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Title: Hints to Young Yacht Skippers
Author: Day, Thomas Fleming
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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RUDDER [Illustration] ON [Illustration] SERIES

_Bound in blue buckram and gold, 32mo, illustrated_

    ON YACHTS AND YACHT HANDLING. By Thomas Fleming Day. Price $1.

    Price $1.

    ON YACHT ETIQUETTE. Second Edition Revised. By Captain
    Patterson. Price $1.


    HINTS TO YOUNG YACHT SKIPPERS. By Thomas Fleming Day. Price $1.

[Illustration: AT ANCHOR.]



  Young Yacht





  _Illustrations by Warren Sheppard_





  U. S. A.




This book is the response to a constant appeal for information. During
the last nine years I have received thousands of letters, asking for
hints on all manner of subjects relating to the care, handling, buying
and equipping of small yachts. The majority of these letters came
from boys and young men living throughout the world, who were just
entering the sport, and who were anxious to become skillful sailors and
competent skippers. I can thoroughly understand their position, and
sympathize with their desire for fuller and more practical knowledge
than that contained in the majority of works upon yachting.

What knowledge I possess of this art, or profession, I have gained by
years of hard work and close observation, and having begun my studies
when very young can testify to the dearth of literature of value to the
green hand, who is looking for practical hints that will help him to
become a skillful yacht sailor. Had I possessed a book like this, it
would have saved me time, money and lots of hard work and anxiety.

But, in using this book, it must be remembered that a hint is not a law
or a command, it is simply a concise statement for you to take, think
over, and make use of, if it appears to be logical and practical. There
may be better and easier ways of doing many of these things I speak
of--that is for you to find out. I am an authority only as far as my
knowledge goes, and no further. The basis of my authority is my years
of observation and experience; your right to confute my findings can
only be based on similar premises. Unless you have tried and proved
that my instructions are wrong, they are still good medicine.

If a man, especially a young one, decide to go into yachting, he should
also decide to learn the business of handling these craft from the
keel up. It is not sufficient, as many of you think, that all that is
necessary is to learn how to sail a boat about. You should know not
only how to sail her, but you should know why she sails, and all about
the gear and canvas used to propel her. You should learn to rig and
unrig, to care for and to understand every part of her structure, both
above and below decks. It is certainly a sorry spectacle to see a man
sailing a yacht who cannot tie a proper knot, splice a rope, or bend a
sail, and who does not know the terms used to designate parts of the
structure which he essays to manage. If he is ashamed to learn, or if
he is too lazy to gather such knowledge, he is out a place in a sport
which is the life and joy of energetic, skillful and brave men.

I hope all of my boys the world over who are coming into yachting,
and to assist whom I have written these words, will never be ashamed
to learn the sailor’s trade, or be too lazy to acquire all possible
knowledge relating to the art of handling vessels. You will never
regret having given your time to the study. It will bring to you that
which is more valuable than the treasures of the earth; something that
you can never be deprived of, no matter how unlucky or how unfortunate
you may be--the respect paid to the skillful by the unskillful; the
deference shown to the educated by the ignorant.

It is as well to say here that these hints are not intended for men
owning and sailing large yachts. Such vessels are too costly to be
trusted in the hands of any men except those who are thoroughly
competent; and if an owner has not sufficient skill to handle a large
yacht it is his business to hire somebody who has. These hints are
intended for the small-boat owner and skipper. [Illustration]



If you are going to buy a boat, either the first or last one, make
up your mind thoroughly as to what kind of a craft you want, and
what you want her for. If you want to race, it is one thing; if you
want to cruise, another. Combination cruising and racing boats are
impossibilities, and are neither one thing or other. If you are going
to build, get a good design from some man who knows his business, and
have a boat built from it in the best manner possible. A poorly or
cheaply-built boat is a losing proposition. If you are going to buy
a second-hand craft, and don’t know much about boats, get a man who
does to look over any that you think of purchasing. An honest builder
is the best man for this. Most men buy a racer for her record, and a
cruiser for her cabin. The record of a racing craft is not worth a
pinch of salt, unless the boat is in such condition as will enable her
to uphold it, and a cabin of a cruiser is of little value unless it is
surrounded by a good, seaworthy and handy outside.


Before buying a racer, find out if she is suitable for entering in any
of the classes racing in the waters you frequent. Find out what boats
are likely to sail against her, what her measurement is under the rule
in vogue, and how and by whom she was handled when winning or losing.
These are very necessary points, if you hope to helm a winner. Many a
fast boat is condemned and sold after the first season, because the man
who owned it did not know how to handle her to win. Such a boat can
be bought and, if properly managed, be made a winner. Others are sold
because they have no earthly chance of getting a prize, no matter how
well-sailed. These latter are a very bad investment.


If you want a cruising boat, her record is of no consequence, unless
it is irretrievably bad. If she has a habit of capsizing, or won’t go
to windward, you don’t want her. If she consistently leaks, you don’t
want her. If she draws a lot of water for her length, and can’t get
into your harbor except at high tide, you don’t want her. If she is
in bad repair, or is very old, you don’t want her. If you haven’t
sufficient personal knowledge to tell by looking at her how she will
handle, ask some man who has sailed her, or who has seen her sail;
better ask several, and take a general average of their testimony.
Then go and have her thoroughly looked over. If she is hauled out,
sound her bottom. Get the owner to let a builder bore her. If the chips
come out clean, white and papery, she is sound in plank. Examine the
rabbet at stem and stern and all along the keel; pierce that stick,
both inside and out. Sound the mast. Go below and look at the heels and
heads of the frames. Don’t forget the deck, cockpit floor and staving.
An experienced man can tell from the appearance of the unpainted wood
whether it is sound or not. Then examine her spars, gear, blocks and
sails; last of all, her cabin fittings, etc.


This is somewhat of a lottery, but you can generally judge of the
condition of a boat’s bottom by the condition of her topsides, and by
inspecting the inside of the hull. If there is any water in the bilge
take some up in a glass. If it is clean and fresh-smelling, you can
be sure she has a regular leak. Get a quiet look at the sucker of the
pump-rod. If it looks well-brightened up, it shows plenty of usage. If
there is no leak, notice the heels of the frames near the mast, also
the fastenings of the ends of the deck beams in that part of her. If
she strains, it will show there, if anywhere. If there are doors in
the bulkheads or lockers, see if they have been planed off, so as to
close. If she is canvased on deck or top of cabin-house, the cloth will
show if she has strained badly. All boats strain to certain extent, and
without seemingly permanent harm.


I once knew a lady who would not buy a house, because she did not
like the way in which the halls between the rooms were painted. Some
yachtsmen are just as bad. Last year I met a young fellow who wanted
a knockabout with a white enameled cabin. He refused to take several,
because they lacked this inside coating. Others will be caught by
a lot of brass or gaudy cushions and curtains. Nicely varnished
spars, parceled backstays and immaculate sail covers, are other and
successful traps. Others will buy a boat because a friend has one like


The first and most necessary thing is that the vessel’s bottom be
sound; the second, that the decks be tight; the third, that the spars
are in good condition. If she is right in these three points, you can
find out the rest by sailing her, and in that way only. Many a good
boat is condemned for some trivial cause. She may have a leak which
can be easily stopped; her sails may be poor, that can be remedied; or
her gear worn out. If so, give the seller a chance to make good before
breaking off negotiations. Tell him what you see or think is wrong,
and let him have a chance to explain or make good. Don’t go away, as
many do, and blackguard a boat because it is not just in the order or
condition you expected to find it.


Sometimes a boat out of repair can be bought cheap, and is a good
bargain. But, before buying, consult a builder, and find out if the
craft can be repaired, and if it is worth repairing. I have found that
you can generally trust a builder’s word on this question, as they
dislike to work over a worthless craft. If the builder tells you she is
no good, don’t touch her, no matter how cheap she is offered.


I strongly advise young yachtsmen to buy their boats through a broker,
if it is a second-hand craft. These men are up to all the tricks of
the trade, and are thus able to safeguard a client’s interests. If the
boat is registered, they will attend to the custom-house part of the
transaction, and get the thing put through properly, besides saving you
endless bother. If she is not registered, they will get you a proper
bill of sale, and see that the boat has no liens or mortgages lying
against her. I have known several cases where men have bought and paid
for boats only to find that the vessel was mortgaged, or else somebody
unknown was a part owner.


Be sure and get a written inventory before buying, and have it
checked off before making the final payment. It is, I regret to say,
a too common practice among some sellers to skin-out a boat before
delivering her. Or, if this is not done, to substitute cheaper articles
for the ones on board. It is also frequent for purchasers to call for
things that are not on board, and which they suppose or think ought to
be, and this leads to a disagreement. A written inventory will settle
the question; verbal statements are worthless.


Nautical instruments, charts, books, private flags, clothes, etc.,
are personal belongings, and are not part of a boat’s fittings or
furniture, unless so specified in the inventory. A compass is, if it
belongs in a vessel’s binnacle. A dingey or other boat if used by the
yacht as a tender goes with her, unless there is an agreement to the
contrary. Spare spars, sails, ballast and anchors, even if stowed on
shore and not used, belong to the boat, and are included in the sale,
unless otherwise specified.


If a boat is registered, you cannot lawfully change her name, without
the permission of the Customs. All registered vessels must have their
name and port painted on them. The name of a boat is not necessarily
sold with the craft, but the former owner cannot prevent you from using
the old name if you wish to, unless you have made an agreement before
buying not to do so; nor can he prevent you from changing the name.

[Illustration: MAKING SAIL.]


If for any reason you remove your mast, be careful to note its
position, so that it can be put back again as it was before. If wedged,
mark the wedges before taking them out, so you can put them back again
in their proper places. The rake of a mast has frequently much to do
with a boat’s good sailing.


To remove a mast, if you have no shears convenient, place another boat
with a mast as tall, or taller than yours, close alongside, and lash
her fast. Then place a sling round the mast to be removed in such a
position as you think the stick will balance. To this hook in the
throat halyards of the assisting boat. Remove the wedges, and if the
fit in the partners is tight well-grease the houseings. Then send a
man in forward with a sharp-edged bar and let him pry the heel out of
the step as you hoist on the halyard. Use your own halyards as guys to
steady the spar. Keep the spar steady; if allowed to fall over it will
very likely split the partners. You can step a mast by reversing this


Booms are frequently sprung and spoiled by hauling down hard on the
sheet and pulling up the lift. The boat being left at anchor, it rains;
the ropes shrink, and the end of the spar is pulled up and the spar
sprung out of shape. Do not set up taut on your lift if it looks like
wet weather.


The less running rigging you have on a racing craft the better, as a
complication of tackle, lifts, sheets, etc., make it more difficult to
handle sails quickly. Use as simple tackles as possible, and have as
light gear as will do the work. The running rigging of a racing yacht
should be constantly looked to, and at the first sign of weakness be
replaced by new.


