It’s time to get your boat ready for sailing season. We love sailboat upgrades and tips that make boat handling easier, reduce distractions, or reduce wear on the boat. Here’s a recent collection of pictures shot while walking around at regattas. Please send your favorites upgrades to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Velcro Water Bottle Holder
Keep your water bottle handy and off the floor without installing a conventional holder. Add sticky-back velcro strips to your water bottle and the location(s) you want to keep it. Use strong velcro and the bottle will stay in place on contact.
Here’s one solution for nature breaks between races. Instead of standing up to pee over the side, you could kneel in the boat using this wide mouth container. Then simply empty the container over the side and toss it back out of the way. The line to the front of the cockpit is just the right length to hold the container in a convenient position on the traveler bar fokneeling.
Tape Your Mainsheet Cleat
You know you shouldn’t cleat your mainsheet. If you hold the mainsheet near the deck while hiking in a breeze. you can inadvertently cleat it, which is trouble. You could remove the cleat, but it’s useful for holding lines while trailering. A wrap of tape is one solution.
It’s distracting to reach back over the transom to clear weeds on your rudder. A weed stick helps. The trick is to get one that is easy to use and effective. This one, made by Will Hendershot, works pretty well.
Bicycle Handlebar Grip for Tiller Extension
When the wrap on your tiller extension wears out, try bicycle handlebar grip. It’s light, durable, and some varieties have a slight cushion. You can get it with adhesive already applied or just use double stick tape as a backing. Be sure to tape the ends tightly so the spiral doesn’t unravel.
Nylon Washers for Forestay Stability
Richard Blake added these nylon washers to keep his forestay shackle for flopping around. Get the right thickness to fill the gap.
File the Edges of the Forestay Shackle
The forestay shackle will eventually put serious wear on the bow plate. Some sailors use a round file to ease the edges of the forestay shackle as shown below.
Extend the Ratchet Block
The ratchet block on an MC is fairly low in the cockpit. If you hold the mainsheet low on the deck, it will rub on the hiking straps. Melges sells an extender to raise the ratchet block, or you can make one by coupling two shackles together and taping them so they stand up.
Add Padding to Your Trailer
Saw this on an E-Scow trailer. Not sure what type of foam it is, but it had the right amount of give to it. Looks like it would be easier on the hull while trailering.
MC-Scow Spreader Bracket Modification Reduces Failures
MC-Scow Board Release Line for Boats with Pull-Down Lines
Continuous Control Lines: Quicker Trim Adjustment for Single-Handers
MC-Scow Board Height Adjuster – Go Faster in Breeze
Mark the Exit Side of the Ratchet Block to Reduce Confusion
MC Sailing Association Fix-it Corner