Important Upgrades for your Cruising Boat.
Sails, Canvas, Fuel System, Holding Tanks and Redundancy.
Copyright 2012 John Champion
I reckon we can all agree that sails are important for the cruising sailor and this is probably as far as our consensus will go. The personal choices of rig, sail material and handling details remain just that, personal choices. As the primary source of propulsion there have been many options available ever since the first animal skin was hoisted on a stick and the hirsute mariner blown towards the destination. More recent times have seen such advances in sailing design, construction and technique that boats seem to be constantly blasting around the world and across the major oceans at mind boggling speeds. This is all very well for a record breaking attempt but we of more sedate natures may prefer to slow the headlong rush. Passage making is a long race and in order to win (in this case to arrive in one piece) we must finish. Slowing the boat, or at least not sailing to almost full potential will be more controlled, less tiring and far less likely to result in gear failure. To do this we need to shorten sail.