Tip, Tip Hooray!

From the editors of BoatUS Magazine

These quick solutions from our experts will make your boating life better and easier.


Fishing hooks

Throw those hooks away. Yes, that's right — stop sharpening them after a couple of uses and just trash them. These days, high-quality hooks are chemically and laser sharpened. Once a few specks of rust appear, no matter how long you go at it with a file or stone, you'll never get that hook as sharp as it was when it first came out of the package.

— Lenny Rudow

Power Cruising

There's no rule that says you have to pick up a mooring at the bow. If you're alone, rig a messenger line long enough to reach from the bow cleat outside or over any rails or lifelines, and back to the helm station. Secure it to a midships cleat until you need it, so there's no chance it might fall in the water or foul the prop. Come alongside your mooring ball or pennant, reach over the side, and thread your messenger line through the loop/eye of the mooring. Either secure the messenger through the mooring loop with a bowline knot, toss it all back in the water, go forward without stress, and pull the messenger line and mooring line in from the bow; or walk forward, shortening the line as you go to position the boat properly on the mooring.

— Don Casey


U-bolts attached

There are many trailer accessories designed to make launching easier. If you decide to install one or more, never drill through the frame of your trailer. Either use bolt-on accessories or have them welded on by a pro. Drilling holes in your trailer frame compromises strength and, in the case of a galvanized trailer, exposes unprotected surfaces to corrosion. If you have an aluminum trailer, make sure the metal accessories you intend to add are compatible with aluminum and won't result in corrosion issues.

— John Adey


Do you use duct tape to secure the rigging when trailering your sailboat? If so, grab a scrap of carpet and a kitchen garbage bag. First, wrap the mast and stays with the carpet, pile side down, then wrap the bag over top. Tape tightly over the bag. The carpet keeps the wire shrouds from damaging the mast paint or anodizing. Snipping the tape and bag together will release the binding when you're ready to sail again, leaving no adhesive.

— Don Casey

— Published: July 2017

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