Hoops, to work easy, should be quite some bigger than the mast.
Grease the foreside of the spar frequently, and they won’t stick when
hoisting. If you don’t like grease, you can keep them from sticking
by taking a piece of small line and with it linking them together by
clove-hitching each one. In this way they will be kept horizontal when
being hoisted. Always put on several more hoops than there are grommets
for, so that if one breaks you can replace without removing your


Don’t buy or use cheap blocks; they are the worst investment you can
make, as they will be an endless source of trouble. Don’t use blocks
with sharp edges to the shell, as they will soon fray and strand your
gear. It is a common practice of riggers to put on a block the swallow
of which will just carry a certain sized rope; consequently, when the
cordage gets wet and swells, it sticks, and the sail won’t come down.
This generally happens in bad weather, when you want things to run
smoothly. Always have the swallow bigger than the rope, by at least
one size. For instance, if using a 12-thread rope, have the block made
to carry a 15-thread.


To rig a spinnaker pole for racing, when the stick is not too heavy
to be lifted and handled by two men, have at the head or outboard end
a band, or grommet, with three eyes, one on top and one on each side.
Put snaphooks on your guys, so that all gear can be quickly removed
from the pole. Have snap-hooks on both ends of your halyard. Make your
halyard fast on each side in the rigging.


If you have a forehatch, after stopping the spinnaker coil it
snake-fashion right under the opening. Screw a hook to the underside
of the deck, where it can be readily reached, and hook the head of the
sail to it then when wanted the tack man can reach it without getting
up or jumping below. It is frequently necessary in order to make a
quiet move to get this sail ready without your rival knowing what you
are up to.


These sails are of little or no use if the boom cannot be carried
square to the length; the minute they have to be guyed forward they
lose their power, and it is better to take them in and use the balloon
headsail. Do not haul the tack of the sail hard down; let it light up
and leave an opening between the luff and the mast. Spinnakers cut with
a deep roach, so as to hang below the pole, are no good. Remember, that
the spinnaker is a depressing, not a lifting, sail, as many suppose,
and has a tendency to force a vessel’s head down, unless the sheet is
lighted up.


If a light pole, this can be easily and quickly done. Let go the after
guy and swing the pole forward; unship the heel and run the pole aft
along the deck on the side you want to set it, being sure to keep it
clear until the head is abaft all sheets, etc. Have the other end of
the halyard ready, let go the sail, cast off one end and snap in the
other end, and hoist away. While those forward are doing this the after
man can carry the guy over and pass it forward outside the rigging.
Then shove the pole out right ahead, ship the heel, and haul aft the
guy. By being able to shift a spinnaker quickly you can frequently
manage to get away from a rival who is following close in your wake and
blanketing you. It is a maneuvre that should be constantly practiced by
a racing crew.


If your pole is carried aloft, lower it down by the lift, and square
with the fore and after guys. Hook the clew to sheet or outhaul, and
the head to the halyard, hoisting and hauling out at the same time.
When in position break out. To take in, haul the foot in first and
muzzle the sail before letting go the halyard.


As soon as you are through with the spinnaker pole, unsnap the guys and
coil them up. In this way you keep them in readiness for instant use
on either side, and free the pole of all incumbrance. A spinnaker pole
carried on end with all its gear is a nuisance on a small boat, besides
adding to the weight and windage aloft. [Illustration: REACHING.]


In handling sails the crew should be given certain stations, and taught
to keep them. Each man should be allotted a certain task, and be
instructed to attend to that, and not to interfere with the others. If
you have a crew of four, including yourself, your place is at the helm;
the man in your watch stays with you in the cockpit, or aft, unless
called forward; the mate and his watch work forward. The lightest man
is the tackman. His business is to take the tack of the sails. He
always works furthest forward, going out on the bowsprit to snap on
jibs, etc. The mate works behind him attending to the halyards and gear
about the mast.


When making sail, the mate and the tackman go to the main halyards, one
taking the throat and the other the peak. The skipper and his watch
look out for the lashings, crotch, sheet, and see the gaff clear of the
lifts. If the boat is a yawl, they cast loose and hoist the mizzen, the
mate and tackman attending in the same way to the headsails. The after
guard looks after the jib sheets and backstays, the forward gang get
the anchor and cat it, standing by forward until she is properly cast
and underway; then they clear up decks.



The handling of light sails is the best measure of the merits of a
crew. The bungling of light canvas shows that the crew are not properly
drilled, and that the skipper is a muff, or else is slack in attention
to his duties. Nothing looks prettier than to see running sails handled
quickly. To do this it is necessary to thoroughly drill your crew at
stations, and to practice them in setting, shifting and taking in the
light sails.


The mate and tackman go to the halyards; the man aft stands by the peak
downhaul, if necessary, after getting the sheet in. When the sail is
down the skipper and his watch take the pendant, and after the tackman
has tied in haul the foot of the sail out, the mate standing amidships
and helping by lighting the cloth along. When properly hauled out the
skipper or his man pass the clew lashing. Then all hands tie in, the
mate and tackman working from the middle of the boom forward, the
others aft. Then the mate and his watch hoist the sail, those aft
keeping it clear of the lifts, and working the sheet.



Get the boom along on the side you want to use it, with the heel aft
and the head just forward of the rigging. See that it is clear of the
jib sheets. Take your after guy outside the rigging and snap it into
the grommet, or eye, on the spar. Snap in the fore guy, if you use one,
and place the coil in the bow. When ready, let the tackman snap the
halyard to the head, being sure there are no turns in the sail; then
the mate, who has the halyard, can hoist away. When the sail is up
belay the halyard and snap in the clew of the sail in the grommet or
eye on top of the boom, at the word “ready!” the tackman and mate seize
the pole and shove it out right ahead, until the latter can ship the
heel. At the order from the mate, “haul aft!” the man in the cockpit
hauls on the after guy until the boom is square. The tackman stands by
the fore guy and the mate seizes the tack and breaks the sail out. To
take in reverse these proceedings.


Sails, if not used, should be frequently cast adrift and aired. Light
sails stowed below, either in bundles or bags, should be attended to in
this manner. It is best to have your headsails fitted with snaphooks,
so they can be taken off and stowed below.



Sails are not made of iron; neither are they made of rubber. Canvas,
especially when new, should be treated with gentleness. It is very
easy to spoil a sail. More bad sails are made by yachtsmen than
by sailmakers. When bending a new sail haul it out along the spar
hand-taut and lash it. Then let the wind stretch it out, you taking up
the slack day by day. As it comes, you can put more strain on it until
it reaches its proper place. In damp weather, ease it in at the head
and foot.


When measuring your boat for a suit of sails, do not try to put on
every inch the spars will carry. Leave plenty of drift between the
hoist and the block and a good length at the end of each spar. This
will give you a chance to properly stretch your canvas. The foot of all
sails should be kept well up off the deck, so as to allow plenty of
room for the wind to escape from under them. Also, keep the leach of
the headsail away from the mast. Sails should never be made to lap if
it is possible to sheet them without doing so.



Take the same care of your sails as you do of your best suit of
clothes. When you get a new suit, you don’t start in by stretching the
back of the coat, and by pulling like mad on the legs of the trousers.
Canvas is woven just as cloth is. When you put your clothes away you
don’t roll them up in a tight ball and leave them in a damp place for
days at a time. Remember this.


The luff of a mainsail should be pulled on until it is taut, but it
should never be sweated until the bolt-rope is nigh to parting. The
peak should be hoisted until the proper draft appears in the luff. In
light airs a better draft will be had by slacking both peak and luff
and by hauling up the weather lift, so as to take the weight of the
boom off the canvas. The lighter the wind the more baggy your sail
wants to be.


If you are not going to stay on board, do not stow your sails in
tight rolls; make up loosely and tie well; but be sure that the air can
get at the canvas. It is the weather, not work, that wears out sails.



Sail covers are the sailmaker’s best friend. They destroy more sails
than any other one thing. If a boat has a crew always on board, or
someone constantly near to look after the canvas, they are very useful
contrivances, but should never be left over sails for days at a time;
the moisture collects under them and rots the cloth.


Storm jibs, as shown in most sail plans, are altogether too small, and
are of no use whatever. When a sail of that size would be any good it
would be blowing too hard to use any canvas forward of the mast. A
storm jib wants to be big enough to give the boat some life. To do this
it must have a pull to it. They should be roped heavily, and have good
strong clew pieces and irons. The only way to set them is flying.


If you have to shift jibs in a blow, with a heavy sea running, it is
an extremely difficult and sometimes dangerous job. The jib you are
going to set should be stopped up, as it is much easier to handle in
that form. In getting in a jib at such times be very careful about how
you slack off the sheet, as men are frequently knocked off a spar or
hurt by the sheet being let fly while they are on the bowsprit. Don’t
have any more men forward than are actually needed to shift the sails,
as their weight will depress the boat’s head and make it wet working.


If your running gear is stowed around the mast when underway in bad
weather, it is a good plan to trice the coils up in the rigging. Here
it will not get washed loose and tangled up, and can be readily found
and handled. Gear in the coil should always be kept clear for running;
nothing looks worse, or is worse, than a mess of halyards lying about a
boat’s deck or cockpit. Teach your crew to always coil down the gear at
once, and to always turn the coil over, so that it will run clear when
let go.


The ends of all halyards, sheets and lifts should be made fast, if you
are going to sail at night, or in rough weather, as they are liable
to get adrift and cause a lot of trouble before being recovered.
Frequently, when letting the sail run in a hurry, the halyards will
bunch and go aloft; if the end is fast you can easily recover them. The
readiest way to make the end fast is to open the strands and pass the
pin or cleat through the rope.


The length of life of your running rigging can be increased by turning
the rope end-for-end, thus bringing a new part to work in the blocks.
Sheets are apt to wear and strand where they play in the block when the
boat is close-hauled.


If your jib sheets are rove double bring both ends aft and join them
behind the cockpit; then the hauling part will not get away from you,
and can always be found, even in the darkest night. Another way is to
bore a hole in the cockpit rail, pass the end through and knot it.


In heavy weather always bend a peak downhaul. Take a long enough piece
of good flexible manila and splice an eye in it. Put this eye over the
end of spar, and make the loose end fast to a lower hoop, or on the
pin rail. With this downhaul you can control the gaff and get the peak
down, no matter how hard it blows.


Sails having their luff running on a track up the mast will frequently
stick, despite the assurances of the inventor and vendor of these
patent devices. To insure working, keep the track well-greased, and let
go the throat halyards before you do the peak, always keeping the gaff
at a high angle while lowering down. In this way the weight of the gaff
will force the slides down the track.


If sailing at night, and it looks at all like bad weather coming, get
in a reef in your large sail before dark, as you can do it then quickly
and properly. If suddenly struck by a heavy wind you will have your
boat better prepared to meet it.


If you carry an amateur crew you should constantly practice them at
reefing. Give each man his station, and teach him to keep it, and not
interfere with the work of the others. It is a good plan when sailing
on a breezy day to reef and shake out several times, as this will give
your crew practice. A well-trained crew will reef a mainsail of a small
yacht in less time than it takes to write this.


