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Sails, Rigging & Deck Gear

Fad or Function? Fathead Sails Offer A Little of Both

Full-length battens create a compression load on the luff end, requiring ball bearing luff car system...

A Handy Cockpit Vise Is Ready in a Pinch

Most times when I need a third hand, I can secure whatever Im 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.

Small-Boat Refit: Practical Sailor’s Catalina 22 Gets a Keel Overhaul

Practical Sailor testers’ summer boat to-do list included removing, repairing, and replacing the swing-keel pivot assembly of the Catalina 22, Jelly. The swing-keel hanger assembly supporting Jelly’s keel required a moderate amount of time, skill, and expense to repair. Staff members gleaned ideas for the repairs from fellow Catalina 22 owners through the Catalina 22 National Sailing Owners Association www.catalina22.org.

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 II

Take a cursory glance at a new 35-footer and you might easily conclude that, except for cosmetic changes, the boat is essentially unchanged from those that made their debut in 1995. But that is not the case. In contemporary designs, modifications to deck layouts, the design of creature comforts, and boathandling systems, all reflect the market's desire for easy use, as evinced by below-deck sheeting systems (X Yachts), electrically controlled stern platforms (C&C), and removable traveler systems (Etap), for instance.

Anchoring Legal Responsibility

We often get questions about anchoring rights. While it is commonly understood that the first boat arriving in an anchorage has privileges, many see this as a matter of etiquette, but it is also a legal issue. The below citations are from the case Juniata 124 F. 861 US Admiralty Court, E.D. Virginia, 1903. Other rulings we reviewed generally agree.]

Finding Balance with Your New Fathead Sail

The center of effort will move aft compared to a pinhead and forward compared to a...

Chafe Protection for Fiber Rodes

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

No-Bleed Fuel Filter Adapter

There probably are a million diesel engines-Perkins, Ford-Lehmans, Volvo-Pentas, Saabs and others-whose fuel gets its final cleaning by passing through a filter cartridge fitted...

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.

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?