Storing the Mainsail with a string and a shackle
Offers a simple cheap alternative to the lazy jack system of mainsail storage.
Preserving fish without refrigeration
Fish caught on long passages are often too large to be consumed in one sitting by the average cruising couple and most cruisers do not have refrigeration.
Releasing seized nuts and bolts by heat
Bolts and nuts, like most every fastening, have a tendency to seize up on boats due to the challenging sea going environment.
How to confidently board and unlock your yacht on dark moonless nights
Climbing aboard and unlocking a vessel upon dark nights can involve considerable groping in the dark and the occasional stubbed toe.
Precautionary hull mat to use in the event of a holing
In a collision or grounding against rocks the hull may be holed.
Preventing the topping lift from chafing the mainsail
When the topping lift is relaxed on the mainsails it tends to rub and chafe the sail.
Mounting a collapsible radar reflector
Small boats cannot rely upon the larger ships watch seeing them, especially at night. But traditional collapsible radar reflectors are a nuisance aboard. Their edges eat through anything that rubs against them, especially so once they oxidise and become pitted, and they look highly unattractive.
A comfortable seat for the helmsman
Many production boats do not have a cockpit seat for the Helmsman. A conspicuous example of this is in the Westerly Berwick 31 that is a renowned and stalwart cruising vessel. This forces the helmsman to either sit on either side of the cockpit, depending on heal, or to stand for long periods.
A safe and protective guard and handhold at the galley stove
Working on the stove at sea is a challenge, with or without a galley strap. It is far too easy to fall upon the stove and grab hold of it for support.
Reducing the chance of developing a diesel cabin odour
Changing the primary fuel filter and draining the bowl during the engine service runs a high risk of splashing diesel about the engine. Equally a badly sealed fuel filter can drip fuel. This fuel then sticks to the surface with the excess seeping down into the bilge. This causes the cabin to develop a diesel-mildew odour.
How to cut out a large round hole
Cutting out a hole larger than the largest hole saw fitting can be daunting. It is very difficult to hand cut with a jig saw unless it is very large.
Reducing the power draw of the vessels anchor light
Yachts lying to anchor must light up an anchor light. Mast based anchor lights are geared towards delivering a clear bright light that can be seen for some distance in busy waterways. Maintaining these lights throughout the night draws a lot of power.
Buying a used sailing vessel in the UK
Buying a boat is one of the key ways to experience the pleasure of a countries coastline with family and friends. It is very much like buying a car and just as easy. However, as with a car purchase, key paperwork and legal matters need to be correctly attended to before a buyer may safely part with his money and take secure and unfettered ownership of a vessel. A new boat buyer has implicit Sale of Goods Act rights but not so a used boat buyer that are only covered by the laws pertaining to misrepresentation.
Dealing with the three different GPS conventions for describing a waypoint
GPS has forever transformed the art of navigation, but there are sublties of expressing a position that need to be understood. There are three different GPS conventions for describing a waypoint, it is imperative for accuracy of position that you understand which convention you are using aboard and format of information you are being provided from external sources.
A stubborn and resistant headsail furler that jams, or releases and jams alternatively when furling
The headsail furler jams or is highly resistant to furling. Or, the furling system will partially furl then stops, and then furl again, and then stops etc. A complete furl may be achieved but it is a battle and the furler rotation is far from smooth or consistent. These are the symptoms of 'halyard wrap', the number one issue that cause furling systems to jam or be rotation resistant. What is happening is that the halyard is starting to wrap at the top, locking up the furling system, and then unwrapping when you ease the pressure on the furling line.
Comfortable lifelines to lay against
Some cockpits have natural seating or resting positions that find crew leaning back on the guard rails. A cockpits arrangement leads to this position but this can be very uncomfortable after a short amount of time.
Keeping a wintered boat well ventilated under the cover with companionway ventilation
Covering a boat for the winter period is an excellent way to keep it in good condition and reduce maintenance. However the canopy will dramatically reduce airflow and the lack of ventilation can make the boat go very stale below decks.