Always keep a tack in your sail at each reef band. Take a short piece
of small rope, whip both ends, pass this through the cringle, making
each end the same length, then open the rope just under the cringle and
pass the other part through it. Your tack will stay there and always be
ready to tie down.


These should always be kept rove, if the end of the boom is outboard.
If the sail is a small one, put a snap-hook on the end that goes in the
cringle, but do not trust hooks if the sail is heavy; splice your rope


When reefing a boom sail, before lying along make sure that the
mainsheet is fast, so that it cannot slip, as this happening is likely
to throw you overside. If the boat is rolling badly it is best to
secure the boom with a lashing from each side to hold it steady, as
this will make reefing easier.

[Illustration: WIND ABAFT THE BEAM.]


In a heavy seaway it is easier and handier to reef with all the sail
down and the boat running broad off, as she will go along steady. It is
very difficult to reef a boat when in the trough of the sea.


When hauling out the foot of your sail to reef do not pull it out too
hard, especially if it is liable to get wet from rain or sea, as the
cloth will shrink and pull the leach out of shape. Be sure and pass a
good lashing around the pendant close to the cringle and, if there is
room, through it. Don’t haul out on your pendant until the tack is tied


Set up on your lift. Cast off the points, beginning in the middle and
working both ways. Then cast off the tack and clew-cringle lashing;
then the pendant. Be sure all the points are loose before hoisting, as
you are liable to tear the sail if one is fast.


Before leaving harbor, if it looks breezy outside, tie in a reef, or
reefs. When outside, and you can feel the weight of wind, you can then
judge whether to carry more sail or not. If close-reefing, tie in
number one and then number two over it. This will enable you to shake
out one reef at a time.


When running off in heavy weather, if you have a jib keep it on her and
haul it dead flat; then if she attempts to broach the wind hitting in
the jib will drive her head off again. All boats going where winds are
likely to be heavy should carry a small, strong headsail to use for
this purpose.


Keep your boom topped up, so that it is clear of the sea when she rolls
to leeward. Don’t give the sail too much sheet, as you will find that
she will steer better if the boom is at a smaller angle, and be less
likely to be broken or to damage the rigging.


Always keep a knot in the end of your mainsheet, or else make it fast.
If the end gets away you will have trouble.


The only safe way to jibe in a breeze is to lower the peak and top up
the boom, before getting the sail over. In ordinary airs you can jibe
a boat if you pay attention to the helm, and get the sheet down flat.
Let her come easy. If forced to jibe all standing with the sheet off,
just as soon as the boom comes over put your helm, hard the other way,
so as to throw the boat round, and get the wind back of the sail. This
will break the force and save the knockdown, but is liable to break the
boom. If fitted with backstays, look out for them.


Slack off the mizzen sheet, if that sail is set; haul your jib
a-weather; flatten the mainsheet; put the helm up and let her come
round slowly, easing off the mainsail as she pays off.


Going with a strong current or tide through a channel, when there is
no wind, you can steer a yawl by taking hold of the mizzen boom and
working that sail from side to side. When beating to windward in a
light breeze, with a strong tide under the lee, hauling the mizzen to
windward will help a yawl considerably, especially if she is at all


Haul your mizzen if set fairly flat; slack the lee jib sheet and haul
in the weather at the same time, until this sail is properly trimmed.
Get your mainsheet aft gradually. Put the helm up slowly, and if the
mizzen is set jibe that first, then the mainsail. The reason for
trimming the jib and mizzen is this: If when the mainsail comes over
she knocks down the other two sails will shoot her up in the wind, and
give you a chance to shoot her out. If the mizzen it not set, light
your jib sheets sufficiently to allow her to come up.


If you have to come to at a dock or pier on the windward side, go well
to windward of it, lower your sail, and steer straight for it. Have an
anchor and warp ready aft, and when close enough to reach let go your
anchor and pay out, checking her way as you near the structure.


It is always best to lie head or stern on to a dock if you intend to
remain long or over night. Always run out an anchor to hold her off in
case the wind shifts, or if for any reason you have to haul out. In
making your head fast be sure to allow length enough, if in a tidal
harbor, or you will be hung up when the water falls.


This is one way of getting down a narrow fairway when a swift current
is going with you. By employing it you will be able to keep off the
banks and to dodge anchored vessels. Send a man forward and let him
heave in on the anchor until it breaks, then let him keep it trailing
along the bottom, checking the vessel whenever needed, by paying out
enough slack cable to make the hook bite. The skipper at the helm can
then shear her with the rudder to port or starboard, as he wishes. The
current moving faster than the boat will give her steerageway. Instead
of an anchor you can use a heavy chain to drag along the bottom.


If bucking a strong tide or current a vessel will answer to the
slightest touch of the helm, but if going with the stream she will
steer slowly and badly. This must be looked out for in running narrow
entrances between jetties and bars. Sometimes it is better to go out
stern first, if the wind is blowing directly in, letting the vessel
sail slowly before the wind and drop back faster with the tide.


In going against a strong current to windward you can force a vessel
through, no matter how strong the tide is, if you can lay up close
enough to get the wind on one bow and the tide on the other. The
pressure of opposing forces will drive the vessel ahead. You will often
see schooners get through the Long Island Sound Race in this way
against a strong ebb, running over 5 knots.

[Illustration: IN HARBOR, DRYING OUT.]


With the tide or current under the lee bow trim your after canvas dead
flat, unless the sea is large. Let her eat out to windward on an easy
helm, humoring to keep good way on all the time.


Going through a passage with a strong favorable current and no wind,
lay your vessel broadside to the drift of the tide, then the speed
of the stream will make a breeze in the sails and give your boat
steerageway. Tack on approaching the shore, and stand over for the
other, being careful to tack while still in the strength of the stream.


If at anchor in a current with the wind blowing against the tide, to
keep the yacht from riding over her anchor, tie a bucket on a rope and
drop it over the stern. This is a good way to keep a dingey away from a
yacht’s stern when tide-rode.


To heave-to a vessel you must trim your sails so that the wind presses
on one side of one sail and the other side of the other or others.
In a boat like a sloop or yawl you can heave-to by drawing your jib
a-weather, by slacking off the lee and hauling on the weather sheet.
This causes the force of the wind in the jib to counteract the force
in the after canvas. By slacking off the mainsheet until a balance of
power is established between mainsail and jib a boat will lie almost in
one place.


It is a very simple matter to lay a fore-and-aft vessel to. But in the
first place you should find out in reasonably good weather what sail
she will lie-to best under. Knowing this, snug her down to it before
bringing her head to it. The best sail is that nearest amidships; but
some boats require more after canvas and some more forward. No rule can
be laid down, each vessel in this respect being peculiar to itself.
When ready, watch your seas until after a big one has past you; get a
smooth, then put your helm down easily and bring her to with a long
sweep. The amount of sail she wants is enough to keep her just moving
ahead, so that there will be steerageway and no more. Use plenty of oil
while rounding to and afterwards, if the seas are cresting and breaking.


Unless the weather is fine and you are well acquainted with them, keep
off lee shores. A lee shore is a bad place to go aground, and it is a
bad place to be caught on if a heavy blow comes.


In strong winds and heavy weather it is always best to get in under the
lee of a weather shore, and to keep it aboard as long as possible. You
should figure to do this in mapping out runs from place to place. In
running a weather shore keep working your boat up to it, especially in
the bights between headlands. This will enable you to choose your own
distance in rounding the outermost points and prevent being driven off


If caught at anchor close on a lee shore where you are too close to
wear with safety, you can get your anchor and cast your boat in the
right tack by this method: Make sail; then when all is ready heave in
until half scope; then get a bucket with a line bent to it, carry this
line outside the rigging and the bucket as far forward as possible.
Let one hand hold it ready to cast overboard on the side you want to
fill on. Haul in your anchor quickly; when broken out, heave the bucket
overboard, and give a slow, steady pull on the line from as far aft as
convenient. This will hold her stern and the bow will swing off in the
opposite direction. If you have no bucket, use a hunk of ballast, and
slip it when her head is round.


The cause of this is generally carelessness or haste. Sufficient way is
not on the boat when the helm is put down, owing to her being too near
the wind. Always give a boat a good full before putting the helm a-lee.
You should watch the sea and make the move when there is a smooth flat
spot between the waves. If there is any doubt of the boat’s getting
round it is better to wear her.


If your boat miss stays in a seaway and gets sternway on, don’t jam
your helm hard over. Keep it amidship, and try and get your headsail
a-back; then slowly put your helm over. It is a dangerous practice to
jam a helm hard over when a boat is making a stern board in a seaway,
as you are liable to damage the rudder or drive her counter under. If a
centerboard boat, pull up the board, as this will help her to fall off.

[Illustration: REEFING.]


If it is too windy and rough to get your anchor, prepare to slip. Get
the bitter end on deck and bend a buoy to it. See all clear to cast
over. Haul in as much as you dare to, and bend a small line to hawser
or chain. Carry this line aft to the quarter outside the rigging. When
ready, slip and haul in on the small line. As soon as she swings off
cut the spring.


When sailing in a seaway don’t trim a boat flat. Give her a liberal
lift of sheet, and sail her with a good full. Never let her lose way,
as your safety depends upon always having control of her motions. Keep
a close watch on the water on your weather bow, and judge how to take a
wave before it strikes you.


In sailing a boat in a seaway and heavy breeze amateurs are apt to make
two mistakes. One to carry too much sail, the other, too little. In the
first place, the boat cannot be kept full; in the second, she hasn’t
sufficient drive to keep her moving. Carry as much sail as she will
keep full and not bury under.


It is a mooted question among yawlsmen as to whether the mizzen is of
use or not when going dead before the wind. If you can wing it--that
is, get the boom on the opposite side to that of the mainboom--it is,
as it makes a boat steer steadier. But if it is off on the same side
as the mainsail it is doubtful if it helps the speed. I have tried the
experiment repeatedly and cannot find that it makes any difference in
a strong breeze; but it does help in light airs. In a strong wind the
boat will do better with the mizzen stowed, is my opinion.


The handling of this sail seems to be a problem that worries many young
skippers. No fixed rule can be laid down, it depending largely on
the shape of the boat, the position and size of the sails. Generally
speaking, with the wind forward or on the beam, the mizzen should be
sheeted flatter than the mainsail. How flat, depends upon the effect
it has on the steering. If the boat gripes, ease it off; if she is
slack-headed, haul it flatter. In beating through a narrow channel work
it as you do the jib, but exactly opposite; that is, with the helm
a-lee haul in flat; as she pays off ease the sheet. In this way you
will help the rudder to bring the boat round. The mizzen sheet should
be belayed where the helmsman can readily get at it, so that by working
the sheet in combination with the tiller he can control his vessel.


