August 2018

High-Tech Anchor Rode

Drew Frye uses a lightweight Fortress anchor with a Dyneema rode for kedging and V-tandem anchoring. He uses it only in shallow, soft mud bottoms.

Subscribers Only — 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.   More...

Non-Skid Tapes for Boats

Companionway stairs are a logical first step in a non-slip makeover.

Subscribers Only — Slips and falls will probably always be the greatest hazard on a sailboat, whether the result is a trip over the side, a knee slammed into the deckhouse, or a tumble down the companionway.   More...

Non-Skid Paints and Adhesive-backed Mats

Durabak non-skid looked great after application, but it has not weathered as well as polyurethane paint products.

Over the years, Practical Sailor has conducted dozens of test comparing painted-on non-skid exterior coatings. We’ve also compared the heavy-duty textured mats, including faux teak and cork, that are applied with adhesive. Three long-term tests of these coatings and mat products are still ongoing.   More...

Ropes for Throwing

Practice makes perfect. By our third toss, we were consistently hitting the mark.

Subscribers Only — We all know the drill. A new arrival pulls toward an unfamiliar marina or fuel dock with a breeze blowing, and they can’t quite get in. An inexperienced crew is rapidly dispatched to the bow and instructed to throw a line to a helper on the dock. They grab a coil of line, heave it . . . and it lands in a tangle in the water, scarcely halfway to the dock. Confusion erupts and the boat kisses a piling or nearby boat. If and when the line is successfully thrown, it’s a wet tangled mess aimed at your head.   More...

Perfecting the Toss Requires Some Practice

Passing a line to a helper on shore is as basic a part of seamanship as tying a bowline. You’ve probably seen an old salt seaman cast a line 40 feet as casually as passing the pepper, but more often you’ve seen the line launched with a huge arm swing, only to tangle and fall short of the mark. A few simple tips, all assuming you are right handed and you are throwing ½-inch line.   More...

Corsair F-24 Boat Test

Sleek, low-slung and equipped with a fathead laminated mainsail, the F-24 looks fast even when it is sitting at anchor.

Subscribers Only — In May 1999 Practical Sailor reviewed the then-new Corsair F-24 Mark II trimaran. Nearly 20 years later, we’re here to follow up with a focus on the Corsair F-24 Mark I, a boat that can represent a good value today since many newer designs have entered the market.   More...

Making Ice Last

We used a 36-quart Coleman cooler for testing, shown here with loose ice. The purpose of the black pipe on the left was to allow testers to use an infrared sensor to take temperature measurements at different levels.

Does block or bottled ice last longer than cube ice? What about dry ice? Will wrapping a blanket around the ice chest really help? What about moving the ice into a smaller cooler?   More...

Mailport: More Trimarans Please

Patricia Holt kicks back at Navarre Beach, Florida with her Ostac Tramp Trimaran that she and her husband Wayne are restoring. The Ostac is a later iteration of the Haines Hunter Tramp designed by Ian Farrier.

Please include more and more articles on smaller trimarans as time goes on such as reviews on Corsair 24s, Ostac Tramps, etc. Since I sold my monohull (O’Day 26) I find myself searching for good articles on multihulls and I certainly see more and more of them out on the water than before. Used ones are becoming affordable as the Corsair fleet ages.   More...

Reads for Reviving Gelcoat

Sometimes spring seems to sneak up on us, catching us off guard. When launch day arrives, some low priority chores still remain. For many of us, one such chore is waxing and buffing the hull. We’ve undertaken countless tests to find the best boat wax and polishes, the most effective waxing-and-polishing tools, and the products that can be used for a speedy touch-up. If waxing is on your to-do list, be sure to check out the following articles.   More...

Beneteau Responds to Seacock Query

Beneteau wrote a detailed response to our recent query from a reader regarding seacocks in his Beneteau (“Seacock, Through-hull Caution” Mailport, PS July 2017). We are continuing to look at seacocks and seacock materials. Our last big report was in 1994, so this is long overdue. If you have a relevant seacock story to share, send it to the editor at practicalsailor@belvoir.com.   More...

Drawing the Line on Boat Design

A New Zealander greatly influenced by the traditional craft of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, famed multihull designer Ian Farrier understood that an enduring design goes through several evolutions. Proas, the small sailing craft of Micronesia that inspired his visionary folding trimaran design, presented a perfect example of this.   More...

Cure for Holding Tank Clog

In our recent toilet paper test Scott Rapid Dissolve single ply lived up to its name (see "Best Marine Toilet Papers," PS October 2016.) It dissolved without collecting at or clogging joker valves (at left).

Any suggestions about what to do with a clogged holding tank? I’ve isolated the clog to between the base of the tank and the elbow after the toilet macerator. I’ve been treating the system with straight vinegar down the pumpout tube and thru the bowl to no avail.   More...