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Tag : How To’s

How to Choose the Right Type of Sailing PFD | Expert Advice

What sailing PFD is the right PFD for you? Well, that’s a great question and we’re here to help. We have put together a simple guide to understanding the different kinds PFD’s we offer and how to choose the right one for your type of sailing. Here are the sailing PFD and buoyancy aids that covered: Buoyancy Aid: Lightweight, low-profile, less bulk. These are a good option for small and sporty keel boats, like a Melges 20 or J-70. I love mine! […]

What sailing PFD is the right PFD for you? Well, that’s a great question and we’re here to help. We have put together a simple guide to understanding the different kinds PFD’s we offer and how to choose the right one for your type of sailing.

Here are the sailing PFD and buoyancy aids that covered:

Zhik Racing Buoyancy Aid

Buoyancy Aid: Lightweight, low-profile, less bulk. These are a good option for small and sporty keel boats, like a Melges 20 or J-70. I love mine!

Gill USCG PDF

Type III USCG Approved PFD: These support a variety of sailing, from dinghies to small keelboats. If you are looking for a life jacket to use across the board, this is the way to go. It’s easy to get in and out of because it has a zipper closure, and their sporty design allows for comfort.

Astral YTV PDF

Type V USCG Approved: These life jackets are designed for a specific purpose. Our Type V life jackets are designed specifically for dinghy sailing, with a pullover design and the ability to move your arms in a wide range of motion.

Spinlock Deckvest Flow

USCG Approved Inflatable: The Spinlock Deckvest Flow is designed for inshore and coastal keelboat sailing. It is a super lightweight and comfortable inflatable.

Spinlock 5D Hammar PFD

Offshore Inflatable: The Spinlock Deckvest 5D Hammar is a high-performance PFD designed to endure the elements of ocean sailing. If you are going offshore, this inflatable will give you the best combination of safety and comfort.

And remember: always make sure to check your SI’s to make sure your sailing PFD is in accordance with you club’s safety rules!

Sailing Packing List for a Mid Distance Race | Expert Advice

Take a look at what made the cut for the Mid Distance Sailing Packing List As the sailing season gets back into full swing, many sailors will be gearing up for mid-distance races such as Annapolis to Bermuda and Newport to Bermuda — both excellent races to push personal and equipment limitations. I’m sailing the Annapolis to Bermuda.  For this race, I’ll be packing all (except for my foul weather gear, boots, and PFD) my gear into a 30 Liter gear bag for weight […]

Take a look at what made the cut for the Mid Distance Sailing Packing List

As the sailing season gets back into full swing, many sailors will be gearing up for mid-distance races such as Annapolis to Bermuda and Newport to Bermuda — both excellent races to push personal and equipment limitations.

I’m sailing the Annapolis to Bermuda.  For this race, I’ll be packing all (except for my foul weather gear, boots, and PFD) my gear into a 30 Liter gear bag for weight and space saving purposes.

What’s covered in the video:

Packing list for sun protection..

 Packing list for my every day wear..

Packing List for the cooler nights..

I chose a few key base layers and mid layers that work great underneath my foul weather gear.

 Packing list for accessories..

Curious about what foul weather gear I’m taking? Check back in with me in a few weeks.

SOAK Dogbone Shackle | Expert Review

8/2016 NOTE: This product is currently out of production.  check out our other dogbones here These shackle alternatives are super simple, lightweight and easy to use. In the video below I will show you our preferred method for using the SOAK Dogbone Shackle. There are certainly other ways to use this clever invention but the method shown below is how we intend our custom rigging that utilizes the dogbone (like our J70 tackline) to be installed. The best uses for a dogbone shackle […]

8/2016 NOTE: This product is currently out of production.  check out our other dogbones here

SOAK Dogbone

These shackle alternatives are super simple, lightweight and easy to use. In the video below I will show you our preferred method for using the SOAK Dogbone Shackle. There are certainly other ways to use this clever invention but the method shown below is how we intend our custom rigging that utilizes the dogbone (like our J70 tackline) to be installed.

The best uses for a dogbone shackle that we have found are for main halyard attachment, outhaul attachment, and spinnaker sheet and tackline attachment on boats under 27’. The dogbone comes in 3 sizes;  #8 for 1/8” line or smaller, #10 for 1/8”-3/16”line, and #12 for 3/16”-1/4”line.

The sky is the limit with these little gems and if you can think it up, we can probably make it for you. We have seen the dogbones used all over the place from reefing lines to attachment of running back turning blocks, to securing an outboard lead for jib reaching. Give us a call with your idea for using dogbones, and our customer service team and riggers will be happy to make you a solution that fits your needs. Enjoy!

