Lessons on Spinnaker Repair

This is a guest post by Andrew Evans, author of the book Singlehanded Sailing: Thoughts, Tips, Techniques & Tactics. For my review of Andy’s book, see Book Review: Thoughts, Tips, Techniques & Tactics for Singlehanded Sailing. The version of Andy’s book that I reviewed was an early version from before it was published under a different title by…

Use Your Boat Hook to Sail Faster Downwind

Earlier this summer, I described How to rig a cruising spinnaker in 4 stingy stages. If you don’t have a spinnaker yet, or even if you do have one but you don’t want to raise it for a short run, your best option when sailing downwind is to set your sails “wing and wing.” That is, with your…

How to Flatten the Luff of that Baggy Old Sail

Do you have one or more old sails that, after you hoist them fully, have scallops and wrinkles along the luff like in the picture above? Or do you have to winch them flat or overtighten your backstay? Instead of a flat, smooth leading edge, those wrinkles disrupt airflow and rob your sail’s performance. If the…

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 got this!” quite like a racing or cruising spinnaker. It’s as though the sailboat is puffing its chest out with confidence and…

Improve Sail Shape and Performance with a Leech Line

Before I dive in to the main topic of this post, I want to wish all you stingy sailors out there a Happy Thanksgiving Day. Even if you don’t live in the US or don’t normally celebrate this holiday, I hope you can take some time today to express your gratitude for the blessings in…

No Furler? Make a Foredeck Sail Bag

If you have a headsail furler on your sailboat, this project will probably be of little interest to you. But if you have hank-on headsails and want convenient protection for them like the sacrificial covers on furled headsails, read on. A foredeck sail bag is something of a luxury for the trailer sailor. It’s not necessary…