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Expert Advice

What is a Sailing Buoyancy Aid

What is a sailing buoyancy aid and is it right for you? Sailing buoyancy aids are becoming increasingly popular in the United States for three simple reasons: They are smaller and more compact than traditional life jackets. They contain less foam and are cut to afford more freedom of movement making them comfortable and easy to move around a boat in (especially when racing). Minimalist designs have limited pockets, straps, buckles and attachments giving them a ‘clean’ exterior that is less likely to […]

Guide to Choosing an Inflatable PFD | Expert Advice

Why choose an inflatable life jacket? Traditional life jackets use inherently buoyant materials, such as foam (or Kapok), to keep the wearer afloat. Inflatable life jackets, as their name indicates, use inflatable bladders to provide buoyancy. Inflatable life jackets are less bulky than traditional life jackets and more comfortable to wear. When not inflated, the bladder is compact and lightweight. Inflatables come in a variety of performance ratings. Many are USCG approved while some carry European certifications instead. The specific USCG rating of life jacket […]

how to choose sailing gloves

Guide to Choosing Sailing Gloves | Expert Advice

What are Sailing Gloves & Why Should You Wear Them Sailing gloves help protect your hands from abrasion and blisters that often occur when handling lines. Different gloves offer various levels of additional grip, padding, and protection. When choosing gloves, like any sailing gear, it’s important to consider the type of sailing you do and your position on the boat. There are two standard glove styles: ‘fingerless’ or ‘short fingered’ and ‘three-fingered’ or ‘long-fingered.’ The more popular of the two, […]

How to Install Stand Up Springs & Boots on a Block | Expert Advice

What are Stand Up Springs & Boots? Common sailboat block accessories, stand up springs and boots are meant to keep a block upright. Metal springs come tapered or straight in various sizes to fit a range of blocks. Stand up boots made of PVC are offered in large and small sizes and black or gray. After installation when the line running through the block is slack, the block will not collapse on its attachment point (deck of the boat, traveler car, etc…). Why […]

How to Choose and Use a Trigger Sailboat Shackle | Expert Advice

Trigger release shackles come in various sizes and configurations that are ideal for jib or spinnaker halyards, spinnaker sheets and guys, and tack lines; or jobs where you would want to release the shackle under load.  More efficient than the snap shackle, the trigger shackle has a streamlined design with no external parts to catch, so they run smoothly. The release mechanism, the trigger, is located inside the housing of the shackle making it very unlikely that it will catch […]

How to Choose and Use Sailboat Snap Shackles | Expert Advice

Snap shackles come in a variety of sizes and configurations, and are generally used for halyards, sheets, guys, and tack lines, along with a few specialty applications.  The beauty of a snap shackle is the easy open and release function. Let’s take a closer look. HOW DOES IT WORK A few basic components are found on every snap shackle. The hinged bail, the shackle body bail to which your line is attached, a spring loaded plunger pin with a pull […]

choosing-winter-sailing-gloves

Guide to Choosing Cold Weather Sailing Gloves | Expert Advice

Why Wear Cold Weather Sailing Gloves Cold weather sailing gloves have a rather unique mission — keep your hands warm while protecting them and gripping line like a regular sailing glove. And while each glove has strengths, none is perfect — creating a glove that is waterproof, warm, durable AND thin enough to retain dexterity is quite a feat. When choosing your cold weather sailing glove, it’s important to consider the type of boat you’ll be sailing, your position on […]

Sailboat Blocks Explained | Expert Advice

In sailing, hardware pulleys are referred to as ‘blocks.’ Blocks are used to create purchase systems, increase mechanical advantage or redirect and guide lines (ropes). There are many different configurations, attachments and design functionalities in the world of sailing blocks today. Parts of a Basic Block Bushing- Lining for sheave. Transfers load from the sheave to the cheeks. Sheave- Wheel with groove for rope to run on. Cheek- Encloses the sheave. Transfers the load to the straps/strop Strap or Strop- Lays on […]