Product Review: Magma BeachFire/Rio Grill

What’s better than a freshly grilled steak or cheeseburger after you’ve set anchor at the end of a full day of sailing? Anything you could cook on that wimpy alcohol stove in the galley? Share your nominees in the comments below. For the rest of us, the issue isn’t what but where, because that alcohol…

How to Install a Tiller Autopilot

I hadn’t seriously considered an autopilot for Summer Dance until I discovered the affordable Raymarine ST1000+ Tiller Pilot and that they could be had for half the cost of new on eBay. When I thought of how convenient it would be for cruising with my wife who has no desire to take the helm, I…

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…

Upgrade to a Bimini Top on a Budget

The first mate and I live at around 48 degrees north latitude, which means that we don’t get a lot of hot weather. We have four distinct seasons and enjoy them all.  It will get to around 100 degrees for a couple of weeks in August, but that’s as hot as it gets. The rest of…

Product Review: Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 73sv Chartplotter

I’ve been asked many times if I have a chartplotter on Summer Dance. Up to now, I’ve answered that I didn’t have a need for one and that my handheld GPS worked fine for my needs. But recently, I’ve challenged myself to do more fishing and I haven’t been very successful yet at filling up…

Fix Those Leaky Windows!

The most common cause of water leaks into the cabin of a first generation C-22 sailboats besides the chain plates, are the aluminum frame windows. The silicone that seals the glass to the frame eventually loses its adhesion and elasticity and separates from the glass. Water accumulates in the vinyl glazing channel, which isn’t watertight,…

Try This Rudder Hack for Less Weather Helm

Perfect sail trim results in maximum forward speed, minimum heel, and a neutral helm. In other words, the sails are balanced between the headsail and the mainsail and the tiller requires little to no input to hold the sailboat’s heading. But we all know that perfection is elusive and it’s a moving target. Wind and…

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,…

The 6 Worst Things You Can Do To Your Sails

Crisp, clean sails not only look better than dirty, worn out sails, they also work better and let your sailboat heel less. New sails are expensive so it’s smart to take care of the ones you have so that they will last longer before you need to replace them. Here are some simple things that…