Reducing the Nylon Rode Sling-shot Effect

Again we speak heresy! Practical Sailor has published at least four articles explaining why stretchy nylon bridles and snubbers are vital. But if the rode is nylon instead of chain, this no longer applies. The rode provides all the impact absorption we need, perhaps more than we need. By analogy, a bridle should function like an anti-sway bar on an automobile, keeping the boat centered.

Make Your Own Over-the-Boom Riding Sail

Delighted with the performance of the over-the-boom riding sail, we decided to make our own.

Rest Easy with a Riding Sail

Even when your anchor is well designed and ideally matched to your boat, there are four common factors that can cause an anchor to drag: poor bottom, short scope, insufficient shock absorption, and yawing. Each of these reduces the holding capacity of the anchor, and they are additive. That is to say that any one of them can ruin your day, solving only one or two of them does not ensure good holding, and the more problems you solve, the better youll sleep.

Sails and Summer Projects

While most of us are-hopefully-out sailing this summer, we know that many sailors are busy with system upgrades, do-it-yourself projects, and the usual marine maintenance adventures. Here are some archive articles we think will help you tick off the tasks on your to-do list.

Collapsible Anchor Prototype Tested

A big rollbar-style anchor on a bow roller is now synonymous with cruising. They are efficient in many types of bottoms and reliably rotate or reset when the wind and tide change. Unfortunately, they are shaped awkward and are difficult to stow anywhere other than a bow roller. Lacking this, many smaller boats, both sail and power, are forced to store the anchor in either a shallow bow locker, a snag-prone railing bracket, or in a lazarette.

Some Simple Tricks to Tensioning Lashings

Weve seen both turnbuckles and lashing, on matching boats nearly side by side. Why the difference in approach, since both designers are obviously comfortable with synthetic standing rigging?

Lashing for Strength

Standing rigging, stays, and lifelines; these have always been steel cable, terminated with a shackle or ball at one end and a turnbuckle at the other. Steel fittings for steel rigging. For synthetic rigging, lashings seem like the logical replacement. They have a simple ruggedness that we think we understand, and like seems to fit with like.

Anchoring in Crowded Harbors

Stagger while you anchor? It sounds like Ive either been drinking too much or sailing too long. Bear with me.

Sailboat Accessory Hooks

Boats are always challenged by limited storage space. Many production boats share two common features: they have lockers that are either bottomless or wet at the bottom, and those lockers contained broken storage hooks installed by the previous owner. Over the years weve been on the lookout for storage hooks that wont fail and reconsidered the places where they can best meet our needs.

The DIY Hanger Hook

It was a given that anything added to the cockpit locker of our F-24 test boat had to be quickly removable. All of the bolts for cockpit gear, fuel lines, and half of the wiring is accessed by worming through this narrow locker into the space under the cockpit, and any obstruction would render it inaccessible. Because the backside is the hull, through-bolting was not an option. The previous owner had epoxied on a few hooks, but gluing plastic to fiberglass is pretty hopeless and only the scars remained.

Too Many Layers of Bottom Paint?

So, a couple of years back, you acquired a good old boat at a pretty good price-thanks to the market-but now youre wondering how many coats of bottom paint it has. And what kind? Youve put on a few coats of ablative antifouling since youve owned the boat. It has adhered well and has done its job. But each year, the bottom looks rougher and rougher-with big recesses where paint has flaked off. You sweated out some extra prep-work this season, and thought you had a nice, durable subsurface for painting, but each pass of the roller pulls up more paint. Whats going on here?