Mailport: Iron Keels, Clothes for Cold, Anchor Roll Bars

It would be useful for PS to list which manufacturers use iron encapsulated in their keel. I am surprised to learn that many old sailboats have iron instead of lead as encapsulated ballast.Edward Addeo via PS Online

Webbing Uses For Sailors

When a sailor needs to connect point A to point B, he reaches for rope. We make an exception for jacklines because rope rolls under foot and webbing doesn't.

Product Update: From Solar Panels to Electronic Flares

Several products caught our eye at the Newport Boat Show in Newport, Rhode Island in September, along with some updates to past tests.

A Handy Cockpit Vise Is Ready in a Pinch

Most times when I need a third hand, I can secure whatever I'm working on by jamming it in the groove between dock boards, or against a piling and placing a knee on it, or some combination. Work surfaces can incorporate cleats or holes for this purpose, but sometimes more specific clamping measures are required.

Chafe Protection for Fiber Rodes

Our plunge into chain-free rode takes a new twist. How do we protect against bottom chafe?

Genoa Furler Refit: a Semi-DIY Project

Selden's 'complete package' approach to headsail furlers opens the door to the hands-on sailor.

Gear of the Year Roundup

The bulk of the past years testing focused on maintenance products, safety essentials, and do-it-yourself substitutes for higher priced marine gear. This was a deliberate move as the staff here at Practical Sailor tries to buck the trend toward high-priced, budget-busting marine-grade gear that is out of reach of many sailors.

New Goyer Guard vs. Firehose

One of the quickest ways to lose your floating investment is to chafe through a dock line or mooring pendant, sending your boat smashing into the neighboring slip or a rock jetty. It has been a while since we tested chafe gear (see PS October 2012), so when a new product came across our radar, we jumped on the chance to test it.

Verifying Material of Mystery Ropes

Using the wrong rope for the job is a recipe for failure. Fortunately, with a trained eye and a little knowledge of physical properties, making a rough identification is simple enough.

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.

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...