How To Bed Hardware With Butyl Tape

When shopping for a used sailboat, one of the most important things to look for is soft or springy spots in the deck. They’re a sure sign that water has seeped into the wooden core and caused rot that’s difficult and expensive to repair. Water damage is also common around the edges of wooden bulkheads,…

Stingy’s Used Sailboat Buying Guide

If you’ve already been sailing for a while on a friend’s or a family member’s sailboat, then you probably have a good idea of what you want and what to look for. But if you’re relatively new to the sport and shopping for your first used sailboat, it can be a daunting task. There are a…

10 Tips on How to Make Time to Work on Your Sailboat

One of the biggest challenges that I read about in the many emails that I receive from subscribers is finding time to work on their sailboats. We all live busy, modern lives and as much as we would like to spend more time restoring and improving our sailboats, there never seems to be enough time….

Six DIY Skills Every Skipper Should Know

If you’re a regular reader of this website, the odds are good that you’re also a do-it-yourselfer. And if you’re a DIYer, the odds are good that you have an above average mechanical aptitude. You have an instinctive curiosity for how things are made, how they work, and how to fix them when they don’t…

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…

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…

Use Your Boat Hook to Sail Faster Downwind

In a previous article, 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 short runs, one of your best options when sailing dead downwind is to set your sails “wing…