A recent tragedy, together with excellent work by Drew Frye over at Practical Sailor, has exposed a dangerous weakness in a snap hook used on tethers by many offshore sailors. John explains the problem and calls on manufacturers to take the lead on getting these hooks off boats.
There’s so much writing about the latest and greatest gear in the cruiser’s world. Here’s a pleasant break from that in which Colin shares simpler gear that takes him back to a time when his fascination and love for voyaging was still fresh and new.
The availability of comparatively inexpensive, and proven effective, AIS/DSC POB beacons means that all of us must think long and hard about what changes we need to make in our Person Overboard (POB) procedures. John and Phyllis share the recovery technique they will be practicing in future.
A thought on yacht design that will help us end up with a better boat.
The Quick Stop person overboard recovery maneuver has become the standard taught in most every safety at sea seminar. But how effective is the method really likely to be, particularly for short handed crews offshore? John takes a look.
We are about to make some big changes to the software that runs this site. Here’s why, as well as the details of improvements and possible issues that may crop up.
Assuming that we have decided to buy and use auto-inflated lifejackets, we have yet another decision to make: Which of the two available activation devices should we select, hydrostatic or dissolved tablet? John interviews an expert and makes a selection.
Colin takes us to the legendary among cruisers, idyllic and sheltered Bras d’Or Lakes of Nova Scotia.
Can we stay safe just by following generally-accepted rules like “always wear a lifejacket”? John doesn’t think so and takes a deep dive into the issues we need to think about.
So what can we do to reverse the steady decline in offshore cruising? Here’s a book with an idea that just might help.
Over the years, John has written often about the importance of carefully planning and documenting the maintenance of our boats. In this chapter he shares the computer and hand held device software (apps) he and Phyllis use to do that.
Managing our money and saving to go cruising is way more difficult than it was. Here’s a book recommendation to help with that.
John provides specific tips, including a meeting script and scope of work outline, to help you get a quote or an estimate from a boat yard and then manage the project to stay at least close to that agreed price.
Many boat owners just shrug and say to themselves that all boatyards are a bunch of incompetent crooks and we are going to get screwed no matter what we do. But it does not have to be that way. John shares what he has learned over some forty years of managing boat projects, both large and small, about how to keep costs at least semi-reasonable and how to decide what tasks are best delegated to a boatyard.
John provides an in-depth analysis and comparison of Bluetooth smartphone-based person overboard beacons as against AIS beacons. Brace yourselves, he is not pulling his punches.