Rigging a Proper Preventer, Part 1

Chapter 19 of 20 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 18 of 20 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 [...]

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 Dangerous Myth about Reefing

Chapter 6 of 20 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 13 of 20 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

We just had a gear failure that should not have happened. Here is the story of how being lazy, not once, but three times, added up to a lot of work: Our present mainsail, bought in 2006, is just a tad longer on the foot than the old one. The result is that the sail [...]

A Different View—Hank-On sails

Chapter 8 of 20 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 he 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 9 of 20 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 10 of 20 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 While Sailing Downwind

Chapter 3 of 20 in the Online Book Sail Handling Made Easy

Free Sample Chapter 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 11 of 20 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 12 of 20 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 [...]