How to Restore Rusted Parts

I buy a lot of used sailboat hardware on eBay and craigslist.org. The reason is simple, I usually can’t afford new! If you’re reading this and you aren’t independently wealthy then you know how expensive parts and supplies for our boats are. I only buy new when I can get a great discount and buying…

Do it Yourself Trailer Surge Brakes

If you’re new to trailer sailing, you might be unsure about your trailer’s brake system (or lack thereof). If you own an older trailer, the system could be badly corroded from many wet launches and need repair or replacement. If your trailer doesn’t have a brake system, you might be wondering why and if you…

How To Measure Standing Rigging Tension

Whether or not you’ve replaced your standing rigging, you may be wondering how to adjust it. How tight should the rig be? How can you measure it? After all, what good is great rigging if it isn’t tensioned properly to perform its best?

Upgrade Your Galley With An Electric Water Pump

The first mate didn’t care much for the original equipment water pump in the galley of Summer Dance. She uses a lot of water for making coffee in the mornings, sponge baths, or to wash her hair. Pumping that much water by hand with the tiny, manual pump was more trouble than she wants to…

How To Cross-Sheet For Better Single-Handing

Single-handed sailing can seem like playing as a one man (or woman) band sometimes. You have to do everything yourself and play all the instruments simultaneously. If done well, it’s poetry in motion. If done poorly, it can be a train wreck.

How to Refinish Your Aluminum Propeller

Is the propeller on your outboard motor looking a bit worse for wear? Is the paint chipped and is corrosion setting in? It could be time to refinish it before it’s too far gone. Before I continue, a bit of legal housekeeping. This post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a small commission if…

Choose Your Running Rigging Colors Logically

When we purchased Summer Dance, she had an odd assortment of line colors, mostly the original equipment, run of the mill white with blue tracer. But the main sheet was white with a red tracer, the jib sheet too, and the genoa sheet was white with a black tracer. None of the colors gave you…

Make a Door for More Storage Under the Galley

Is there ever enough storage space on our little boats? Maybe if you only day sail. But if you anchor out much, particularly over long holiday weekends or longer, no. Your first mate will probably let you know about it like mine. Often. Yet there is a lot of useful, if difficult to get to…

Remove and Prevent Mildew for Pennies

This guest post is from Drew Frye and first appeared on his blog, Sail Delmarva. Drew also tests products for Practical Sailor magazine and writes for other magazines like Good Old Boat. He graciously agreed to let me reproduce his article here. The great myth of boat ownership—other than believing that everything takes 3 times as long…