The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site


There are just four menu items but they’re the gateway to over 1500 articles and tips:

  • About: What we do and what you get when you join.
  • New: The most recent in-depth Articles, Book Chapters and Tips, Tricks, and Thoughts, in date order.
  • Books: Twelve in-depth and regularly updated Online Books that take a deep dive into the subjects that matter most.
  • Topics: All of the above categorized by topic.

Here are some tips on how to get the most out of the Books and Topics:

Continuously Updated

One of the most wonderful things about offshore sailing is that we never know it all. In fact, the more we learn and the more years we spend voyaging, the more we realize that we have more to learn. With Online Books we can, and do, revise and improve constantly.

The date of the last update is shown in the byline area of every chapter.


Our Online Books are interactive so when you, the reader, have a question or a suggestion for a better way to do things, you can contribute that as a comment.

Online Books are not just our wisdom but also include that of hundreds of others:

  • experienced voyagers,
  • boatbuilders,
  • and engineers;

far more wisdom than any one person could accumulate in a lifetime.

To Read a Book

  1. Click on a book cover to display a detailed Table of Contents.
  2. Click on the title of the chapter you wish to read.

Returning to the Table of Contents

Click on the book title in the breadcrumbs in the menu:

Navigation Block

At the bottom of a chapter click on next or previous or on the title of any chapter in the abbreviated Table of Contents—the current chapter is highlighted.

Sometimes people ask us why we opted to write Online Books rather than downloadable eBooks in PDF or ePub (Kindle and iThings)  format. Here’s the answer:

It’s a Moving Target

One of the most wonderful things about offshore sailing is that we never know it all. In fact, the more we learn and the more years we spend voyaging, the more we realize that we have more to learn.

And that’s way cool, but it’s not great for an eBook. Not only would we almost certainly disagree with some of our own eBooks within a few months of publishing them, we wouldn’t even finish them, because we would keep revising things we wrote the year before—there would be just no end to it!

With our Online Books, we can, and do, revise and improve in real time.

eBooks Are Static

eBooks are static. If you read an eBook and don’t get the information you are looking for, you can’t easily ask us a question.

Worse still, if you are reading an eBook and realize you have come up with a better way, or maybe just a tweak to what we are suggesting, there is no way for you to contribute that so that other readers can benefit, unlike with our Online Books where you can leave a comment.

And since many of our best ideas come from those of you who comment, we don’t want to take the retrograde step of writing in a vacuum, as we would have to do with an eBook.


Topics have their children listed in the title, but not grandchildren, so don’t forget to drill down:

Follow The Breadcrumbs

Each article has breadcrumbs at the top so you always know where you are and can get back to the Table of Contents of the current topic, or any of its parents. Just scroll up a bit to make that display reappear.

Searching Cruising Topics

Search Within Online Books

AAC Menu Improvements

Dark Mode at AAC

Where The Problem Is

We know you’re frustrated and just want us to fix this, but 99% of the time that’s not going to work, because the problem is almost certainly on your device.

We regularly use browser troubleshooting tools to verify that our site is writing the correct cookies. And, anyway, if it wasn’t, we would be getting 100 people a day with this problem, not one or two a year.

We are happy to help you fix it but you will need to work with us, we cannot fix it from here.


First off, a little theory. Sorry, but if we are going to get this fixed we have to understand where the problem is. Here we go:

  • Our site (and every other site with a login) writes a cookie to your device when you log in. This is just a little piece of data that your browser can access, it does not breach your privacy.
  • Then, when you load a new page, the site checks for that cookie and shows you all the content.
  • If you don’t check the “remember me” check box when you log in, the cookie stays in your browser until you close that page, or go to another web site.
  • If you do check “remember me” when logging in, the cookie is written to the memory of your device and stays there for 90 days or until you specifically delete it.
  • This is much more robust and will keep you reliably logged on. We recommend this option, however:
    • If the device in question is shared with people you don’t know and trust and/or is not protected with a password or login code, then using the “remember me” box is not a good idea.
    • That said, even if someone got into your account at AAC, the only thing they could access is your email address. Your financial information is stored at Stripe or PayPal and even we can’t see it.
    • More on privacy.

