Saturday May 18, 2013
Stay safe when sailing! As National Safe Boating Week (May 18-24) gets in motion, get your safety consciousness in motion too. Virtually all boating accidents, injuries, and fatalities could have been prevented with the right knowledge and equipment - and above all, by always thinking safety first. Once you've gotten into the habit, staying safe doesn't diminish the joy of sailing. The fewer problems that occur, the more fun you'll have. Check here for a collection of articles and guidelines on all aspects of safety under sail.
Tuesday May 14, 2013
The good news is that U.S. boating fatalities in 2012 were down from 2011, continuing a downward trend. The bad news is that 651 boaters died from incidents on the water, along with another 3000 injuries significant enough to be reported. As in past years, not surprisingly, alcohol use was a major causative factor, but operator inattention and inexperience continued to play major roles. While the most boats involved were motorboats and personal watercraft, a significant number of incidents involved sailboats. You can download the full report here. And here you can read a series of articles about how to stay safe on your own boat.
Wednesday May 8, 2013
A stern rail seat is perfect for a crew or guest who wants a clearer view ahead than you can get from the cockpit benches or for someone who simply wants to keep out of the way of winches, sheets and lines, and the crews' sailing or racing activities. Plus it's just plain fun to sit high up on the stern. Most new sailboats now sport these seats, but you can easily build one for an older sailboat and save a fistful of dollars in the process. Check it out here.
Tuesday April 30, 2013
It's hard to keep a boat's interior dry when you're not using it frequently and allowing full exchange of cabin air. Solar vents and other expensive products can help but may not provide a full solution - especially when the boat is covered during the offseason. Awhile back I learned the trick of using calcium chloride, purchased in bulk, to lower moisture levels during the offseason and prevent the growth of mold and mildew. The same chemical is the basis for DampRid, a commercial product that can help considerably both in and out of season. Learn more.