Downwind Sailing, Tips and Tricks

Chapter 23 of 24 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

Colin draws on his decades of experience racing and cruising to share some tips and tricks that will make reaching and downwind sailing faster and more comfortable. Chapter FREE to view for three days.

Your Mainsail Is Your Friend

Chapter 21 of 24 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

Many sailors have de-emphasized their mainsails, in some cases to the point where the main is the first sail to come down when the going gets tough and often does not even get set in the first place. This is a mistake and potentially dangerous.

Let’s Go Sailing!

OK, enough with all this talk of motorboats, let's go sailing in a bit of breeze on Morgan's Cloud. We made the video below a few days ago in a solid Force 7 blow (near gale, 28-33 knots). By the way, look for a timely reminder from Phyllis at the halfway mark in the video--I'm suitably ashamed of [...]

Rigging a Proper Preventer, Part 1

Chapter 18 of 24 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

A head injury is a terrible event wherever you are, but at sea far from medical help it's even worse. Rigging a proper preventer is one of the surest ways to reduce the risk to you and your crew. In part 1 of this two part series we look at the risk and what constitutes a proper preventer.

Lazyjacks—Mainsail Handling Made Easy

Chapter 17 of 24 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

Other sailors are often surprised that Phyllis and I set, reef, and strike Morgan’s Cloud’s 600 square foot mainsail without resorting to complex gear like roller furling masts or booms. But actually, it’s pretty easy using the simple gear that we have installed and fine tuned over 22 years and well over 100,000 miles. The [...]

There’s nothing like a good long voyage to sort out a boat, for better or for worse. That much I learned running a working charter boat for so many years. Every season we’d cover around 8000 hard miles between the English Channel and the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. On our return to Falmouth at the [...]

A Better Chain Plate

While thinking about how to make the Adventure 40 an incredibly trouble free and reliable ocean voyaging boat, I have worried most about two areas: chain plates and the rudder.

Both for the same reason: they are the area in conventional fiberglass production boat construction where stainless steel and fiberglass come together in the presence of salt water to make an unhappy marriage.

A Great Racing Shackle For Cruisers

Colin's post about the failure of a snap shackle on Pèlerin and his recommendation to stick with shackles made by Wichard or Harken, which we heartily agree with, got me thinking about another type of shackle that we have found very useful on Morgan's Cloud. A type that may surprise you since it is normally [...]

Before any long passage I conduct a careful examination of all of our standing and running rigging, checking particularly for chafe and any sign of corrosion – better to do it well in advance than wait until the last minute when there’s no time to effect repairs. So before we left the Canaries I went [...]

A Dangerous Myth about Reefing

Chapter 7 of 24 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

There are probably more myths and downright wrong recommendations published about reefing than any other subject. In this chapter John exposes one of them and then goes on to explain how to do it right.