Headsail Furlers For the Trailer Sailor

I used to be a little envious of skippers with headsail furlers. They can just pull a line to roll up their headsail at the end of the day. Their headsail stays crisper longer because it doesn’t get folded up and stowed away. To set sail, they can just pull the sheets aft to unfurl…

Control Your Mainsail Shape Better With a Boom Vang

A boom vang is a useful control for your mainsail, especially if it’s older and acting its age. That is, if it’s getting baggy and difficult to flatten, particularly when you’re pointed off the wind. For better performance, you need to be able to pull excess twist out of the mainsail and flatten the leech. The…

Upgrade Your Rig With a DIY Adjustable Backstay

At some point when you get serious about sail trim, whether for racing or just high performance cruising, you’re going to want an adjustable backstay. Most C-22s and similar daysailers were rigged at the factory with fixed length backstays that are only slightly adjustable with a turnbuckle. They’re not intended for adjusting to different wind…

Put That Lazy Sheet to Work and Point Higher

It’s the holy grail of sailing, the one thing that is denied every sailor, yet they yearn and struggle for it anyway.  I’m talking about pointing higher upwind.  No matter how good of a sailboat you have or how good you are at trimming its sails, there’s a limit to how close into the wind…

How to Rig a Self-Tacking Jib for Free!

You may not have seen or even heard of a self-tacking jib before. They’re usually only found on luxury sailboats. But that’s exactly what it is, a headsail that sheets itself when you tack. You don’t have to cast off the working sheet and haul in the lazy sheet on every tack. In fact, after you set…

Two Ways to Rebuild Your Main Sheet Traveler Car

What condition is your main sheet traveler car in? Do the sheaves look like the picture below, chipped and cracked? After twenty, thirty, or forty years they can get brittle and weak. You don’t want them to break while you’re out on the water. The car wouldn’t come off the bar but there would be…