In working to windward in open water for a long distance stand on the
tack which looks up nearest to your destination. On this tack the
wind is as foul as it is possible for it to be, and cannot shift in
either direction without favoring you. Attention should be paid to the
probable direction of the shift, and a course shaped that will bring
you into such a position as will lift your vessel up and not throw her
to leeward of her course. For instance, if the wind is East, stand on
the tack towards the Southeast, because it is probable that the wind
will move round with the sun across your bow and be constantly freeing
you until you can stand your course on the other tack. This is largely
a study of local conditions, and can be mastered only by constant
observation of the tendencies of the wind at certain seasons of the


If the wind is offshore, blowing at an angle, so that you can make a
long and short leg, keep close under the weather shore, as the wind
will draw more favorable there than further out. For instance, if the
shore lies East and West and the wind be Southwest, under the weather
shore it will haul more to the South, sometimes as much as a point,
thus enabling you to lengthen your long leg. Besides, you have the
advantage of smoother water.


If the wind is so foul as to be dead ahead it is waste of labor to try
to beat a small boat a long distance to windward. With the best of
handling you cannot make more than three miles an hour, and a very good
day’s work is twenty miles. Probably the next day the wind will come
favorable, and you can make that twenty miles in four or five hours. If
you are pressed for time and have to do it, take the first of the fair


Never sheet light balloon or running sails; let them sheet themselves.
If you trim these sails the way you do working canvas you will destroy
much of their power. To get the sail right, slack off the sheet until
the luff trembles, then belay. If you sheet them, the whole after angle
becomes a back sail. The object is to get them to pull ahead, not
sideways. The minute a balloon sail has to be sheeted aft to make it
draw take it in and set your working canvas. You will do better with it.


Coming down to round a mark with running sails set, when within fair
working distance hoist and sheet your working headsails, if the
ballooner is not set on the jib-stay. Get your main sheet aft and
runners ready; then when close to the mark take in your spinnakers
and ballooner. In this way you are ready at once to haul on the wind.
If you take in your light sails first you will have them littering up
the deck and in the way, delaying getting the working sails set and
sheeted, and consequently the boat instead of being able to make a
sharp turn will drag off to leeward.


If rounding a mark to leeward, always do so before you reach it. In
order to do this, if possible, keep away from it some distance, and put
your helm down gradually; then you will not kill the boat’s way and
will give your crew time to get the sheets flattened down. If you come
down and take the mark close aboard and then turn it, you will have to
put your helm hard down, killing the boat’s way and causing her to sag
off to leeward.


If another boat is abreast of or overlapping, and will be between you
and the mark, try and drop back before reaching the turning stake, so
as to let her get ahead. You will lose less by doing so than you will
by rounding close under her lee, as once round you can probably free
your wind and get clear of her wake by a sharp luff. You have also a
chance to cut in if her crew make a fumble of their sheet work; but if
you are under her you will have no chance at all.



Before rounding a windward mark, if the next leg is a run, make up your
mind which side you are going to carry your spinnaker on. Get the pole
along on that side and the after guy passed and hooked on. Then before
getting to the mark hoist the spinnaker clean up and hook in the clew.
Just as soon as you are round and squared off run the pole out and
square it, and break the sail. A good crew should get a sail set in
this way in fifteen seconds.


A vessel to sail her best wants to be kept on a level water line; the
minute she shoves her head up or down it kills her speed. This is
true of sail, power or any kind of craft. Therefore, in racing, see
that your crew keep her trimmed to a level by constantly moving and
balancing their weights. If a man goes out on the bowsprit move a man
aft to counterbalance his weight. Never let a bunch of men get forward,
as is often done when taking in or setting light sails. It is better to
do this work slower and keep the boat properly trimmed.


Have two separate sheets rigged with snaphooks. If you come down to a
mark with your balloon jib on one side and want to shift it over so as
to carry it on the other, before jibing over gather the sail up and
roll it out to the stay; there stop it. Unhook the sheet on that side
and hook on the other. As soon as you are round break out. By doing
this you don’t have the bother of passing the sheet in use forward
around the stay and aft again in the other side all of which takes time
and causes confusion. When not in use, keep the sheets hooked to the
stay, and fast aft. You can stop the sail with the sheet, using a turn
similar to that made round a flag when hoisted in a ball or bundle.


If a shroud parts, go right on the other tack; then get any tackle you
can that is idle and set it up in place of the rope carried away. If
you have no tackle aloft that is not working get a piece of hawser or
large-sized rope and pass it round the mast above the other rigging.
Take it round the spar with a clove hitch and stop the end. Seize a
bight in the lower part high enough up to get the watch tackle in
between it and whatever you have at the rail to make fast to. Then set
it up and rack the tackle. If the chain plate is gone, and you have
nothing to make fast to, you can secure the lower end in this way,
as I once did. Bore a hole through the deck just inside the clamp,
and one through the side just below the clamp. Pass a piece of wire
rope through these holes and marry the ends. Into this loop hook your
tackle. All boats of any size should have two shrouds on each side.


If your main sheet bursts or the shackle breaks and the tackle gets
away, keep the boat as near the wind as possible. Then slack up on the
weather topping lift until you can reach the bight. Get this inboard
and aft, and haul on it easily, slacking down the throat of the sail
at the same time; then the peak. If you have only one lift rove, slack
down the throat, and try to get a line on the boom, as far out as
possible. If this won’t work, cut off the hoops, unship the heel of the
boom and run it inboard. It is a very dangerous situation if any sea
is on, and requires skill and courage to master it.


If you carry away a mast in a seaway get it clear of all gear as soon
as possible, as it may smash in your side. If it is rigged with wire
shrouds and rigging screws, and you cannot get these loose, saw off the
head of the mast just below the eyes of the rigging. If the sea is not
too heavy you can veer the broken spar astern and tow it, or else haul
it in over the stern and lash it fast. It is better to save the spar,
if possible, as it makes it easier to replace it.


This is a bad accident, as you are liable to lose your mast. Get the
mainsail off of her at once. If you have a crotch, put it under the
boom so as to take the weight off the mast until you have it secured.
Take your jib or staysail halyards or preventer backstays, hook them to
the bits or around the bowsprit close to the cranze, and heave taut.
Get the yacht before the wind, if possible. Then make the best job of
the bobstay you can. A watch tackle makes the best temporary repair.


The want of speed in sailing craft is due to many causes. The most
frequent is the result of over-ballasting or to the ballast being
in the wrong place. This is especially so in shoal, flat-floored
models. Frequently, if a boat prove sluggish, a yachtsman will
attempt to improve her speed by adding more sail, and then to carry
this sail, will ship more weight. Consequently, the boat is slower
and worse-acting than before. If your boat does not seem to be up to
her speed, try first by removing a portion of the ballast, and by
continually shifting the weights. To try her, sail alongside another
boat, of whose comparative speed you are aware, and you will soon find
out your boat can be improved in this way.


Sometimes the sails are to blame, usually through these not being
properly set, owing to the blocks being placed in positions where they
cannot properly hold up the spars; or, having too little draft. Want of
draft will cause a boat to be sluggish in light airs.


If shifting ballast or getting better sails will not bring the boat to
her form, try altering the position of the centerboard or mast. Much
additional speed is frequently gained by moving the mast or board. You
cannot discover the faults of a boat by analysing her design; you must
work it out by sailing her, and studying her actions in all weights of


If you have no log, you can by practice get so that you can gauge a
boat’s speed within a half knot by watching the water. When running
along shore, make a practice of timing the boat between measured
points. By doing this constantly you will get so experienced that you
can judge by eye very close to the speed she is making. Another way is
to time her as she passes floating objects, or while passing a stick
dropped over from the bow, count the seconds one, two, three, and so
on, until it passes the stern. Knowing the length of the boat by this
means you can roughly estimate her speed through the water. If your
boat is 25 feet long, and it takes her 5 seconds to pass an object, she
is making about 3 knots.


When towing a heavy boat or another yacht, with the wind anywhere on
the beam, make your towing warp fast on your weather quarter. This will
make the load tow easier and your boat will steer better. When towing
with the wind aft, keep the warp amidships, by using a bridle from each
quarter. If the tow is being steered, veer a long scope of hawser, so
as to get a heavy bight; this will ease the strain in a seaway.

[Illustration: TRIPPING.]


To tow a dingey alongside, make fast to the fore thwart, or to
anything, about one-third aft from the stem. In this way you can tow a
dingey under the lee while getting men or stores out of her. The same
plan is used in towing along a canal or narrow thoroughfare by tracking
on the bank.


When towing, never make a warp fast so that it cannot be instantly cast
off. It is always best to keep a sharp knife handy, so as to be able to
cut the line. In a seaway this should always be looked to.


When towing a heavy boat in rough water, or when the wind is scanty,
and you have to tack, place a hand or two on the line to haul in. When
ready to put the helm down have them take in considerable slack. At the
call “Helm’s a-lee!” let go the line and tack your boat on the slack
line. This will enable you to get round and have way before the pull of
the tow comes on your boat.


Anchors should be looked to and taken care of just the same as any
other gear. The same with chain. If you keep your spare hook below, see
that it is a place where you can readily get at it, and not buried in a
heap of old ropes, awning stanchions, and other dunnage. I have fully
covered this subject and that of anchoring in the book, _On Yachts and
Yacht Handling_, which I advise you to read.


It is sometimes very difficult to get an anchor in a seaway with a hard
wind blowing. It can be done in this way: Take a turn with the hawser
round the post or bitts. Watch when she pitches. As she descends she
will slack up the hawser. Quickly take in this slack and hold when she
scends. In this way you can get it foot by foot, and, when close under,
the sea will break the hook out for you.


If an anchor is lost or foul you can get a line on the upper fluke in
this way, if the water is not too deep: Feel for the fluke with a pole
or, better, a piece of iron gas pipe. When found, rest the pipe end on
the tip of the fluke. Then send a messenger of rope with slip noose,
down the pipe or pole until it falls over the fluke and on the arm.
Carefully haul it taut, using the pole to keep it from slipping off
until firmly fixed. By this means you can get a back pull on an anchor
and shake it loose if caught under a timber or rock.


If you have lost your anchor, and there is chain or hawser on it,
you can recover it by dragging with a grapnel back and forth across
where you suppose the hawser is lying. If there is no chain or hawser
attached, you will have to sweep for it. Take two boats and pass a
weighted line between them, then row back and forth, dragging the
bight of the line across the bottom until it finds the lost hook.
Sometimes you can get an anchor by making fast one end of the sweep
and rowing round in a circle, paying out the line as you go. Let it
sink; then bring both ends together, as fishermen do a net, and haul in
slowly. The best sweep is one made with a piece of chain in the middle.


Get the anchor in the boat flukes toward the bow, then coil down in the
boat about two-thirds of the line to be payed out. Start the boat off
and pay out what you have on board. In this way the oarsman has not got
to drag a heavy weight of line after him. Use the same method to run
out a guess warp to be made fast ashore.


Get two boats and lash them side by side. Put a strong stick or oar
across the gunwales and lash it fast. Lower the anchor overboard with a
tackle from aloft and swing it in between the boats, ring up. Lash the
ring to the beam. When you get to the spot where you want to drop it
set the hawser all clear for running and cut the ring lashing.


