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Mailport: Noise control, outboard maintenance, fuel tanks, powerline safety

E15 IN CARBURETORS I enjoyed your E15 fuel article in the September edition of Practical Sailor “Gas Engine Owners Beware of E15.” I don’t think that the picture of the carb bowl you featured really showed how much damage ethanol fuel can do to the inside of carbs though. Please see the attached pictures of the inside of […]

Rhumb Lines: Lessons from Hurricane Ian

Well, Hurricane Ian plowed south of the refuge-by-default for Opal, the 1971 Yankee 30 I spent a good part of last year working on. With no time to dash to a hurricane hole, I did the best I could with fenders, chafe gear, and lines at St. Petersburg Municipal Marina where the boat is berthed (left […]

Download The Full October 2022 Issue PDF

  • Building Micro-skills
  • Anchoring Hacks
  • Disposal Dilemma
  • Jib Leech Telltales
  • Why Winter Afloat?
  • The Year in Review

Rhumb Lines: Cold Weather Sailing

For the first year since escaping New England to take the helm of Practical Sailor in 2005, I’ll be experiencing a true autumn in Marquette, MI—a place I’ve been travelling back-and-forth to from Florida for several years. Fall quickly becomes winter in the Upper Peninsula (the “UP,” as the Yoopers call it), so I find myself thumbing […]

Mailport: Noise control, outboard maintenance, fuel tanks, powerline safety

A RESOUNDING CLARIFICATION Regarding the blog post, “Reducing Boat Noise,” I wonder if this is correct: “The actual noise level in the cabin will depend on the distance between the engine box and the cabin; sound levels drop by 6 decibels each time you double the distance from the source.” Isn’t that the noise drop […]

Anchoring in Bad Bottoms

Seamanship is about big concepts and small skills. They work together, but we see them differently and they represent different types of learning. Big concepts involve passagemaking and piloting decisions, like knowing when it’s time to bear away from a lee shore even though it adds miles to the passage, or recognizing that you and […]

Bad Holding Ground Primer

Modern anchors of the recommended size that are set and rigged properly offer plenty of holding power in good sand or mud. Except for a horrible storm in an exposed location, you won’t hear about dragging unless the bottom is poor. In bad holding ground, however, all the holding figures you see quoted go out […]

Composting Head Disposal Options

We wouldn’t describe ourselves as huge fans of composting/desiccation heads (see “Dissecting the Desiccating Head,” PS July 2021). We’re not encouraging people to rip out what they have or even to go that way with replacements; a properly installed and maintained holding tank system works very well and fits the needs of most sailors. We see composting/desiccating […]

Wintering Afloat

Insurance and hurricane risk may require a layup. But I’ve been quite happy wintering in the mid-Chesapeake, snow, ice and all. Over 35 years, the only times my boat has been materially damaged were both on the hard, which colors my thinking. In Deale, MD, there are only a few weeks each year where ice […]

Do Cruisers Need Jib Leech Telltales?

Telltales on the body of the jib and leech of the main are commonplace, and most of us learned to sail using them. They tell us at a glance whether the air flow is attached or stalled at that location. Most commonly, they are placed at the forward third of the jib and the leech […]