Downwind Sailing, Tips and Tricks

Chapter 25 of 26 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 23 of 26 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 20 of 26 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 19 of 26 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 7 of 26 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.