Lash two boats together. Put a round beam or spar across the gunwales
and ship a couple of hand-sticks in it so as to turn it like a
windlass. Take the line on the anchor round the spar and turn, winding
it slowly up. Keep the beam from rolling out of place by two guys, one
at each end, with an eye over it. The guys want to lead from the end of
the boat on the side that the rope from the anchor comes up.


Don’t anchor on bad bottom without putting a trip line on the anchor.
The worst bottom for fouling is one over which boulders are strewn.
Also be careful how you anchor in any place where sunken wrecks are
likely to be found.


The weight necessary to furnish a secure mooring depends upon the
locality, the amount of exposure, the depth and character of the
bottom, and the weight and model of the boat. It is always better when
on the safe side by using as heavy a mooring as possible. For ordinary
conditions, multiply the length over all of the boat by five, the
answer being the weight in pounds that is needed. In exposed situations
this weight should be largely increased. The best moorings are mushroom
anchors, where the bottom is suitable for their use, as they can be
readily recovered when it is desirable to take them up.


To do this properly requires judgment and practice. Nothing looks
worse than to see a man make a bungle of getting a mooring. If he is
familiar with his boat, there is no excuse for mismanaging the job. The
first thing to learn is how far your boat will carry way when thrown
into the wind. This you can find out only by observation and practice.
Having discovered this, set a range on shore to use when coming to;
one that will place you at about the right distance. A better plan is
to calculate your distances by lengths of your boat. If your boat is
thirty feet long, and will carry way for six lengths, luff up at a
distance of 180 feet. Always, if you have good way on, go directly to
leeward of the mooring. Luff with a long sweep, for if you put your
helm over too quickly you will kill the boat’s way and fall short.
If the wind is light, go to leeward and come to the buoy at an angle,
with your sheets lighted up; then by trimming and spilling you can baby
her up to the mooring. If a boat is coming with too much way on you can
kill her speed by shoving the helm hard across, first one way and then
the other. Take an afternoon off some day and practice picking up your
mooring and you will soon have it down to a science.



This should never be done unless you have to, as it is more likely to
get you into a mix-up. But in places where there is strong tide running
against the wind it is the only way. Go well to windward, and take
enough sail off so that she will just about stem the tide; then steer
right for the buoy and pick it up, getting sail down at once.


Get an iron hook made, shaped like the hooks used by women on their
dresses, only longer in the shank. Splice a rope to this and then
fasten to it and the rope a short piece of stick, long enough to reach
from the rail to the water. When you come to the mooring the bowman
can hook this into the ring and hold her until you get the sail down
and can pass the mooring warp. A little practice with one of these
contrivances will make a man so expert that he can catch the ring every
time, even by throwing the hook several feet.


If your boat lies at moorings where there is constant jump of sea on,
or where the tide and wind keep her yawing about, the warp should be
well-armored where it comes through the chock or over the rail. Leather
is best for this. A boat will lie much easier if a bridle is used, an
end being brought aboard at each bow. Don’t leave the warp hanging to
the buoy, especially if the water is foul or the bottom muddy. Not only
will it rot, but every time you take it on board it will dirty the boat.


It is best to use a heavy chain, much heavier than is really needed, to
stand the strain, as the boat will ride in all ordinary weather to the
weight of the chain, and not to the block or anchor. In this way she
will take the seas easier and not try the gear so much.


This is a simple proceeding, if you have plenty of sea room on either
side of you. If not, use a cant line, as it will enable you to cast
your boat on either tack. To do this take a light line and pass it
through the ring on the buoy, and bring both ends aft outside the
rigging to the quarter. If you want to go off on the port tack,
bringing it on the port quarter, and on the starboard tack on that
quarter. Let go the mooring warp and hold on to the cant line until she
swings and fills; then let go one end of it and it will slip the buoy
ring. If you want to go off before the wind hang on until she comes
stern to the buoy, then slip. This is a much simpler and surer way than
trying to cast her with the mooring warp.


Most accidents happen to moored yachts, not through the anchor failing
to hold, but through the line or chain parting. Frequently the line is
too short, and an extra high tide, such as often accompanies a storm,
causes the boat to lift the anchor. Most accidents happen late in the
season when the gear is rotted after months of laying on the mud.
Mooring gear should be frequently looked to.


Hawsers, such as are employed on yachts, are very perishable articles,
and should be frequently aired. Excessive dryness is very bad for
manila rope. To prolong the life of a hawser that is used for anchoring
it should be turned end-for-end frequently. If used in water where
sewerage or chemical refuse is present, wash the rope thoroughly in
clean water before stowing away.


Chain is much cleaner than rope for use as anchor warp where the bottom
is muddy. Chain should be frequently examined and tested, as it is
liable to develop weak links, which will give way when least expected.


If anchored in an exposed harbor, before turning in at night reef your
principal sail or sails, so that if it comes on to blow you will be in
shape to get quickly away.


Pay strict attention to the rule requiring a riding light to be set
from sunset to sunrise, if in a place where other vessels are likely
to come. Hoist it in such a position that it will not be completely
shadowed by the mast from astern. If in close quarters, it is as well
to have another light aft, or at the end of the main or mizzen boom.


Make a practice of looking to your lights early in the day. Fill and
clean them all so they will be ready for instant use. Side lights,
riding, and binnacle lights, are too often neglected, and when suddenly
wanted are empty and cannot be shown. It is difficult, and sometimes
dangerous, to fill lamps in the dark.


If sailing in waters where big vessels are frequenting the fair ways,
always keep a flare handy during the dark hours. A bunch of rags tied
on a stick, with a can of kerosene to dip it into, makes a good flare.
In case a vessel does not see your side lights and bears down on you,
you can warn her off with a good bright flame.

[Illustration: SHEETS LIFTED.]


The ordinary brass or wooden binnacles made for small yachts are
pretty, but of very little use at night. The lamps will not burn if the
lid is closed, owing to the heated air driving or keeping out the fresh
and starving the flame of oxygen. The best binnacle is a box large
enough to hold a small lantern. The lantern should be of brass, not
iron. Such lantern can be bought for 25 cents in nearly any hardware
store. Get two, keeping one in reserve in case of accident. Bore plenty
of holes in the sides of the box. The best oil to use is railway signal
oil, which is a mixture of lard and kerosene.


Side lights should be carried well up the rigging, so as to make them
visible as far as possible. On launches they should be put on top of
the cabin house. Six feet above deck on a small yacht is about the best
height. This is high enough to keep them from being washed out.


A lantern should always be kept handy just inside the cuddy doors to be
shown for a stern light if a vessel comes up from aft. If a steamer is
coming down on you from anywhere astern pull back the companion slide
and let the cabin light shine on the sail; they will be sure to see the
reflection and know what it is ahead of them.


Water tanks, no matter how small, should be fitted with splash plates,
and plenty of them. Else when half full they will be the worst nuisance
possible in a seaway. If the tank is large it should not only have
athwartship plates, but plates fore-and-aft. In power boats especially
they should be fitted in this way, as such craft are generally bad and
persistent rollers.


Drinking water causes more sickness than all other foods combined, and
yachtsmen cannot be too careful where they get their supply. If you are
not certain sure of the fluid, boil it before using. Also keep your
tanks clean, and don’t put new water in on top of old that has been
in the tanks for weeks, or perhaps months. One time I was going on a
cruise and ordered the crew to fill the tanks, but cautioned them not
to take the supply from a pipe that led to the dock, but to go to the
clubhouse for it. When my back was turned they decided that the pipe
water was good enough, and filled up with it. Consequently we got a
dose of iron rust that laid the whole crowd out for three days with an
attack that would have turned Mr. Beacham green with envy. If the water
gets riley from shaking up in a seaway you can instantly clear it for
drinking by putting in the glass a few drops of lime juice.


When off cruising, a yacht should have in her locker some simple
remedies. Much suffering has been entailed by neglect of this
precaution. A roll of bandage, and some absorbent cotton, some Pond’s
Extract, salve, a few pills, and a diarrhæa medicine, are good things
to have. I have known of a man being badly burned, and having to suffer
for hours before a port could be made, because there was nothing on
board to ease the pain.


A log is a most useful instrument, not only to register distance, but
to tell you what your boat is doing under different sails. There are
several logs now made suitable for small craft. By watching the log
when you are sailing you can tell whether or not your craft is doing
her best. By employing it I have frequently found that a measure that I
supposed would add speed has worked just to the opposite. For instance,
I have put on more sail, and found by the log that instead of making
the boat go faster it has made her move slower. It will also aid you in
properly sheeting your sails, so as to get the most effective work out
of the canvas. Logs are a great comfort in thick weather, when running
for a landfall, as they give you warning of your approach to it, and
save a lot of worry. But they must never be implicitly trusted.


Always when cruising carry a barometer, and constantly watch it.
This instrument does not foretell the weather except indirectly. It
is simply an instrument for measuring the weight of the atmosphere.
No change of weather takes place without a change of the weight of
the air; therefore, when the barometer remains steady there will be
no change. If it goes up or down it means that some change will take
place. By learning what usually follows such fluctuations you can
employ it to help you in determining or foretelling the future weather


The study of the weather is a most necessary as well as an interesting
occupation. To make a success of it you must constantly observe the
barometer, the sky, and the sea. By learning the meaning of the colors
in the heavens at sunset and sunrise, and by knowing the different
forms of cloud, you can nine times out of ten foretell the weather
for the next day or two. The color of the sea and its movements are
also a guide. The actions of fish, birds and animals, like whales and
porpoises, will also aid you. Nothing should be too minute to escape
the seaman’s observations, if he wants to become weather-wise.


Make a study of the winds in the locality in which you sail. You will
find that nine times out of ten they go through the same routine in
shifting. By learning the manner in which they change you can take
advantage of these shifts. The winds in summer generally follow the
sun in its circuit, until they get back to their proper place. If they
go the other way, what is called back, you can never trust them to stay
long, and it is usually a sign of bad weather. In sounds and estuaries
the wind usually comes in with the flood tide. If this tide makes in
the morning the wind will stay all day; if the flood makes in the p. m.
hours it will not last long. If the wind comes in strong against the
tide look out for a long blow. Offshore winds usually come and go with
the sun, reaching their maximum velocity at noon and midnight.


After a heavy squall you will usually have a calm spell or an offshore
breeze. Winds blowing in from the ocean are weaker on the weather side
of an island and heavier and puffy on the lee side. On calm nights a
gentle air can often be found close under the land, when there is none
in mid-channel.


Never parley with a squall. Take in sail at once. You can never tell
from the appearance of a squall how much wind is in it. The most
innocent-looking are generally the most dangerous. I was once on a
yacht when a squall appeared that looked more like rain than wind. All
hands except the skipper, an old man, decided that it would not amount
to much. The skipper, much to our disgust, insisted upon taking all
sail off. We had scarcely got the canvas lowered and gasketed before
the squall struck, and laid the yacht over on her side and kept her
there until the blast had spent itself. The force of the blow was
terrific; probably the air was traveling at the rate of 70 or 80 miles
an hour. A large lumber-laden schooner close to had her foresail blown
clean away and lost part of her deck load. This taught me a lesson I
have never forgotten.


