ProceduresNext - Keeping afloatPrevious - Challenges
Minimising fuel consumption and maximise range whilst operating under power
Fuel is an expensive resource and a range limiting factor during long passages.
Preventing the topping-lift from chafing the leach of the mainsail
When the mainsail is raised the topping lift should be relaxed, but with not so much slack so that the boom could fall upon the dodger. Whilst sailing, you generally don't want it under tension as it will put too much twist in the main. The problem with this is the loose line then flops about and tends to rub and chafe the mainsail. Over time chafing wears on the edge of the leach generally leading to a dirty frayed look.
Getting the sails up faster and easier by 'sweating' the line
Turning line around a block with a winch handle is a good way to finish line tension but it can be a slow arduous grind to take a quantity of line in. Never more so than when raising the sails.
Mainsail furling made easy
Furling a large mainsail, or even a reefing one, is a major daily sailing chore. Without an easy furling mechanism the sail drops down on deck and tends to blow all over the place. Gathering up, flaking and lashing it all, when it is sprawled all over a cabin top, is a heavy wearisome and often daily task aboard a boat. It is particularly difficult with a high-set boom, when the sail is being blown about on a slippery rolling deck and, as often as not, approaching a busy harbour. It can be an absolute pain to handle shorthanded and particularly singlehanded.
Making it easier to deploy the right amount of anchor chain
When day anchoring in non-tidal waters it is broadly recommended that a vessel deploys at least two to three times chain length to the depth of water, five times for an overnight stay and seven times or more in stormy conditions. The problem is that, although the water beneath the hull may be easily measured by the boat's sounder, few if any vessels tend to have any means of measuring the chain.The length of anchor rode is a critical measurement, as the deployed length is a fundamental and essential part of any anchor system, as it is the sole way of calculating the critical scope ratio that has been deployed.
Preventing jib sheets snagging on mid-ship cleats
Mid-ship cleats are excellent for securing a vessel when alongside. But once under sail, they tend to snag the jib sheet causing a tack failure.
Making it easier to deploy the black ball day shape
The international COLREGS state that an anchored boat must display a round ball when anchored during the day and an all-around white light at night when anchored. Yet although most cruising skippers know this they do not attend to the day shape regulation.
Keeping green water out of the chain locker
Whilst 'going to weather' or enduring severe conditions, a vessel can take in a large quantity of green water through the smallest aperture. The vast majority of a vessels seals are gravity-based covers, but in very rough conditions these are easily overwhelmed as water is practically injected in. The face of the wave lays over the aperture and then the following body of water, and its energy presses upon this to literally inject water in through the smallest crack.
Convenient sail ties
Securing and furling a mainsail normally involves lashing it down with a handful of sail ties. It is an operation carried out with one hand for the boat, one hand for your life on the slippery coachroof whilst holding a handful, or more likely mouthful, of sail ties that are ready to fly overboard.
Practices to help a marine diesel achieve a long and reliable service life
Engine development has largely been pushed forward by the automobile industry that has its focus on continuously varying RPMs and loads. These design principals are very different to typical boat engine usage which, by contrast, tend to driven at static RPMs with a steady load for long periods. Sailboats also tend to be operated for short periods to move in/out of berths and/or for long hours at light loads when charging batteries at anchor. This means a large proportion of the boat's engine lifecycle is therefore spent in the period immediately after a cold start and/or simply ticking over at a very low load. Although it may sound surprising, the typical boating lifestyle can be thoroughly destructive for modern diesel engines.