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Sails, Rigging & Deck Gear

High-Tech Anchor Rode

My primary anchor is a big hunk of steel on an all-chain rode, handled by a windlass. Secure in all bottoms, idiot proof, easy to handle, and thus perfect for everyday use. But when the need arises to set a second anchor-either to restrict swing or to increase holding in horrible mud-the last thing I want is a heavy steel anchor connected to chain that I have to drag across deck.

PS Advisor: Are Diaphragm Bilge Pumps OK?

My boat has an ITT/Jabsco 36600 diaphragm bilge pump that does not sit in the bilge and is rebuildable. With an 8-foot head on the pump installation, I think this type of pump may be a better type for me than the electric centrifugal pumps you reviewed in the September 2010 issue—although they are more expensive. You did not include any diaphragm pumps in your review. Was there a reason? Do you plan to test this type of pump and perhaps compare them to the ones reported on in the September article? Any information on diaphragm pumps versus centrifugal pumps would be greatly appreciated.

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.

Sailboat Design Conference Part I

Beyond the text and photos contained in a sailboat manufacturing company’s brochures, and the words of a dealer or salesperson, and absent an understanding of yacht design, discerning the actual capabilities of today’s production boats is a major task. Gone are the days of Herreschoff et. al., when the conventional wisdom held that a long, deep keel was the best method of producing good tracking, displacement produced a seakindly ride, and performance (straightforward speed) was a simple matter of adding sail area. Prior to the age of fiberglass, most yachts used similar raw materials (wood and metal), and construction methods, so those variables were not generally a consideration.

A Look at the Latest Generation of Genoa Furlers

To get an idea of whats on the market and see how the newer products fare against the simpler, tried and true furling systems, Practical Sailor rounded up 11 new headsail furlers suited for 30- to 35-foot sailboats. This, the first of a two-part report on the evaluation, focuses on the seven products that use a head-swivel design and range in cost from $950 to $3,200. (The report of integral systems will follow in an upcoming issue.) The following furlers were reviewed: Facnor LX 130, Harken MkIV and Cruising 1, Profurl LCI32, Schaefer 2100, Furlex 200S (Selden Mast), and US Spars (Z-Spar) Z-780.

Anchors for Muck, for Under 200 Bucks

In soft mud, the low-priced Lewmar Claw stands out in short- and long-scope testing

Midsize Mainsheet Traveler Test

Considerable evolution has taken place since our last traveler test. Now, Antal stands out for ergonomic design, functionality, and attention to detail, but Lewmar is our choice due to its pricing.û

Screw types prove their mettle in load testing.

The mechanics at work at the other end of your mooring line matter as much as the mooring line and pendant. In 2009, Practical Sailor reported on two pull tests held 12 years apart (See Mooring Anchors for Sensitive Seabeds, Practical Sailor August 2009). We also reported on the results of a third test being carried out by contractors for the City of Sarasota, which at that time was about to become one of Floridas seven pilot mooring fields. Boot Key Mooring Field, which took a near direct hit from Hurricane Irma in 2017, was another harbor participant in the program (see adjacent article).

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...