If becalmed, at the approach of a squall, get the vessel headed toward
the point you expect the blast to come from, so that the wind will
strike her bow on, and not on the broadside. If the squall looks to be
a lasting one, anchor, if in shallow water.


Squalls on the seacoast generally come off at either high or low
water. If they come between tides they are apt to be bad ones. If
your feelings or the barometer tell you a squall is likely to come
off, carefully watch inshore for the appearance of the wind. White
squalls--that is, sudden blows unaccompanied by cloud or rain, are
the most likely to catch you napping. They sometimes precede a sudden
change of wind. If you see the water suddenly whiten inshore, look out
for trouble, and lower all sail at once.


If struck by a sudden squall, let go your main throat halyards
first--not the peak. By keeping the peak up you will be able to luff
the boat; letting go the throat will relieve her until you can get in
the wind and get your sail down and muzzled. If you cannot get your
sail down, get her off before the wind and haul your mainsail flat
amidship; then steer so as to bring the wind dead aft. This will split
the force and give you a chance to take in sail.


The time of the tide has much to do with the strength of the wind in
sounds, bays, and channels. If a morning flood brings in the wind it
will usually blow all day. Ebb tide in the morning is apt to produce
calm or light winds during the summer months on our Eastern seaboard.
Thunder squalls are also affected by the condition of the tide, coming
off land at either high or low water.

[Illustration: THE COMING SQUALL.]


Roughly speaking, the tide is one hour later every day. It is
theoretically high when the moon bears directly South, either on one
side of the world or the other, but actually the friction of the water
causes a retardation which delays the wave until sometime after the
moon has made its southing.


Channels open at both ends have generally very strong tidal currents,
but a small rise and fall. The highest tides are in funnel-shaped bays
or estuaries directly open to the sea. The day tides are generally
higher than those at night.


High water does not in many cases coincide with the stop of the
current. In places situated upon sounds, channels and passages, the
current continues to flow long after it is high water. The same with
the ebb, which runs after the tide has reached its lowest level.


Frequently the tide is not found to be high at the time given in the
tables, and very often the current does not turn at the hour and minute
predicted. This does not prove that the tables are unreliable or
worthless. The tide is frequently prolonged or retarded by the wind,
which, acting either with or against it, causes the current to run with
greater or less force.


A correct and extensive knowledge of the tide is essential to good
work, if navigating salt water. A constant study should be made of
the tides, learn their strength, direction and height. Always carry a
tide book, and make a habit of consulting the tables. By knowing the
exact time of the current changes and the locations where they change
earliest you will save hours of time in getting from port to port. In
estuaries and sounds the current generally runs longest in mid-channel
and changes on the inshore first. So if carrying the last of a tide
keep in midstream; if using the first of it keep inshore. Eddies can
be found by examining the shore line, and drawing conclusions from the
trend of the coast. Much distance can sometimes be gained by working
eddies if sailing against an adverse current.


Floating objects have a tremendous attraction for each-other, and if
lying becalmed will gradually draw together. This is an influence
shared by every particle of matter in the universe, but passes
unnoticed upon land where we only see it manifested as weight. It no
doubt accounts for many of the collisions at sea in thick weather. Many
strandings are also due to this attraction which draws vessels towards
the land. In sailing at night or in thick weather along a coast, this
force should be allowed for. It is most likely to be felt on high, bold
shores, and least on low, shallow ones. It is this attraction that
causes your dingey on a still night to insist upon lying against the
stern or side of the yacht.


Yachtsmen should never unnecessarily bother coasters or steam vessels,
or any craft that is on the water for business. A yacht can be easily
cast from tack to tack, whereas it is a laborious job to turn a heavily
laden schooner round. But if you are not going to insist upon having
the right of way always tack or shift your helm in plenty of time, so
that the other man can know what you are about. If you decide to stand
on, do so, and don’t balk at the last moment when close aboard of the
other vessel. It is this indecision which leads to collisions.


The lookout on coasters is generally badly kept, owing to their being
short-manned, and sometimes to carelessness. At night and in foggy
weather keep out of their track, if possible. Also, keep out of the way
of tugs towing barges, as they are bad customers, who pay little or no
attention to the rights of small craft. Large steamers are as a general
thing very carefully navigated, and can be trusted to go clear, if
they see you; but remember that yacht side lights are poor things, and
cannot be seen at any distance.


Never try to cross the bows of anchored vessels, especially sailing
craft, unless you are well to windward of them. Trying to shave a
jib-boom has cost many a man a spar or a sail. It is always best if
there is any doubt of clearing to go under the vessel’s stern.


Don’t attempt to cross the bows of another vessel, especially a larger
one, when underway, unless you are certain you can clear her. You will
be clear of the other vessel, providing she holds the same course, when
you can see her anchor on the further bow. In meeting a large sailing
vessel, head to head, don’t pass close along her lee side; your boat
may become becalmed, soak in, and get a nasty swipe from a boom end.


The rule for a cruiser is to start early and finish early. Map out a
run that with the expected conditions you can complete easily in the
allotted time. This, doing as many shippers do, starting after the
sun is well up and finishing late, is the cause of discontent among a
crew. Getting into harbor after dark, hungry and tired, all hands are
in a bad humor, and work is neglected or scanted, and the pleasure of
the run spoiled. If you have wind, and the tide is right, get away at
daylight and finish your run before sunset; then you will have light to
find an anchorage, and get all snug before getting supper and turning


To make a quick run in a sailing vessel wait until you get the
conditions favorable and start. Then carry all she will, and push her
right through. In this way I have made 120 miles in 24 hours. It is
seldom on our Eastern Seaboard that you can make a run like this during
the summer season, the winds as a general thing losing their strength
after sunset.


The principal accident that endangers the life and limb of yachtsmen
is that inflicted by the main boom. I have known several men to have
lost their lives through being struck by this spar, and have been twice
badly hurt myself. A jibing boom comes over with tremendous force,
and is likely, if it hits, either to fracture the skull or knock the
unfortunate person it hits overboard. In cruising boats the foot of the
sail should be cut up sufficiently aft to raise the boom above the head
of the man standing in the cockpit. In very small boats this cannot
be done. Another source of danger is the mainsheet. Great care should
be exercised in bad weather when handling it. Also, look out for the
blocks on the clew of the jib, as they will give you a nasty rap.


It is no use marking a lead line as seamen do, as not one man in a
hundred can ever remember the marks. Again, frequently you have to
put a green hand to work taking casts, and he never could tell one
piece of rag from another, or a hole in a piece of leather from one in
the water. Get a good-sized piece of corded rope, like that used for
window weights, measure of either five or ten fathoms. Ten is best, if
you intend to cruise far. At one fathom clove hitch a short piece of
marline round the line and tie one knot in the end. At two fathoms two
knots and so on. In this way the greenest greenhorn can tell by simply
feeling with his fingers. I use a line like this, and can tell in the
darkest night just what the cast is.


Leaks are most dangerous in the middle body and least dangerous at the
ends, but the latter are most difficult to find and stop. Sometimes a
small leak may have its outside opening far away from where it appears
inside. This is especially so if it comes through the bow or stern
timbers. It is seldom that a leak can be stopped from the inside,
although it may be temporarily checked. You should always carry a small
calking iron, some cotton, a piece of sheet lead, copper or rubber, for
use in stopping leaks.


Centerboard boats, if old or not properly built, will leak constantly,
especially if they are hard-pressed. They should be thoroughly looked
to before being put overboard in the spring, and any bad places cleaned
out and re-calked. The king bolt should also be removed and repacked.
Another source of leaks is the rudder port. In many boats this opening
is not carried high enough, and in bad weather the sea slops in through
it. It should be boxed in and carried up to the deck.


Frequently a boat will leak in her topsides when heeled down, causing
a lot of annoyance, as water running in there is apt to wet the
bedding, etc. These leaks are sometimes the effect of straining, owing
to poor construction. At other times they are due to sun exposure. If a
vessel is allowed to lie constantly with one side exposed to the rays
of the sun her plank will dry and open up. If a boat is not put into
commission early in the spring she should be kept well-covered up to
prevent this.

[Illustration: HOVE TO.]


Leaky decks are difficult to make tight, and are the worst possible
nuisance. Wooden decks on small sail-boats cannot be kept tight, unless
they are covered with canvas and kept well-painted. Wherever the canvas
is pierced, be careful to see that the cloth is carried well up and
closely tacked to the object that goes through it. If a bolt or screw
for a fairleader or hook passes through have a wide washer at the base
and screw it down hard. Around the mast at the partners use a coat made
of sheet lead.


A very common place for leaks to develop is in the rabbet between the
garboard and keel, just under the mast. This is due to the downward
thrust and working of the spar. If a boat persists in leaking there,
lengthen the mast step so as to distribute the strain over a larger
space. Our modern plank-keel boats are liable to develop cracks in
the plank, which will only leak when underway, and are difficult to
discover, as they close up when the boat is at rest. If the leak is bad
it can be readily found by hauling the boat out, filling her bilge with
water and watching where it drips out.


You can sometimes stop or check a leak by calking from the inside, if
you can get at it; but great care should be exercised in driving the
cotton not to push it in too hard, as you may drive out what calking
is in the seam, and make the leak worse. Holes, if they can be got at
from the outside, can be covered with sheet lead, copper, or a piece of
rubber boot leg. In an emergency the same can be used inside to check
the flow. Barge men frequently use horse manure to stop leaks in the
seams when near the water line; they throw it overboard and let the
water draw it into the crevice. I have checked a leak by running a boat
on a bar of soft sand, thus getting sand in the seam.


If you get a hole in the bottom from striking a rock or other
obstruction, and cannot put the boat ashore on a safe place, you can
check it enough to keep her afloat by what is called frapping. Take a
sail or large piece of canvas, and fasten a line to each of the four
corners, then on the inside of the canvas sew a lot of oakum or cotton
so as to make a wad big enough to completely cover the hole and a large
space around it. Pass two of the lines under the boat and bring them up
on the side opposite to the one the leak is on; keep the other two on
the side the leak is. Work the canvas along until it covers the hole,
and then haul all the lines taut, and make fast, the pressure will
force the wadding into the hole and check the inflow of water until you
can lay the boat ashore.


If you get a bad leak in the scupper pipe, and cannot get at it from
the inside, the following method is a quick and sure way of stopping
the inflow of water: Cut a round disk of wood about five times bigger
across than the outside opening of the pipe. Bore a hole in the middle
of this disk just small enough to pass a strong cord through and knot.
Then on inside of the disk fasten a good big wad of cotton batting, or
oakum; this you can do with tacks, thread or glue. I have used thick
paint and cotton wadding pulled out of an old quilt. When the disk is
ready, take another line and weight it with a sinker, drop it down the
scupper pipe until it hangs outside, then fish it up with a boat hook
and bring the end on board. Marry the end of this cord to the cord
attached to the disk. Then haul the cord in through the pipe until the
disk comes up against and closes the scupper hole. By taking a stick
and making a windlass of it you can roll the cord up tightly and secure
the disk so it will not slip.


