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Sails, Rigging & Deck Gear

Mast Wire Worries

My Tayana Vancouver 42s mast wires and cables were cut when the keel-stepped mast (63 feet) was removed. The wires include those for a tri-color with strobe, DataMarine 5000, VHF radio, radar, and nav lights. I am thinking of using a terminal box for the connections when the mast is replaced, but Im concerned about bilge moisture over time as well as the multiple wires in the cables. The wires exit the mast just above the step. I tried to leave sufficient wire for a terminal box, but I don't think a box outside the bilge is currently possible without additional wire extensions. Thoughts and recommendations?

Windlasses: Maxwell, Lewmar Look Good; Lofrans Project 1500 Slips

Among this clutch of mid-size vertical units, we like the Lofrans Project 1000, and Maxwell’s Freedom 800 performs solidly at the right price. Lewmar’s V3 scores well among higher-priced alternatives.


Considering some of the loads involved, it's no wonder that shackles are made to be reliable. Wichard's 'D' shackles are excellent. Tylaska makes a top-quality snap shackle, but you won't go wrong with Schaefer or Wichard.

Low-draw LED Anchor Light

On the back page of the Fall 1999 Davis catalog are six new products—amber, red and white LED Clusters™ in either single- or double-contact...

Tiller Taming with Two Fingers

During the past decade, Practical Sailor has looked at a number of devices designed to hold the tiller while the helmsman can attend to other important business-such as trimming a jib sheet or popping open a frosty cold beverage. Theres the Davis Tiller-Tamer (Oct. 1, 1992), the Tillerstay (April 15, 1997), the Tillermate (April 1, 2005), and the Steer-iT (April 1, 2008). Except for the Steer-iT, all of these systems involve some form of line-clutch device on the tiller. The clutch "grabs" an athwartship line that passes through it. The line then leads back to cam (or clam) cleats on either side of the tiller that can be used to tension or release the line.

No Drama Anchoring Approach

This months report on tandem anchoring rigs was on my mind as the winds began gusting above 30 knots in the Dry Tortugas. Wed stopped there to wait out the passing of a late-season cold front during our recent voyage from Sarasota, Fla., to Havana, Cuba, aboard a friends 42-foot Endeavor, Lost Boys.

Boat Ladder for Inflatables

Ladders for use around and aboard the boat? For docks and rafts, hook-on-the-rail models, stern mounts, folding, extending, the new center bar sport ladders…there...

Testing New Anchors in Mud

Do those shiny, polished stainless steel anchors that hang from the bow rollers of boat-show boats actually set well and hold? In our latest anchor update, Practical Sailor examines the ability of some very expensive stainless steel anchors to set and hold in soft mud. The lineup includes the 28-pound STL Powerhold 350, an adjustable 25-pound anchor from Hunter Boat Anchors, and an odd-looking anchor called the Ton.

West Marine Issues Rocna Spec Notice

In the wake of questions about the tensile strength of steel used in the shafts of Rocna anchors, West Marine has issued “product specification notices” to customers who have purchased Rocna anchors since 2010 and recently posted the notice on its website (www.westmarine.com). West Marine is one of world’s largest distributors of the Rocna, a plow-style anchor sold in 34 different countries. The Rocna (www.rocna.com) earned a Recommended rating in our 2008 tests of heavyweight anchors, finishing behind the Manson Ray and the Manson Supreme (November 2008).

The Pros and Cons of Mechanical Terminals

Mechanical terminals more expensive than the usual alternative-swages-but they also have many advantages that swages do not.

Sailboat Do-it-Yourself Rig Survey

Several subscribers who read my recent blog post regarding stainless steel corrosion, “Detecting and Dealing with Stainless Steel Corrosion” asked if we had any...