John started out to write an article on budgeting for a refit, but ended up writing, based on personal experience, about something far more important: how to avoid the oh-so-common human failings that can turn a refit into a budget-busting rebuild, or even a total fail, as well as how to decide if a refit is something you even want to do.

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Members' Online Book: Anchoring Made Easy, Chapter 21 of 33

Anchoring: Kellets

Kellets are often touted in books and articles on anchoring as a way to increase anchor holding and setting reliability. But do they really work, and should you buy one?

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So now that we have decided to focus on boats that have been well taken care of and not butchered by inept amateurs, we still need to be realistic about potential flaws in materials and construction and what it would really take in time and money to fix each. We can have no better guide than Colin as we figure that out.

To that end, Colin turns his attention to seven basic construction areas where problems can turn a refit into a horror show we definitely don’t want to star in.

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Members' Online Book: How To Buy a Cruising Boat, Chapter 34 of 39

A Sail Away Offshore Cruising Boat For Less Than US$100,000—Part 1

Can we go offshore cruising in a fully refitted, safe and comfortable boat for US$100,000, all in? Colin and John think so, but making it work won’t be easy and will need careful planning and lots of sweat. Colin kicks off the series with some things for us to think about before we even start looking for a boat.

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I have always thought that electric winch handles were a silly gadget looking for a purpose at worst, and a poor alternative to an electric winch at best. But now I’m not so sure and, in fact, think that Ewincher may be one of the most important sail-handling developments to come along in a long time. Here’s why.

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It’s no secret that John puts interior arrangement behind most other selection criteria when evaluating boats, but it’s also true that he and Phyllis lived aboard for some 20 years, so he applies that experience to comparing the two boats, and in the process shares a bunch of tips that will help in any boat selection. He then winds up with a comparison of price, size, and value for money between the two boats.

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Inside steering stations are wonderful, but the details matter, to the point that getting them wrong can result in disaster. John compares the two very different approaches of the Garcia and the Boréal and shares tips that will be useful even if you are not considering buying either of these boats, or even if you are contemplating a motorboat.

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Hanging out in a lovely anchorage is a wonderful part of cruising, but what if we could also stay fit and/or play with a really cool fast sailing dinghy at the same time?

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