The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Winch Maintenance

  The winches on your sailboat are the workhorses of your rig. They do the heavy lifting and make your job as skipper easier so you can enjoy the ride. They’re also the most expensive hardware aboard so it only makes sense to take good care of them. In this post, I describe how they…

Make Your Own Lifeline Cushions

This is a quick, easy, cheap project if you have any scraps of canvas leftover from earlier canvaswork projects. Lifeline cushions are tubular foam with canvas covers that fit over the lifelines that run along the sides of the cockpit. They’re great as headrests when laying back in the cockpit seats while you check your…

How to Make a Mainsail Cover

Summer Dance didn’t have much in the way of canvaswork when we bought her: the original mainsail cover and an old outboard engine cover that also looked pretty ghetto. Besides being 1980’s brown in color, the canvas of the mainsail cover was faded and shredded in places, much of the stitching had disintegrated, and the…

Install a Double Duty Headsail Downhaul

If you don’t have a headsail furler, a downhaul line is one of the easiest and least expensive control lines that you can add to your sailboat. It adds major convenience and safety for around $30. The line can be used with any size jib or genoa.

How to Replace Your Standing Rigging for Less

When we purchased Summer Dance, the standing rigging was one system that I knew I would need to replace soon. The upper shrouds had been replaced recently with well made cables, probably from that popular online Catalina parts retailer. The backstay and forestay were in satisfactory condition but were original from 1981. The lower shrouds…

Make a Door to Storage Space Under the V Berth

Storage for gear, clothing, provisions, and sails is a universal problem with trailerable sailboats. I began solving my onboard storage dilemma with an under galley storage solution. This project is a repeat of that one but claims the unused space under the V berth in my Catalina 22, specifically on the starboard side next to the…

What to Expect From a Professional Bottom Paint Job

When Summer Dance got beat up in a freak storm back in 2014, the damage was mainly in two areas. The worst damage was the deck rim and the rubrail, for which I described the repairs in Storm damage repairs. The collateral damage was the bottom paint, which also got hammered as you can see…

How to Completely Rewire Your Sailboat

It’s an enduring truth that appearances can be deceiving, especially with electrical systems. When I inspected Summer Dance before buying her, the electrical system looked like one of the boat’s strong suits. It had an upgraded panel and a new battery. The wiring was all original except for spliced connections to the panel. There weren’t any…

Single Line Jiffy Reefing Made Easy

Your ability to reef your mainsail is one of the most important sailing skills that you can learn. Your reefing rigging plays an important part in that. You can do it with just a few short lengths of rope but it will be more time consuming and difficult than it needs to be. That method…

Beware of Galvanic Corrosion!

Galvanic corrosion is what happens when dissimilar metals are in contact within an electrolyte and an electrical current is applied. That’s the technical definition. The practical description is it’s the white stuff that grows around your stainless steel fasteners in your aluminum mast and boom when you are around salt water.

$tingy’s 12-Point Winterization Checklist

When fall arrives, many owners haul out their sailboats to store them for the winter. Months of nothing but exposure to the elements gives rust, mildew, marine fouling, and chafing time to claim new territory in the battle for ownership of your sailboat. But you can keep the enemies at bay by doing these simple…