Avoiding fender rolling chafe
Laying alongside in a chop, or near a very busy waterway where the wash of passing boats rolls in, will cause a vessel to continuously jostle back and forth upon the fenders.
Emergency electrical power
If you flatten your battery, unless it is a particularly small engine that can be cranked over manually, you will be without engine power and be crippled for power aboard.
Deploying the appropriate length of anchor chain
When day anchoring in non tidal waters it is recommended a vessel deploys at least two to three times chain length to the depth of water, five times if tidal or windy, and eight to twelve times in stormy conditions or overnight stays. Although the water beneath the hull may easily be measured by the depth sounder there is no measuring device for the chain.
Improving a cruising vessels charging by optimising the regulator performance
The alternator produces electricity to recharge the battery. The regulator sits between the two systems deciding the power output from the alternator to optimize the battery charging. It refreshes the battery with a tapered charging process that is the default charging mechanism of a standard alternator. The taper causes the battery to charge rapidly at first and then slow down as it reaches full charge. This eliminates the risk of overcharging and battery damage. The standard system works well refreshing a single vehicle battery that it is designed for. However the default alternator taper is highly conservative, i.e. it drops down the charge output too quickly, in the context of refreshing a well used boat battery in a short amount of time. The performance shortcoming is dramatic when refreshing a bank of batteries. Although the default charge setting will charge a vessels batteries in time, the alternators taper drops the output so as to make it unnecessarily inefficient.
How do romantic relationships fair in long-distance cruising?
Couples are uncertain that their relationships will withstand a 24 x 7 x 365 x X year (s) environment.
A folding table arrangement for a confined cabin
Mounting a reasonable sized table in a confined cabin can be a challenge. A respectably sized table can consume a large proportion of the available space and can make accessing the fore cabin inconvenient. Yet a table that is not in the way will be too small and unpleasant to dine off.
Marking out and cutting a round object such as an oar, boom or mast etc.
Accurately marking out a square line on a round object and then cutting it is not a simple task. It is far more likely to go wrong than right.
Preventing the loss of washboards during heavy weather sailing
It is critical that the main hatch be kept secured during heavy weather sailing. Yet washboards are difficult to handle in these times. Each ascent / decent of a crew member necessitates a dismantling and reassembly of the washboards. This involves replacing typically two to three washboards in the correct sequence and orientation to correctly fit. Performing this operation in difficult conditions makes it very likely that a board could be lost overboard. In particularly difficult situations, where the boat has rolled or pitch poled, the washboards tend to fall out and get lost further exacerbating a survival situation.
Stowing eggs for longevity
Eggs are both fragile and perishable. Their paper cartons often play host to cockroaches and thereby introduce cockroaches aboard a vessel.
'Rule of Twelfths': a simple method for estimating intermediate tidal heights
Applying a graphical procedure, found by reference to an appropriate almanac and the times and heights of high and low water, a navigator may precisely work out intermediate tidal heights and times. This then enables depth restricted vessels to pass into shallow waters supported by tidal water and accurately plot a position where a vessel may anchor and stay afloat.However plotting tide to this level of detail is a skilled, onerous and time consuming task. It is for many cruisers more for the world of merchant sailors. Moreover, tidal curves are often only available for major ports where most leisure vessels would have ample water, not in out of the way anchorages. In the real world, even if the detail is available, few sailors would go to this level of detail.
Powering and charging occasional AC devices aboard a yacht
Yachts typically operate on 12Volt DC Systems. This means that it is not possible to charge occasional personal user device that show up aboard such as mobile phones, iPods, digital cameras, laptop computers, camcorders, portable video game consoles, stereos etc.
Making boarding from the dingy easier
Coming alongside and climbing aboard in a highly unstable tender is not an easy task. For people who are more senior than others, slightly heavier or are not familiar with a world in motion it can prove prohibitive. Even for born yachties it is less than convenient, is very awkward when ferrying provisions back and forth and a struggle in a chop.
Re-floating techniques after running aground
Every now then you will run aground, it is part of the life of an adventurous cruising sailor.