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 27 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.

Laziness Never Goes Unpunished

Chapter 3 of 6 in the Online Book Seamanship

Laziness is the single biggest enemy of good seamanship. Here's an example of when I was lazy...and paid the price. But really, I got off light, it could have been a lot worse.

Waterboot Mast/Deck Seal

No leaks down the exterior of the mast below the partners. Period. That’s what Waterboot promises and what it delivers. The Waterboot is computer cut to your measurements (based on their instructions) from a durable, lightweight, 100% UV resistant, rubbery material with a Velcro closure. You fit the boot around the mast, close the Velcro, [...]

A Different View—Hank-On sails

Chapter 12 of 27 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

It's rare these days to see a cruising boat with hank-on headsails. But are such sails only for the traditionalists stuck in the stone age of offshore sailing? Maybe not. Here is a convincing case for hank-on sails, at least on smaller boats.

Making Life Easier–Roller Reefing/Furling

Chapter 13 of 27 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

The old saying that ‘if a job is easy, you’ll do it’, is a good one that we have tried to bring to bear at all times when improving our Ovni 435 Pelerin. If the job’s difficult, you’ll delay it until it’s beyond inevitable and then it can become a hardship. And nowhere is that [...]

Making Life Easier—Storm Jib

Chapter 14 of 27 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

Once a year we like to entertain our neighbours by hoisting our storm jib whilst we’re alongside. Not much new to be learned from it, but it does force us to get it out of the bag and give it a thorough check over for any signs of chafe or other damage. We have a [...]

Reefing At The Mast

Chapter 4 of 27 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

In this chapter we will cover in detail, complete with a slideshow illustrating each step, how we reef on "Morgan’s Cloud" and more specifically, how we reef when sailing downwind.

Light Weather Sails–Choosing What Is Right For You

Chapter 15 of 27 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

One of the things we like most about the OVNI 435 is the well-stayed cutter rig. In light of experience aboard our previous boat we opted for a yankee (jib-topsail) rather than the standard roller genoa knowing that the yankee maintains its shape and drive far better when well rolled, and is stable and easy [...]

Reefing On All Points of Sail

Morgan’s Cloud is the only boat I have ever sailed on (I only started sailing after meeting John) and so I generally assume that the way we do things on our boat is the way it is done. Which suits John just fine—he’s been able to brainwash, I mean, teach me how he likes to [...]

Gennaker Furlers Come Of Age

Chapter 16 of 27 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

There was an interesting piece in a recent edition of French sailing magazine Voiles et Voiliers on gennaker furlers. These gears are very popular in France, and through their extensive use aboard racing multihulls and Vendee Globe boats have undergone real battlefield testing over the last ten years, to the extent that they must now [...]

How We Buy Sails

Why do we give so much thought to our sails? Well, first, as we talked about in this post, good sails equal good speed and good speed equals more fun. Speed also contributes to safety because you are vulnerable to bad weather for less time. Finally, if your sails are slow in normal weather, they [...]

Don’t Forget About The Sails

Chapter 2 of 27 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

These days, with all the focus on the latest whiz-bang gadgets, many sailors are forgetting to think about and spend money on their boat's primary means of locomotion. In this post we look at why spending time and money on good sails is vital. Not only is a boat that sails well more fun, it's also a lot safer.