PS Advisor: 12/05

Cleaning SailsI've been a reader of PS for years and I never start a job on my 1983 Hunter 27 without consulting your...

Webbing: Match Quality to Usage

There are several places where the flat stuff is the right stuff. Make sure type follows function.

Snuffer Test

Among off-the-shelf options for taming spinnakers, we favor North's SnufferPlus for its refined design, lighter weight, and moderate price.

Headsail Roller Furlers

Time was, roller-furling systems were regarded as fragile, fair-weather gear. Now they're a must-have for most—even offshore. Here's a scan of major manufacturers, and the results of our reader survey.

Gripping Hitches for Loaded Lines

Testers evaluated five different knots to determine which would be the ideal for holding a tensioned line. Testers considered ease of tying and untying, ease of learning and recall, and holding power with various types of line. The old standard rolling hitch was pitted against the modified rolling hitch, icicle hitch, gripper hitch, and sailors hitch.

PS Advisor: Replacing Wire Rigging

Over the years, I’ve heard various timeframes for when to replace standing rigging, but I’ve never seen any empirical data to back up those recommendations. It would be very informative to know from a metallurgical/metal failure point of view estimated lifespans of the average wire used for standing rigging.

Heavy Weather Sailing Gear

From sea anchors, drogues, and trysails to forereaching and heaving to, tactics and gear for surviving a storm at sea vary greatly. During a high-latitude circumnavigation, Evans Starzinger and Beth Leonard, aboard their 47-foot Van de Stadt sloop, had several opportunities to test heavy-weather sailing tactics. The couples main storm gear was a Galerider sea drogue, made by sailmakers Hathaway, Reiser and Raymond, is a webbing bowl with a wire hoop. Deploying the drogue involved a bridle of strong nylon lines connected to the Galerider rode via an oversized galvanized swivel. Starzinger and Leonard used the Galerider when running before the wind in gale-force conditions. The drogue helped slow the boat, kept it from surfing down the face of a wave, and provided directional stability, which allowed their autopilot to maintain control. Drogues and other storm-survival gear and tactics are particularly necessary for short-handed crews and boats that tend to surf in heavy weather. Other storm gear for sailboats that Practical Sailor looked at included the Jordan Series drogue and the Seabrake drogue.

High-Tech Rope Test

We'd read about problems with terminations in high-modulus line. They're true.

Scully Rig

It comes in a box the size of a golf bag, and all you have to add is the boat.

Hydraulic Backstay Adjusters: Sailtec vs. Navtec

When seven mechanical backstay adjusters were reviewed (in last falls August 15 issue), a promise was made to examine hydraulic models. As it turns...

Simple Tips for Maintaining Stainless Steel

When applying a paste cleaner, a toothbrush is useful for buffing tight spots and working into the pores of welds; follow by buffing with a cotton cloth. A green 3M scrubby pad helps for removing more aggressive stains. Continued rusting in welded areas might indicate a developing failure, requiring replacement. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and mild soap when done buffing.