Install Midship Cleats and Dock Like a Pro

What’s the sailing maneuver you’re worst at? If it’s not tacking and gybing, it’s probably docking, especially if you sail single-handed or short-handed. Sailboats aren’t very maneuverable in tight spaces. If you don’t do it frequently enough to get good at it, it’s sort of a semi-controlled crash landing. You can make the process a…

18 Perished in US Sailing Tragedies in 2019

Every year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the United States Coast Guard, and the Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety publish a report of statistics about recreational boating accidents. The 2019 report was recently published and there were three more sailing deaths and 48 more injuries than last year.

Make This Boom Tent: the Poor Man’s Bimini

It’s a cloudless mid-summer afternoon. You’ve had a great day of sailing but you’re ready to drop anchor, start dinner, and relax for another stunning sunset. You’ve been in the sun all day so some shade would be great but you don’t have a bimini on your sailboat. You don’t really want to go down…

So You Just Bought Your First Sailboat—Where Do You Begin?

Photo courtesy of Dianna Keen at These Days of Mine You’ve fantasized about it, you’ve looked, you’ve shopped around. You crawled in, under, and around a bunch of sailboats that other people wanted to get rid of. Finally, one grabbed your imagination more than any other. In your mind’s eye, you could see yourself as…

Quick and Simple DIY Turnbuckle Boots

This week’s project is one of the easiest you’ll ever do to your sailboat. There’s no epoxy, painting, drilling, wiring, or splicing involved. If you can saw through a piece of PVC pipe, you can do this job. Heck, this might be a good project for a junior crew member to work on their stingy sailor…

How to Rebuild an Outboard Motor Water Pump

If you’ve already read 15 Outboard Motor Maintenance Blind Spots You Can’t Afford to Miss and discovered that your outboard motor’s water pump (#7) is one of your maintenance blind spots, then this post is for you. It’s also for you if you didn’t read that article and you don’t have a clue how to…

Why Your Swing Keel Lock Bolt Won’t Save You in a Knockdown

If you spend much time around other C-22 owners or online C-22 forums, you’re bound to hear the following myth over and over. It goes something like this… The Catalina 22 uses a locking bolt to keep the keel down in case of a knock-down.

How to Rig a Cruising Spinnaker in 4 Stingy Stages

If you don’t have a spinnaker for your sailboat yet, aren’t you a little envious of those big, colorful, billowing sails you sometimes see at your favorite cruising spots? Nothing says, “Yeah, we’ve got this!” quite like a racing or cruising spinnaker. It’s as though the sailboat is puffing its chest out with confidence and…

Sew This Jib Sock to Protect Your Furled Headsails

If you install a cruising furler like I describe in Headsail Furlers For the Trailer Sailor and you don’t also add sacrificial cover strips to the leech and foot of your headsails, those edges of your sails will be constantly exposed to UV sunlight and the weather and will deteriorate much faster than the rest of…

Turn Those Chain Plate Bolts!

Do you have problems with your shroud turnbuckle T bolts or toggles binding or bending when you step your mast? If so, your chain plate bolts might not be rotated at the right angle for those parts to work the way they’re supposed to.

Is COVID-19 Keeping You Off The Water?

It’s still a little early here in the northwestern US but some brave skippers are beginning to go sailing. For you folks on the coasts and more to the south, the weather shouldn’t be keeping you off the water but the novel Corona virus outbreak might. Mrs. $tingy and I have been self isolating for…