How to Replace Laytex Dry Suit Seals | Expert Advice

Doing drysuit repair work on a once 100% waterproof garment may seem like something you can only leave to the pros, but as you will see here, it’s a pretty straight forward job. All you need is the proper drysuit repair materials and a little bit of know-how. I recently had to replace the wrist seal on my suit so I put together a video showing the steps for replacing a seal. The same technique works for any of the seals on […]

Doing drysuit repair work on a once 100% waterproof garment may seem like something you can only leave to the pros, but as you will see here, it’s a pretty straight forward job.

All you need is the proper drysuit repair materials and a little bit of know-how. I recently had to replace the wrist seal on my suit so I put together a video showing the steps for replacing a seal. The same technique works for any of the seals on a dry suit.

MN11114_Cotol-Aqua-Combo_FrontPD3506

Here’s what you will need..

  • Aquaseal Glue and Cotol Accelerator combo pack (yes, both. You’ll thank me later.)
  • A small container for mixing – say maybe a crumbled blue cheese container?
  • A pair of latex gloves are recommended
  • Something from around the house to fully expand the drysuit opening – more on that in the video.
  • A Replacement Seal – sizes range from XS – XL

Since drysuit seal damage is rarely planned upon, its a good idea to go with the glue and accelerator combo pack. Cotol acts as a cleaner and an accelerator all in one. Its a really useful tool for seal repair since it cuts the drying time down from a full 24 hours to being able to set sail within 2-3 hours.

Another thing you will want to remember is to leave the sleeve and replacement seal stretched out while drying. For stretching out the neck, a basket ball will work quite well. For the sleeves, a flexible cutting board or soda bottle can do the trick.

 

How to Apply Laser Sail Numbers | Expert Advice

Laser Sail Number Placement: The Do’s and Don’ts and what you need to know. You may or may not know this but when it comes to laser sail numbering there are a handful of specific rules you need to follow for your Laser Sail to be considered class legal. In order for your sail to be class legal for any international event the sail number will need to be the right colors, in the right color order, the right size, […]

Laser Sail Number Placement: The Do’s and Don’ts and what you need to know.

You may or may not know this but when it comes to laser sail numbering there are a handful of specific rules you need to follow for your Laser Sail to be considered class legal.

In order for your sail to be class legal for any international event the sail number will need to be the right colors, in the right color order, the right size, the right spacing, and well, you get the idea. Thankfully, you found this post and we are here to guide you along the way, every last millimeter of it..

First off, find yourself a class legal sail and class legal sail numbers. Done? Ok good, on to the next part.

Use this custom crafted APS Instructions for Applying Sail Number PDF for a detailed step by step guide for applying Laser, Laser Radial, and Laser 4.7 sail numbers.

There are no fancy tools needed, but a yard stick, a pen or pencil, and a 1 ft. ruler will come in handy.

Watch the video below featuring our Boat Sail Function Owner, John Maloney, to grab some extra tips, and to see the process in action from start to finish.

Two notes: we kind of apologize for the tape gun that keeps going off during the video. We filmed this right next to our Shipping Department and these gosh darn youngsters have no respect for folks trying to film a video for a moderately viewed niche blog. “We have to get customer’s orders out!”, they cried. Oh well, we tried…

Also, around the 4:20 mark, Jarrett starts moaning in the background like a choking walrus to throw John off his game — John has none of it. He’s a pro… you hear me? Pro.

How to Rig Opti Pennant Plugs and Sail Ties | Expert Advice

UPDATE: Now with HD video instructions! See below. So you have your shiny new Gold Anodized Opti Pennant Plug ready to go, but just need a little help adding the new bling to your opti race mast? No worries, we’re here for you every step of the way to look over your shoulder and critique your every move… or we could just give you a few tips to get it done. So here we go.. First order of business: Grab some Opti […]

UPDATE: Now with HD video instructions! See below.

So you have your shiny new Gold Anodized Opti Pennant Plug ready to go, but just need a little help adding the new bling to your opti race mast? No worries, we’re here for you every step of the way to look over your shoulder and critique your every move… or we could just give you a few tips to get it done. So here we go..

First order of business:

Grab some Opti Sail Tie Line and run it through the long open slot on the side of each pennant plug and center the line.
Opti Pennant Plug with sail tie line

Next

Take the plug and place it in the hole with the circular opening on the plug entering last. Allow the line to be pushed in to the mast hole with the plug. Once both plugs have been
pushed in, take a look down in the mast to make sure the circular openings are lined up with each other.
Opti Pennant Plug in Mast with sail tie

and then..

Take the your Optimist Wind Indicator and seat it in the openings in the plugs on the inside of the mast.
Opti Pennant Plug with wind indicator

and then..

Run the line ends through the open grommet at the top of the Luff of the sail and lash to the mast.Opti Pennant Plug full set up

and then..

Step back, admire your handy work, and then hit the water.