The lookout should examine the side lights, at least every half hour,
and report to the man aft in command their condition. He should also
see that the set of the headsails do not cover the lee light. If so, be
prepared to show it clear if a vessel approaches on that bow.


The side lights should be kept clean and the lamps properly trimmed.
Use signal oil in them. After lighting the lamps below place them in
the lanterns, and let them burn for some minutes with the door open.
This will dry out the moisture and allow it to escape. If you don’t
do this, your glass will cloud with watery vapor. The cause of these
lights refusing to burn is generally want of air, owing to overheating.
The gas inside preventing the fresh oxygen from entering.


If you send a man forward of a rough dark night, put a light line
around him and have it fast aft, or else have another hand hold it.
This should always be done if a headsail is to be taken in, as more men
are lost off the bowsprit than from any other spar.


Always at night, if sailing in waters frequented by other vessels, keep
a good lookout. If two men are in the watch, have one forward whenever
you get among other craft, as it is difficult to keep a close watch
to leeward from the cockpit. The helmsman should keep a lookout to
windward and astern.


A watch tackle or Handy Billy is most useful contrivance, and should
have a place on every cruising boat. It is made of a single and double
block, both having hooks, or else the single having a hook and the
double an eye. For a small yacht, blocks carrying a 15-thread rope are
heavy enough. When stretched to its best there should be at least 15
feet drift between the blocks. This tackle saves oceans of labor, and
makes the heaviest job light. If your anchor sticks, Handy Billy will
bring him to terms. If you get aground, he will give a strong pull on
the warp to get you off. If the bobstay breaks, or a shroud parts, he
will help to keep the mast in while repairs are being made. You want
good, strong blocks, as there is a tremendous strain when all the beef
is on this tackle. Keep Handy Billy in a safe and easily accessible
place, and he will pay you well for his lodgings.


This is something that many men get sadly mixed on, and consequently
are frequently violating the rules of the road. A vessel is on the
starboard tack when her boom is on the port side and the wind is
blowing on her starboard side. She is on the port tack when the boom
is on the starboard side and the wind is blowing on her port side.
Not only are there men sailing who in an emergency cannot tell the
port side from the starboard, but who do not know their right from
their left hand. One day I was watching a sergeant drilling a squad of
recruits. He said to me, “would you believe it, half these men don’t
know their right from their left hand.” Upon my questioning this, he
suddenly commanded them to raise their right hands, two lifted the
right, one the left, and the other three looked doubtfully at both for
some seconds before raising the right one up. You can always know when
you are on the starboard tack in this way: Standing at the helm and
facing forward, if your right hand is on the side from which the wind
is blowing you are on the starboard tack. When I was a boy, and even
to-day in an emergency, I always tell my right hand by thinking which
hand I would throw a stone with.


When a vessel is sailing off the wind the tack is determined by the
position of the main boom. For instance, if a schooner or yawl is
running wing-a-wing with the main boom off on the port side she is on
the starboard tack.


A sailing vessel has the right of way over all steam or power vessels,
except when she is the overtaking craft; then she must keep out of the
way of the vessel overtaken. A “steam vessel” in the eyes of the law
is any vessel driven by machinery, no matter of what kind or sort, and
includes all gasolene, kerosene and electric boats. An auxiliary, if
using her engine, is a steam vessel, and must keep clear of sailing
craft, no matter whether she has sail set or not. Sailing craft must
keep clear of rowboats.


When taking a swig on a tackle, in order to get a sail up, especially
on the lee side, if the boat is heeling be careful to get a firm brace
of your body or a good leg hold. Sometimes the pin will fly out,
or your turn on the cleat slip, and you are liable to go overboard


The best way is to have the different sets of points made of different
kinds of line. Use cotton for the first and manila for the second. Then
when tying in, especially in the dark, you will be sure to get the
right ends knotted together.


The hauling part of the peak halyards is usually brought down and
belayed on the starboard side of the mast. I bring mine down on the
port side, for this simple reason: The terms peak and port begin with
the same letter, and thus it is easy for a green hand to find the right
rope. Frequently a trained hand in a moment of excitement will let go
the wrong halyard, but by remembering the letter P you are less likely
to make the mistake.


If you are to command, show yourself a leader, not by talk, but by
action. Always be first in everything that requires skill or courage.
Thus you will win your crew’s respect, and if they respect you they
will obey you. Never send a man to do a task you fear to do yourself.
If there is any danger, lead, and your men will follow; but you cannot
expect men to risk their limbs or lives to save your vessel if you
shrink from the position who have the most at jeopardy. Don’t put all
the hard work on the crew; do your share of it; also the dirty jobs. If
you are working watch and watch, be sure to be the first on deck when
your watch is called, and don’t leave it, unless you are sure that the
yacht is in safe hands and that your care and skill is not needed.


It is your duty as skipper to know and see everything that goes on.
If you order the lead to be hove see that it is. See that the lights
are attended to and ready. See that the course is being properly
steered. Before turning in at night inspect your riding gear, likewise
when coming to an anchor. Don’t trust to a report, go and look at it.
See that the pump is used and the vessel kept clear of water. Make a
practice of doing these things until they become a habit.


If you have a second in command, and he is a man who understands his
work, if you place him in charge of the deck don’t be constantly
interfering with him. If he is not competent to take charge of the
yacht, he has no business to be where he is. If you put confidence in
a man, and he is worthy of it, it will strengthen him and enable him to
do better work all along the line.


My standing order, and one that I always enforce, is this: When in
charge of the boat no reefs are to be shaken out or extra sail made
without my order; but sail can be taken in or reefed at any time
without waiting to call me.


In order to insure safety, comfort and good work, you must enforce a
certain amount of discipline upon your crew. You can only do this by
showing that you are amenable to it. You cannot expect men who are
sailing with you for pleasure to obey orders or respect rules if you do
not obey and respect them yourself. This is the prime fault with many
young skippers. If you shape your own conduct according to your rules
you will find that your crew, if they are any good, will do likewise.
But do not make foolish rules or issue unnecessary orders; the less you
restrict and domineer the better you will get along with your hands.


Sails are most often torn or split through carelessness in tieing in
the points when reefing, or not untieing when shaking out. The first
man will tie his points hard, the second slack, consequently bringing
undue strain on one cloth. All the points should be tied with as nearly
equal strain as possible. Another cause is allowing sails to fall and
lie over pointed things, like oarlocks, anchor stocks and belaying
pins. Somebody steps or hauls on the sail and the point goes through.


If you have a sister, or know somebody else’s sister, get her to show
you how they herringbone or darn a rent, such as they frequently have
in their clothes. This knowledge will enable you to mend a rent in your
sail, and perhaps save the canvas from being torn to pieces. A small
hole in a sail can be temporarily mended with court plaster. If the
sail rends and starts to split up the cloth put in a safety pin at top
and bottom of tear until you can get at it with a needle. Always carry
a spare yard or two of canvas when cruising, as it will frequently come
in handy for mending and other purposes.


Every young yachtsman should learn to make the simple knots and
splices. Nothing looks worse than to see on a boat a lot of rigging
that is knotted or fastened together in a lubberly fashion. There is no
need of learning the fancy knots, unless you want to, but you should
know how to make the following knots, etc.:

  Square or reef knot,
  Figure eight,
  Fisherman’s bend,
  Carrick bend,
  Clove hitch,
  Half and whole hitch,
  Rolling hitch,
  Wall and crown,
  Short splice,
  Sailmaker’s splice,
  Cut splice,
  Eye splice,
  Whipping, common,
  Whipping, Spanish,
  Plain, stitching,


A boat’s deck and cockpit should be thoroughly washed at least once
a day. Nothing looks worse than a dirty deck. Wooden decks should be
washed before the heat of the day gets on them: Canvas decks can be
scrubbed at any time. If on salt water, always take advantage of a rain
and give your decks a good hard scrubbing to get the salt off. If you
have a crew, teach them to wash down the first thing every morning, and
see that they do it


The first lesson to learn on a yacht, and the first to teach your crew,
is that there is a place for everything, and that everything must be
kept in its place. If they take anything out to use make them put it
back at once in its place just as soon as they are done with it. Make
every man keep his berth tidy, his clothes put away, and his bedding
properly aired and folded. Teach them not to throw cigarette butts,
tobacco and match sticks on the floor, and to spit overboard and not on
the deck or in the cockpit. Don’t leave dirty dishes about. Keep your
cabin just as tidy as you do your deck.


Every yacht should carry a simple kit of tools with them. You can
always make temporary repairs, and sometimes save yourself expense,
worry and toil. Have a box for them where they can be easily got at.
You don’t want fine tools, as they will soon be ruined by the dampness.
The following is a list of what is necessary for a cruising boat:

  Monkey wrench,
  Small saw,
  Cold chisel,
  Brace and bits,
  Screw driver,
  Marline spike,
  Small vice,
  Wire nippers,
  Grommet set,
  Sail needle,
  Sail hook,
  Piece of sheet copper,
  Piece of sheet lead,
  Piece of sheet rubber,
  Copper tacks,
  Some galv. iron rod,
  Screw eyes.


Don’t have more than two or three sizes of rope in your rig, if you can
help it, and carry a spare coil of a few fathoms of each. Also, have
spare fittings, so if anything carries away you can replace it. Here is
a short list:

  Pins for same,


Every yacht, no matter of what size, should have a good pump fitted to
draw from the lowest part of the bilge. If a full-decked cabin boat,
have the pump put in through the deck, and not through the cockpit
floor. Builders like to put it in the latter place, as the work is
easier. In consequence of its being there the dirty water is pumped
into the pit and makes it wet and nasty. In an open centerboard boat
put the pump at the after end of the trunk and pump into it. Keep the
pump well clean. If you do not use the pump daily, to keep the leather
on the sucker in good condition wrap it about with an oiled rag. A
small portable pump is very useful to completely dry out the bilges.


If the boat has a leak, make it a practice to try the pump every
morning before washing down. Keep the water out of her, so that when
she heels down it won’t run up into the lockers and wet things. A good
knockdown will distribute a few buckets of bilge water around a cabin
in a way to make things damp for weeks to come.


If you use inside ballast of any kind do not lump it in heaps along the
keel; spread it out as much as possible over the bottom. It should be
spaced in the middle half of the boat, leaving the ends empty. No rule
can be laid down for placing weight in a boat; you must experiment and
find out how much and where to put it. Remember, that too much ballast
is as bad as too little.


Inside ballast is either lead, iron or stone. There is no question but
what stone is the best ballast, so far as the effect is concerned, and
lead the worst. Lead has the advantage of being always worth its money,
second-hand lead bringing nearly the same price as new. Old iron is of
little or no value. Lead stows snugly and is clean. Iron is very dirty,
and the rust from it is a nuisance. The disadvantage of stone is that
you cannot secure it. Inside ballast should be secured so as not to
shift in case the vessel gets on her side. Heavy ballast should rest on
the frame and not on the plank.


