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2009
Keeping Costs in Control
Finding Your Boat in the Dark
Instrument Assisted Grounding
Limited Power of Attorney
Structural Adhesives for Boat Building
Lyle Hess Plans: Change of Address
Source for Bu-Ord parachutes for Para-anchor Usage
Writing and Cruising
Children and Cruising

2008
No Marina Shower
Pro-Active Insurance
Better Folding Water Jugs
Reinforced Tradewinds
Bilge Pump Outlet
Floating Plastic Waste
Mast Failure
Signing Off Before You Set Sail

2007
Ship's Library
Maintaining Varnished Surfaces
Have epoxy adhesives improved recently?
Series Drogues: Can They Work Like a Para-anchor?
Efficient Tool Drawers For Cruising Boats
Make Your Boat Unstoppable
Open Roadsteads
Storm Trysails
Lyle Hess Designs
What Does Cruising Cost?

2006
Navigation Warning
Quick Fix in Island Studded Waters
Things I've learned at sea
Winterizing Varnished Timber
Para-Anchor Source
Sea Boots
Preventing Rigging Failures at Sea
What about holding tanks?

2005
Ventilation Assisting
Companionway Board

I hate systems!
Seacocks & Through Hull Fittings
Galley Sink Cutting Board
Fail-proof Turnbuckle Lock

Special provisions
Email Contact-Beware
Folding Lifeboat Note

2004
Plated Plugs
When Radar Doesn't Work

Perfect Cruisers Cookware
Removing Stains From Wood

Ships Medical Library
WARNING:Spectra Lines

New To Oysters
More on Cookware

Storage tips
A Space Conscious Knife Rack

Double Duty Locker Door
Washing Line

2003
Life Rafts
Medical Insurance
Cash & Carry
Preserving Butter
Chilean Canals
Beeswax!
Powdered Eggs
Save Your Fingers

2002
Beware of White!
Ice Buckets

Leftover Fillet
Extra Veggie Storage
Protect Your Lines

Clink prevention
Easier Shopping

Assist Masthead Maintenance
Health Insurance
Electricians & Alloy
Affordable Security
Proper Sea-Cocks
Tips from Larry's Workshop
Travel Insurance
Variable Destination Navigation

2001
Anti-prop stop reminders
Sail Covers
Shake down sail
The Port Stick

Poor Mans A/C
Stern Anchor Stowage
Spinnaker pole storage

Water in your fuel
Egg Carriers
European Duties

2000
Natural Sandpaper
Deoderize kerosene
Waterproof adhesive
Ready Crisp Bacon

Visas
Boat Tie Shoes

Easier Screwing
Miracle Product

Swageless end fittings
Quick Hot Soup

1999
Night Vision Glasses
Marine Metal Detector
Kitchen Helpers
The "watch" watch


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December 2006

Navigation Warning
A few months ago I read an article about the helpfulness of cruisers who came to the rescue of a couple who had become stranded on a reef in the western Pacific. Their thanks were heart-felt, their good fortune at having other cruisers within a day's sail of their disaster was amazing. Still they lost the boat and many personal possessions and years of preparation.

Almost hidden at the end of the story was an even more amazing fact, the reason they had sailed downwind onto the semi-submerged reef. Like a large number of sailors today, their boat was equipped with not only electronic charts, but a GPS, chart plotter and the like. They had put the waypoints for their destination into the computer and set the auto-steering gear to this course. Their normal practice had been to back up the electronic positioning by plotting their position on a paper chart every twelve hours. They hit the reef ten hours after plotting their previous position. The culprit? The course plotted by their computerized gear was directly across the reef. Their warning to others - plot your position every six hours. But what about a more important warning - have paper charts on board, study what lies ahead for the next several hundred miles, then lay out a course. With currents often changing direction, speeding up or slowing down around sheer sided reefs, why not plan a course that gives you fifty or a hundred miles clearance. If you do this several hundred miles before the obstacle it might add only a dozen miles to your voyage. Remember, just-submerged reefs may not give any return at all on radar and with even a fifteen or twenty knot breeze stirring up the seas.


 

For a quick fix in island studded waters
When we were racing against two other friends inside the reef surrounding Huahine and Tahaa, we came up with a simple solution for keeping track of our position with a quick glance at the chart. The best charts of the area still appeared to be a clutter of coral heads and maze of possible routes. Even though we have a plastic chart case that lets us keep the chart right next to us in the cockpit, we were doing a lot of short tacking, I was in and out of the cockpit doing sail adjustments. So I found I often lost track of where exactly we were on the chart and had to spend a few seconds each time re-orienting myself. Since we were being "competitive" I didn't want to miss any possible chances so one of us came up with the idea of cutting out a boat-shaped icon from the sticky part of a piece of post-it paper. Each time we tacked, we'd paste the tiny boat on our position, pointed along our new course. It worked a treat. It was even more useful when we were sailing through the rocky passages of the Outer Hebrides and Norway where there were often half a dozen possible routes through the islands which all looked very much alike, and few really distinctive landmarks to help with orientation.

The pictures here were taken when we used this paper post-it boat among the islands of the Pacific Northwest.

 


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