Safety: We Can’t Do Or Even Learn About It All

These days it seems like hardly a month goes by without the announcement of a new and/or improved safety device, aggressively marketed as the latest thing that we all must buy, to the point that it’s getting impossible to keep up. Here is how John decides which of these new technologies to put energy into understanding and which to ignore.

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Cockpits—Part 2, Visibility and Ergonomics

There are few areas on any boat that are used for more diverse tasks than an offshore sailboat cockpit. Everything from lounging on a quiet day at anchor to handling a fast-moving emergency at sea with a bunch of sail up…in the black dark…in fog…with a ship bearing down on us.

Given that, picking a boat with a good cockpit layout is one of the most important parts of boat selection. Let’s look at what really matters.

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Cooking Options For Live-aboard Voyagers—Part 1, Electric

Three months ago I did some experimenting with induction cooking and wrote about it. And that spawned four more articles as I investigated the changes to a cruising boat’s electrical system required to support high loads like those from electric cooking. So now we can properly answer the original question, is electric cooking practical on a yacht?

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Cockpits—Part 1, Safe and Seamanlike

These days there seems to be an endless fascination with yacht (both motor and sail) cockpit amenities, but we must never lose sight of a cockpit’s primary function: to be the command and control centre of a vehicle that operates in a potentially hostile environment.

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Should Your Boat’s DC Electrical System Be 12 or 24 Volt?—Part 2

In Part 1 we learned that it was inefficient, and often impossible, as well as potentially dangerous, to supply the high-load equipment, that so many cruisers seem to want, with a 12-volt system. And, further, that the solution to this problem is either to forgo all very high-current (amperage) gear, or select a boat with a 24-volt system. So let’s look at that.

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Rigid Vangs

Rigid vangs were once only seen on racing sailboats, but cruisers can benefit, too. John explains why, how to choose between the two types (mechanical and hydraulic), as well as how to fit and use one safely.

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