A Hotknife for the Rest of Us

When I made my first canvas project, a mainsail cover, I cut out the pieces using scissors as usual. Later, when I made the cabin cushion covers, I discovered how much better a hotknife works for cutting synthetic marine canvas like Sunbrella. Instead of the edges unravelling, they fused solid. That not only makes them…

Install a Double Duty Headsail Downhaul

If you don’t have a headsail furler, a downhaul line is one of the easiest and least expensive control lines that you can add to your sailboat. It adds major convenience and safety for around $30. The line can be used with any size jib or genoa.

How to Replace Your Standing Rigging for Less

When we purchased Summer Dance, the standing rigging was one system that I knew I would need to replace soon. The upper shrouds had been replaced recently with well made cables, probably from that popular online Catalina parts retailer. The backstay and forestay were in satisfactory condition but were original from 1981. The lower shrouds…

Make a Door to Storage Space Under the V Berth

Storage for gear, clothing, provisions, and sails is a universal problem with trailerable sailboats. I began solving my onboard storage dilemma with an under galley storage solution. This project is a repeat of that one but claims the unused space under the V berth in my Catalina 22, specifically on the starboard side next to the…

What to Expect From a Professional Bottom Paint Job

When Summer Dance got beat up in a freak storm back in 2014, the damage was mainly in two areas. The worst damage was the deck rim and the rubrail, for which I described the repairs in Storm damage repairs. The collateral damage was the bottom paint, which also got hammered as you can see…

How to Completely Rewire Your Sailboat

It’s an enduring truth that appearances can be deceiving, especially with electrical systems. When I inspected Summer Dance before buying her, the electrical system looked like one of the boat’s strong suits. It had an upgraded panel and a new battery. The wiring was all original except for spliced connections to the panel. There weren’t any…