Category Archives: Boat Rat’s Tip of the Week

Quick Tips for Tuning a Sloop Rig

A sailboat’s rig is a dynamic thing, even though it appears to be fixed in place with stays, shrouds, turnbuckles and pins. Wire stretches, decks shift, sails change shape and halyards stretch.  To make sure your rig is safely set … Continue reading

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Turn Your Engine into a High-Capacity Pump

Thunk! A loud noise jostles you out of a deep sleep. You roll out of your berth and step into ice cold water, ankle-deep and rising. You fumble for a flashlight, and find a gaping hole in the port side. … Continue reading

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Take Time to Service Your Boat’s Winches

Looking for a productive winter maintenance project? Service your winches… The winches aboard our sailboats are the great power machines that allow us to efficiently trim sails, raise halyards, tighten docking lines and much more. And like all mechanical devices, … Continue reading

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Prepare for Heavy Weather Before it Arrives

Safety and preparation go hand-in-hand for heavy weather sailing. Crew, topsides and below decks need to be readied if you suspect a blow is on the way. Even if it never develops, you will have the peace-of-mind that you, your … Continue reading

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Sailing Safety: Pass this Dangerous Vessel with Care!

If you are like most sailors, most of your sailing takes place inside of the breakwaters. And that means you will deal with all kinds of working vessels like dredges or construction barges. They may be laying pipeline, building an … Continue reading

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Five “Sailing Rope” Rules for Longer Life

As another sailing season winds to a close, it will be time to go over each part of your running rigging, docking lines, and anchor rode. Follow these five simple sailing tips to add life to your sailing rope and save … Continue reading

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Five Golden Rules to Live By for Sailing Safety

If you are anything like me, one of the toughest decisions to make seems to be the “go; no go” one. That final call every sailing skipper needs to make before casting off. It’s one thing if you’re alone. Singlehanders … Continue reading

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What’s the Minimum Your Sailing Partner Should Know?

Some years ago a sailor took his non-sailing girlfriend cruising out in the Pacific Ocean from San Diego for the day. After a pleasant few hours they turned for home. Unexpectedly, in mild weather, he fell overboard. The girlfriend knew … Continue reading

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10 Boat Safety Checks Every Skipper Needs to Make

Is your boat as safe as it could be? Captain John from www.skippertips.com will start you out with a 10-point safety checklist – see if you make the grade. 1. Fire Extinguishers: Fire on a boat means big trouble. Check … Continue reading

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Avoid Boom Doom: Rigging a Preventer or Boom Brake

Straight from the November issue of Blue Water Sailing … Warning: The only way to start this is with a dramatic, yet frightening reality. “BOOM” isn’t exactly the noise it makes when it hits a crewmember. The sound is more … Continue reading

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Protect Your Compass from Enemy #1!

Your sailing compass has few equals when it comes to reliability. Lose all electronics aboard your boat, and your compass could get you and your sailing crew or partner home safe and sound. But there is one simple factor often … Continue reading

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Perform These Three Tests Before You Dock a Boat!

If you want to dock a boat like a pro, you need to think defensively. And that begins with three oft-forgotten tests before you approach any pier, seawall, wharf, slip or mooring ball. Put these three actions on your pre-docking checklist … Continue reading

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Freezing Temperatures Mean It’s Time to Winterize

Freezing temperatures are right around the corner in many parts of the world. If your area is one of them, it’s time to make sure your boat is winterized. Here are some steps to consider, and remember that if you’re … Continue reading

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Docking Secrets: 10 Tips to Storm-Proof Your Sailboat

Would your small cruising or racing sailboat be able to weather a gale, storm, or hurricane in her slip, at a mooring, or at anchor? Will you have peace of mind the next time Mother Nature decides to unleash her … Continue reading

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Top 10 Sailing Tips for Your Sailing Partner

Have you put together a checklist to train your spouse or partner in what they need to know to operate your small cruising boat? In an emergency or if you are incapacitated, it’s vital that they can run things alone. … Continue reading

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Seven Annual Sailing Season Inspections to Save You Money

Did you know that you can save hundreds of dollars on your cruising sailboat by doing seven things once a year? Would you like to have more money for the cruising kitty or for the repair coffers? If you choose … Continue reading

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Adding Reef Points

This week’s sailing tip is straight from the September issue of Blue Water Sailing! By Heather Hamilton Any experienced cruising sailor knows the importance of being able to reef your sails in heavy weather to reduce power and heeling. As … Continue reading

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Approach This “Sailing Navigation Hazard” with Care!

Captain John from www.skippertips.com gives an overview on what to look for when transiting a channel at night and coming across an unfamiliar set of lights. Imagine that you need to enter an unfamiliar channel just after sunset. You have … Continue reading

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Hurricane Precautions and Preparations for Boat Owners

With the hurricane/typhoon season upon us in the northern hemisphere, here is some timely advice from The Gowrie Group about what to do when disaster threatens. The key to protecting your boat from hurricanes or any severe threatening weather is … Continue reading

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Ways to Own Your Boat

Here’s a tip straight from the September issue of Blue Water Sailing! By George Day Owning a boat is immensely satisfying. You’re the master of your own ship and you can fit it out just the way you want it, … Continue reading

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