Refinish Your Swing Keel for Best Performance – Part 3: Fairing

This post is the continuation of Refinish Your Swing Keel for Best Performance – Part 2: Cleaning. I will describe common keel defects, the fairing system I used, sealing a freshly sandblasted keel, applying body filler to build up an accurate hydrodynamic foil shape, and paying extra attention to the shape of the leading edge…

Refinish Your Swing Keel for Best Performance – Part 2: Cleaning

This post is the continuation of Refinish Your Swing Keel for Best Performance – Part 1: Removing. This week, I describe using hand tools and power tools to remove most of the old coatings and rust, one way to lift and move the keel so you can work on it elsewhere, and the different methods of removing…

Refinish Your Swing Keel for Best Performance – Part 1: Removing

Does your swing keel look like it has leprosy? Does it make a disturbing klunking sound when you switch tacks? If it has exposed rust, do you know for a fact how extensive it is? Would you be surprised to learn that the swing keels of many older C-22s are not properly shaped to minimize drag and have…

Faith And Fair Winds

Looking out my office window at gray skies and still waters days before Christmas Day, I’m in a melancholy mood. Those of you who have followed this blog for at least one year know that I only mention my Christian faith at this time. The rest of the year is business as usual. I’ve been…

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Ball Valve Maintenance

Do you know where all of the ball valves on your boat are located? Are they all easy to turn? Do they seal completely? Have you ever done any maintenance to them? They’re not maintenance-free. In this post, I will dispel any mystery about how ball valves work and walk you step-by-step through how to…

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…

Convert Your Lights to LED Bulbs for More Light with Less Power

When we first started spending long weekends aboard Summer Dance, the deep cycle battery wouldn’t have enough charge left in it by the end of the weekend to power much of anything. At that time, Summer Dance had all incandescent navigation lights and only two cabin dome lights converted to LEDs. Besides the lights, we…

Lazy Jacks for the Trailer Sailor

Lazy jacks can be one of the most complicated rigging systems on a trailerable sailboat but they have a simple function. That is, to cradle the mainsail when it’s lowered so that it doesn’t spill onto the cabin and cockpit. If you usually have another experienced crew member aboard, that person can gather and tie…

Quit Spending Setup Time on Turnbuckles

Turnbuckles are great for tuning your rig but they’re the least convenient way imaginable to loosen and detach the forestay and lower shrouds for unstepping the mast. I vowed long ago that I would quit wasting time on turnbuckles during setup and tear-down. This post is a companion to my previous post How to step a mast single-handed with or without…

15 Perished in US Sailing Tragedies in 2018

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 2018 report was just published and there were three fewer sailing deaths than last year and nine fewer than four years ago, definitely a…