Lead All Lines to the Cockpit for Safer Sailing

The factory running rigging on most small sailboats, including the Catalina 22, is minimal to keep the price low. That is, the halyards and any other control lines are only long enough to fasten them to nearby cleats. Convenience and trimming for performance are a luxury reserved for larger, more expensive sailboats. It works okay, but…

How to Raise Your Foresail with a Pendant

If you regularly sail in a busy bay with other boaters, personal watercraft, kite boards, SUP boards, kayaks, and the like, it can get downright dangerous. Would you like to see forward under your foresail better to avoid a collision? Or do you hate the stains that you get on the tack of your foresail…

Upgrade Your Main Sheet to Double Ends

“Double your pleasure, double your fun” used to be the Doublemint gum slogan because of its double strength mint flavoring. You can double the utility of your main sheet by upgrading it to double ends. What you already have, a working end at the fiddle block that attaches to the traveler stays as it is…

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…

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…

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…

Do-It-Yourself Small Sailboat Rigging

Do you have an older sailboat with minimal or worn running rigging? Did you recently buy a used sailboat and you don’t know if you can trust the standing rigging? Do you want to set up your sailboat for maximum cruising pleasure and performance? Do you like to save money but you want quality rigging that you can trust?

Product Review: Barton Marine Winchers

Do you have winch envy? I mean do you wish you had shiny new self-tailing winches like on bigger and newer sailboats? It’s easy if you think about how you have to go to the extra effort to cleat off your sheet on every tack when the other guys only have to give them another…