The cause of many yachts smelling below is dirty bilges. They are never
properly cleaned from one season to the other. Before putting the yacht
in commission the bilges should be thoroughly searched, cleaned and
washed out, all the limbers poked open so as to allow the water to flow
to the pump well. If the boat does not leak enough to keep her bilges
sweet, water should be poured in at least once a week and pumped out
again. Don’t sweep dirt or other rubbish into the bilge; it is liable
to get into the pump and choke it.


To make the joints of pipes carrying gasolene or kerosene tight use
common yellow soap. These pipes if used to carry either of these fluids
to a stove should be frequently examined, so as to prevent leakage. If
gasolene leaks into the bilge, flood it with water and pump out before
making any light below decks.


Keep your lead line where it can be instantly laid hands upon. For a
small boat a five-fathom line is long enough, with an extra five that
can be bent on in case of need. A three-pound lead is plenty heavy


Always keep about your person a sharp knife, so that you can get hold
of it without delay. Many a man has lost his life for want of a knife.
It is best when cruising to carry a sheath knife, as they are handiest.


Always carry a large oar on deck and a pair of spare ones for the
dingey stowed below. It is also well to have at least two pair of spare
oarlocks on board.


Take some 6, 9 and 12-thread manila rope and cut it into 3, 5 and
8-foot lengths. Put an eye-splice in one end of each length and whip
the other end. These short pieces are always of the greatest use,
and will save much time and trouble. They can be employed for many
purposes, and are especially handy for gasketing sails.


It is the duty, and should be the pleasure, of every yachtsman to
stand-by another yacht when in distress, or in need of any sort
of help. It is always best if you see a boat in a predicament to
stand-down to her and offer your services, even if they are not needed;
it will generally be appreciated as an act of courtesy and good will.
And all yachtsmen should receive such offers in the spirit in which
they are advanced, and not as some do, if they do not need assistance,
give a jeering or discourteous reply. I have been fairly insulted
several times by skippers because I have offered my aid to get them
out of a predicament, my advances being considered to be a reflection
on their skill and ability. Power-boat skippers can do much to make
yachting pleasant, by offering a tow to becalmed sail-craft men. The
little attentions do much to establish a feeling of perfect comradeship
that is so essential to the making of a sport.




  Accidents to men, 97

  Anchor light, 81
    to get a line on a fluke, 72
    to get in a seaway, 71
    to lay out a heavy, 73
    to lay one out, 73
    to raise a heavy, 74
    to sweep an, 72

  Anchors, care of, 71

  Anchored in a current, 51
    in an exposed harbor, 80
    vessels, 95

  Attraction, effect on vessels, 94

  Barometers, 86

  Ballast, kinds of, 118
    where to place, 118

  Balloon-jib sheet, to shift a, 64

  Bilges, 119

  Binnacle lights, 83

  Blocks, kind to buy, 23

  Boat’s name, 19

  Bobstay, burst, 66

  Bos’n stores, 116

  Booms, cause of springing, 22

  Burst bobstay, 66
    mainsheet, 65

  Buying a boat, 13
    a boat afloat, 15
    a cruiser, 14
    from fad, 16
    from reason, 17
    out of repair, 17
    a racer, 14
    through a broker, 18

  Caught on a lee shore, 56

  Chain, care of, 80
    mooring, 78

  Clubbing, 48

  Coasters, 95

  Coming-to at a dock, 48

  Coils of gear, 39

  Covers, sail, 38

  Crew, discipline, 111
    and skipper, 109
    stations for, 28
    stations for getting underway, 28
    stations for reefing, 30
    stations for setting a spinnaker, 32

  Cruising, 96

  Current, anchored in a, 57
    sailing against, 49
    sailing in a, 49
    sailing in a calm, 51

  Dock, coming-to at a, 48
    or pier lying at a, 48

  Downhaul, how to rig a peak, 40

  Dropping a mooring, 79

  Gasolene pipes, 119

  Gears, coils of, 39

  Gear, running, 39

  Halyards, peak, 109

  Hawsers, care of, 80

  Heaving-to, 52

  High water, 92
    in tide tables, 93

  Hoisting sails, 36

  Hoops, working of, 23

  Injury to sails, 112

  Inventory, 18

  Jibing a mainsail, 46
    a yawl, 47

  Jib sheets, how to reeve, 40

  Jibs, shifting in heavy weather, 38
    storm, 38

  Keeping clean below, 114

  Knife, 120

  Knotting and splicing, 113

  Lashing and stops, 121

  Lead-line, to make a, 98
    where to keep, 120

  Leak in scupper-pipe, 103
    to frap a, 103

  Leaks in centerboard boats, 99
    in deck, 101
    in rabbet, 101
    stopping, 102
    in topsides, 99
    where most dangerous, 98

  Lee shores, sailing on, 53
    shore, caught on a, 53
           caught on a, 56

  Light sails, handling, 30
    sheeting, 60

  Light, anchor, 81
    a flare, 81
    stern, 83

  Lights, binnacle, 83
    side, 83
    side, 104
    taking care of, 81

  Log, use of, 85

  Lookout, 105
    reports, 104

  Lying at a dock or pier, 48

  Lying-to, 52

  Making a mooring, 75
    to leeward, 77
    a quick run, 97

  Mainsail hoisting on track, 41
    to jibe, 46

  Mainsheet, burst, 65
    to knot a, 46

  Mark, rounding a, 60
    a leeward, 61
    a windward, 63
    with an overlap, 61

  Mast carried away, 66

  Masts, removing, 21
    to remove, 21

  Medicine chest, 85

  Mending sails, 112

  Miss-staying in a seaway, 54
    how to get out of irons, 54

  Mizzen on a yawl, 57
    how to handle, 57

  Mooring, care of, 79
    chain, 78
    dropping a, 79
    how to make a, 75
    hook, how to shape, 77
    making one to leeward, 77
    warp, 78

  Moorings, what weight, 74

  Nautical instruments, charts, etc., 19

  Oars, 120

  Off the wind, 107

  Peak downhaul, 40
    halyards, 109

  Pendants for reefing, 42

  Pump, 117

  Pumping, 118

  Reef points, 108
    shaking out a, 44

  Reefing before starting, 45
    not to haul out too hard, 44
    in heavy seaway, 44
    at night, 41
    pendants for, 42
    to practice a crew at, 41
    tacks for, 42
    to belay sheet when, 42

  Rigging, running, 40
    on racing craft, 22

  Right of way, 108

  Run, making a quick, 96

  Running off, to carry a small jib, 45
    gear, 39
    in a seaway, 45
    rigging, 40

  Rounding a mark, 60
    a windward mark, 63
    a mark to leeward, 60
    a mark, with overlap, 61

  Sail covers, 38

  Sails, hoisting, 36
    how to treat, 34
    injury to, 112
    measuring for, 34
    mending, 112
    stowing, 36
    to be aired, 34
    to take care of, 36

  Sailing against current, 49
    in a current, 49
    in a seaway, 56
       what sail to carry, 57

  Scupper-pipe leaking, 103

  Sheets, jib, 40

  Sheeting, light sails, 60

  Shore, caught on a lee, 53
    weather, 53

  Shores, lee, 53

  Shifting jibs in heavy weather, 38

  Shroud parting, 64

  Side lights, 104
       lights, 83

  Skipper and mate, 110

  Skipper’s duties, 110

  Spinnaker pole, how to rig for racing, 24

  Spinnakers, to prepare for hoisting, 24

  Spinnaker to set when rigged with a lift, 26
    to shift from side to side, 25

  Spinnakers, when to use, 25

  Squall, struck by a, 90

  Squalls, 88
    how to meet one, 89
    time of, 89

  Standing-by, 121

  Standing order to mate, 111

  Speed, to judge, 68
    reasons for want of, 67

  Steering a yawl, 47

  Stern light, 83

  Storm jibs, 38

  Stowing sails, 36

  Swigging a tackle, 108

  Tacks for reefing, how to fit, 42

  Tack, which, 106

  Tanks, water, 84

  Tide under the lee, 51

  Tides, a knowledge of, 93
    effecting the wind, 90
    time of, 92
    where strongest, 92

  To get an anchor in a seaway, 71

  To lay out an anchor, 73

  To lay out a heavy anchor, 73

  To sweep an anchor, 72

  Tool box, 115

  Towing a heavy boat, 68
    alongside, 70
    making the warp fast, 70
    to tack when, 70

  Trimming a vessel, 63

  To raise a heavy anchor, 74

  Vessels underway, 96

  Want of speed, 67

  Warp, mooring, 78

  Washing down, 114

  Watch tackle, 106

  Water, cause of sickness, 84
    tanks, 84

  Wearing a yawl, 46

  Weather shore, sailing on, 53
    the study of, 87

  Winds, 88

  Winds, study of, 87

  Working craft and steamers, 94
    forward at night, 105
    to windward, 58
    to windward cruising, 59
    to windward, to get favoring breeze, 59

  Yawl, jibing a, 47
    mizzen on a, 57
    steering a, 47
    wearing a, 46


The policy of THE RUDDER is to give to yachtsmen a thoroughly
practical periodical, dealing with the sport of yachting in all its
phases, and especially to furnish them with the designs and plans of
vessels adapted to their wants in all localities.

    In each issue is a design of a sailing or power craft, and at
    least four times a year a complete set of working drawings is
    given, so that the unskilled can try a hand at building with a
    certainty of making a success of the attempt.

    In the last two years over 500 boats have been built from
    designs printed in the magazine, and in almost every case have
    given satisfaction.

    Outside of the strictly practical, the magazine has always a
    cargo of readable things in the way of cruises and tales, while
    its illustrations are noted for their novelty and beauty.

    The editor desires to increase the size of the magazine and to
    add to its features. In order to do this it is necessary that
    it be given the hearty support of all who are interested in the
    sport. The cost of a subscription, $2 a year rolled or $2.50
    mailed flat, is as low as it is possible to make it and furnish
    a first-class publication, and he asks yachtsmen to subscribe,
    as in that way they can materially assist him in keeping the
    magazine up to its present standard of excellence.

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On Yachts and Yacht Handling


The first volume of a series of technical books that will be an
invaluable addition to every yachtsman’s library.


  On Seamanship
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  On Sails as an Auxiliary
  On Reefing
  On Anchors and Anchoring
  On Rigging
  On Stranding


In this book Mr. Day has dropped all technical terms that are apt to
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On Yacht Etiquette



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On Marine Motors and Motor Launches


Author of the Gas-Engine Handbook


The second volume of a series of technical books that will be an
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Southward by the Inside Route, New York to Florida



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    Special Remarks; General Remarks; The Boat and Rig; The
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How to Build a Racer for $50



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How to Build a Knockabout


The most wholesome type of boat for all-around cruising and racing. 32
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How to Build a Racing Sloop



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