Check out the video above below to see the work in action.
Whats in the Sailing Bag: Middle Distance Racer feature image

Whats in the Sailing Bag: Middle Distance Racer | Expert Advice

It’s St. Mary’s College Governor’s Cup time again. One of the APS employees is packing up his sailing bag and headed out for a night of bounding down the Chesapeake. Customer Service rep, Matt was willing to give us a peak at the gear in his sailing bag to give people an idea of what he packs for a middle distance race. For those that don’t know the Governor’s Cup is a  night race starting at 6pm just off Annapolis and […]

It’s St. Mary’s College Governor’s Cup time again. One of the APS employees is packing up his sailing bag and headed out for a night of bounding down the Chesapeake. Customer Service rep, Matt was willing to give us a peak at the gear in his sailing bag to give people an idea of what he packs for a middle distance race.

For those that don’t know the Governor’s Cup is a  night race starting at 6pm just off Annapolis and finishing 70 miles later in the St. Mary’s River culminating in a half-awake bash on the campus of St. Mary’s College.

St. Mary's College Governor's Cup

Matt is an SMCM alum and bowman. He knows this race pretty well and has the packing for this one down pat. If you are getting ready for your next overnight or middle distance race this bag has the perfect balance you would need:

sailing bag packing list

1. Musto MPX Smock: The main reason I like the MPX smock is breathablity. Being on the foredeck or rain where waves can get to you makes having some waterproof layer needed to enjoy the ride. There isn’t a huge reprieve from the heat at night during summer months so having something that allows heat and moisture to escape is perfect.

2. Patagonia R1 Fleece Pullover: Lightweight, warm, and very stretchy. Provides a great freedom of motion and just the right about of protection from the chill of night sailing. It’s great for sailing because it has a snug fit so loose fabric won’t get in my way during maneuvers. It’s also moisture wicking.

3. Musto LPX Pants: Like the MPX Smock, breathablity is key, but with pants being as lightweight as possible is also huge. Being active on the deck builds up some body heat, the LPX does a great job of allowing the moisture and heat to transfer through the fabric. Hi-tech, Low-weight, and very chafe resistant.

4. Harken Squall Bag: First this is a very durable well constructed sailing bag, but even more important its waterproof and compact. It’s a pretty good party down at St. Mary’s and walking around in soaked clothes would put a damper on on things.

5. Ronstan Sticky Race Gloves: On watch there is plenty of long stretches of trimming. These gloves are very comfortable  made with special “sticky” Amara for maximum durability, minimum stretch and extra grip. They can reduce fatigue by minimizing the physical effort required to hold line.


6. Sperry SeaRacer Shoe: Longer races may require some boots, but inshore medium distance sailing shoes are just whats needed. The Sperry SeaRacer has great tread and stick combined with a very light frame. I feel like sailing shoes allow me to be more agile and step lighter on the deck. Check out our Blog review of the SeaRacer GripX3


7. 3M Rigging Tape: An essential. Quick fixes and covering up sharp edges. White is KEY to not leave black goo residue all over the rig and deck.


8. Atlas Gloves: Awesome for gripping halyards and sail material. Perfect for the foredeck gripping the kite and jumping the spinnaker halyard. They are my bowman gloves for sure.


9. Quick Dry Socks: Breathable sailing shoes provide great drainage and air flow but it will get chilly during the night. Quick Drying Socks gives you a layer for warmth and still allows draining and drying you want.


10. Blue Lizard Sunblock: For a night race? Put a cover on as the sun comes up and keep yourself from burning up before you hit the dock and when you zonk out at the part.


11. Kaenon Burnet Glasses: Prescription lens too. Sunset and Sunrise are always harsh. Who doesn’t go sailing without their sunglasses? Burnet’s have an great look and Kaenon makes some of the best lenses on the water.


12. Spinlock Mast Pro Harness Mark II: Other climbing harnesses are very minimalist and often do not provide the comfort padding on the leg straps. The Mast Pro has a sheath for your fid as well. Longer review of the Mast Pro Harness


13. Leatherman Skeletool: Ultra light at 5oz it has everything I need. If its in a pocket or sheath it does not have a weight down feeling and is easy to hold onto when having to do work that takes a little while.

Thanks Matt. Enjoy the Party!

St. Mary's College Governor's Cup party 

If you have questions about what gear you might need for future regattas don’t hesitate to call or email our customer service guys. They have done it all and know exactly what you’ll need.

How to Whiplock Line Ends | Expert Advice

It’s a rainy afternoon here in Annapolis. A day you can’t get out on the water or work in the yard shouldn’t be wasted away.  Here are some great indoor projects to keep you going on days like these… Learn to do a Standard Whiplock: This video by the APS rigging department will show you how to accomplish your own whiplock end for your running rigging. What tools and supplies will you need? Some line Whipping Twine Needles

It’s a rainy afternoon here in Annapolis. A day you can’t get out on the water or work in
the yard shouldn’t be wasted away.  Here are some great indoor projects to keep you going on days like these…

Learn to do a Standard Whiplock:
This video by the APS rigging department will show you how to accomplish your own whiplock end for your running rigging.
What tools and supplies will you need?