The Fix

The three most common problems are:

  1. Cookies are disabled in your browser. For help to enable cookies CLICK HERE.
  2. Very occasionally it seems that a browser’s cookies get scrambled—phones and tablets seem to be particularly prone to this. The best bet is to clear all cookies and start again. For help clearing cookies CLICK HERE.
  3. You are using a private browsing window, sometimes known as incognito, which causes the browser to throw away all cookies when the window is closed.

If none of that worked, we need to move on to less common stuff:

  1. An ad-blocking app. These apps often block cookies and will interfere with our login. We don’t have any ads, so you can tell the blocker not to block and Or, better still, delete the ad blocker (temporarily if you like) and see if that fixes the problem.
  2. An anti-tracking app. This too will block our login cookies. If you have one of these, I suggest you get rid of it. All the modern browsers have built-in tracking blocking and privacy and/or you can opt out of companies like Google tracking you, so you don’t need the app.

We totally hear you. Login problems are frustrating. Unfortunately, with four different browsers and umpteen different devices in use on the modern internet, they do happen.

If none of our Help pages solve the problem, we are here for you and we will get to the bottom of it, just drop us a line:


Changing your email address, credit card, membership type, or canceling, it’s all on your Account page

That’s easy, click here

Updating credit cards and managing memberships, particularly recurring ones, can be a pain in the…neck.

So maybe you would like us to do that for you?

  • Say, fix your PayPal subscription that just failed to renew, usually because your credit card information changed.
  • Or maybe move your subscription payments from PayPal to Stripe, or vice versa.

But we always say no. And that sounds like we are being lazy or unhelpful.

But trust me, you don’t want us to “help” you this way…really.

Here’s why.

When you signed up for membership, if

  • you chose to use a credit card: your credit card and subscription information ended up at Stripe, which is just as secure as PayPal.
  • you chose to pay with PayPal: the same thing happened but at PayPal.

(Stripe is the company that major companies like Google, Shopify, and others use for their credit card processing and subscriptions.)

Although it looked like you were on our site, you were actually entering your information into PayPal or Stripe’s secure servers—look closely at the screens and you can see that.

So here are the things we can’t do:

  • Move your subscription from Stripe to PayPal. 
  • Move your subscription from PayPal to Stripe. 
  • Fix your credit card when it fails to work.
  • Change the default, or historical, price of your recurring membership.
  • See your credit card information.
  • Charge anything to your credit card.
  • Walk on water.

And that’s a good thing…except maybe for the last one.


Because us having any of those powers would give us access to your credit card information and control of charging stuff to your card.

Do you want that? No, us neither!

What we can do is help with this page and personalized direct support while you are doing any of those things.

But please don’t get mad when we say no. We are, like your Mom used to say (so annoyingly), saying that for your own good.

We want your questions and wisdom, but please read our Tips & Guidelines before you comment


90% of problems can be solved using the Help under the Membership tab.

But, if not, we normally deal with support issues—trouble logging on, signing up, or renewing—each day at around 08:00 to 09:00 in whatever time zone we are in. 

However, occasionally, if we are traveling or out cruising, it may be as much as 72 hours before we can respond.

Questions or Comments

If you are planning to ask a question or make a comment, please do so in a comment to the appropriate article or chapter, not by contacting us directly. That way everyone can benefit from the exchange. To find the right post, please use the search box on the menu or the Topics page.

You will get an answer.

We respond to each and every communication from members and prospective members without fail. If you don’t receive a reply from us, something went wrong with your email (or ours)—we will never, ever, ignore you.

  • Please check your spam or junk mail folder carefully. 
  • If you are a Gmail user, please click on all of the tabs along the top of the screen (Primary, Social, Promotions). Our email is most likely under the promotions tab.

Time to Respond

If your email is not urgent, it may take us as much as two weeks to answer, but you will get a response.


If you are not a member and don’t intend to join, feel free to contact us. We will read your message but we can’t promise we will answer. 

Sorry, we know that’s not wonderful, but the bottomline is that we are out of bandwidth and therefore reserve our time for those who support this site, our members.