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…

Turn Those Chain Plate Bolts!

Do you have problems with your shroud turnbuckle T bolts or toggles binding or bending when you step your mast? Are the toggles perfectly in line between the T bolts and the chain plate bolts? If not, your chain plate bolts might not be rotated at the right angle for those parts to work the…

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…

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…

DIY Soft Shackles for Quick and Easy Headsail Changes

Do you still tie your headsail sheets on with bowline knots or cow hitches? Do you have separate single-length sheets for each headsail? Do you procrastinate when you should make a headsail change because it’s a hassle to tie or reeve the new sheets?