-yourself anchors are usually easy to distinguish. Before you buy a used anchor, you should have a very clear picture of the size, type, and brand of anchor will best suit your needs. Depending on the specific anchor you seek, you can save 30 to 50-percent on cost by purchasing a pre-owned anchor instead of a new one.

Product Test: Heavyweight Cruising Anchors for Challenging Anchorages

One of a cruising anchors most important traits is its ability to set easily (and reset after a wind shift) in the widest possible variety of bottoms. For those who can carry extra large anchors, holding power, the normal parameter measured by anchor tests, is not as important as setting performance. Once set, an oversized anchor should easily have sufficient holding power. With that in mind, this comparison focuses not on ultimate holding power but the ability of the anchors to set quickly-even in difficult bottoms and with short scope-and to stay set when conditions change. Practical Sailor tested the rollbar-style Manson Supreme and the Rocna as well as the Bruce-inspired Manson Ray claw anchor. Testers looked at each anchors design and measurements, as well as its setting and veering performance on a frozen-sand beach covered with large rocks and on a sand/ mud beach. Practical Sailor encourages readers to weigh these results along with those of previous tests on more typical bottoms before selecting a primary anchor.

Antifouling Paint Prices Follow Copper Surge

The antifouling coating industry is dominated by copper-based paint, so as copper prices reach their highest levels in recent history, I was curious to...