Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What are Jacklines and How to Install Them

Jacklines are a staple safety item for anyone planning to sail after dusk or blue water cruise--they keep you attached to the boat via a tether and harness.  While each boat and boat owner has a different view on what to attach them to, and where, the process of attaching remains the same.  For optimum placement, an additional padeye may need to be installed, so make sure you check this first before getting too far.

APS Jacklines are made and built to your specifications of length, out of 1/4" Dyneema with a polyester tubular webbing as a cover. Each jackline has a loop spliced into each end for attachment. 

To attach them, simply luggage tag the fore end of the jackline to a padeye or bow cleat. For the rear attachment we recommend at least 1 tether length from the transom (this is important in case you do fall, that you are not behind the boat). A padeye is generally installed and the jackline is made about a foot shorter than the distance between the two anchor points. A piece of lashing line will be included with your jacklines and by tying a bowline to the padeye and lashing 3-4 times, finishing with half hitches, your jackline will be tight and you're ready to roll! 

Watch the video to see it in action:

Remember, as with any piece of safety equipment, regular inspection is recommended and to prolong the life, remove from the deck when at the docks/on the hard.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What are Salopettes? ... and How are They Different Than Trousers?

Salopette (sa·lo·pettes


A one-piece garment similar to overalls, with a front flap and shoulder straps.  A full sleeveless top, worn for skiing, sailing, etc.

1970s: from french salopette in the same sense + -s by analogy with such words as trousers.

So, Salopettes are French for Trousers?  

If that's it, why do they different?  Lets have a closer look.
(Editor's Note: We're going to focus on offshore Trousers, for the sake comparison).  

With their athletic fit and higher cut, Salopettes are an excellent choice for the active sailor, whether buoy racing, day sailing and the occasional overnight.  Salopettes offer total core coverage providing warmth and comfort and can be used as a standalone piece of kit when the elements are mild. 

Salopettes are typically a three layer laminate providing full waterproof protection and superior breathability while keeping the weight to a minimum.  Starting at the top, the shoulders incorporate wide stretch panels which prevent them from slipping off, and allow for ease of movement but restrict height adjustment so length/fit here will be most important.  

Other differentiating features on some models are a waterproof zipper and up to one external pocket to hold the bare essentials.  With minimal fit adjustment points, the only true adjustment to be made are at the waist and ankle.

Let’s review: Salopette’s ARE: Minimalistic, lightweight, flexible, breathable and comfortable, consider it a sleeveless, footless, waterproof onesie for adults!

Whereas trousers, also commonly referred to as bibs, are a fuller fit and lower cut with narrow shoulder straps and numerous adjustment points.  Kind of like your denim overalls.

Height adjustment here is less as important with the adjustable Velcro shoulder straps to customize fit.  Other features of trousers include hand warmer pockets under the chest, as well as thigh pockets to store your goodies.  

The zipper is typically NOT waterproof but has a taller internal gusset to prevent penetration, which makes them ideal for longer passages or offshore adventures.  The extra features on trousers usually make them a bit heavier and less breathable then their counterpart, the Salopette.  

Now, lets take a look:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What is a Base Layer?

I've been hearing this song on the radio saying ‘it’s all about that base’ and I think they’re talking about base layers, because when it comes to being comfortable on the water base layers are what it's all about.  It doesn't matter if you have a fully waterproof foul weather jacket if you’re dripping in sweat and freezing cold underneath in a cotton tee shirt, because we all know by now, No Cotton on the Water!

Base layers are made out of quick drying materials and constructed in a manner designed to wick body moisture away from your body so that it can evaporate as opposed to having your own private wet tee shirt contest inside your foulies leaching heat and energy away your body.  Dry = Comfortable

They come in a variety of garments (underwear, shirt, or pants for example) and styles (short sleeve, long sleeve, or zip neck) so you’re dry and comfortable in a wide range of conditions and activity levels.

Check out the video below to learn more: 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How to Make a Handle for the End of a Control Line

Too hot to handle, too cold to hold. They called the Ghostbusters and they’re in control.

Bobby Brown sure knew about lyrics, and handling business. I’ll show you how to handle your business, well, or at least your control lines.

Making a braided handle is easier than you think and super useful for any control line that you want to grip easily.  It also helps the line from getting tangled.

I've seen this braided method of finishing a Line used everywhere from the trip line on a big boat spin pole to the Cunningham on a Laser. Learn this easy method and you will be able to grip smaller diameter lines with confidence and rig and de-rig with ease.

Have Fun!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How to Choose the Right Size of Dinghy Boots for Women

We know shopping for women’s sailing gear can be a pain, but we have some tips and tricks at APS to make it easier for you. One especially difficult piece of gear to size for women is a good pair of dinghy boots. The material and styling of dinghy boots plus the difference between men’s and women’s sizing  can make for quite the headache! We can help you with each of these factors. 

Though in most other types of shoes you would subtract two sizes from your women’s size to get your men’s size, we typically only recommend going down one size for dinghy boots and a half size if you’re in between whole sizes. Dinghy boots fit a pretty snug naturally, so you’ll probably find yourself in a bigger size than what you were expecting. That’s totally normal! 

Keep in mind how you will be using your dinghy boots to choose your size: will you need to fit them over a dry suit and wool socks or, like me, do you only sail when it’s warm and don’t need to wear socks? This is an important factor in deciding which size boots to choose. 

Lastly, you’ll want to factor in style to the equation. Do you need waterproof boots or will neoprene work? Do you like a lot of support and sturdiness, or do you prefer flexibility and adjustable straps? 
Once you know what kind of boot you are looking for and what, if anything, you’ll be wearing under them, use this chart to help you determine your size!:


 US (Euro)
Ronstan Sperry Gill Zhik
10 (40-41)
9 (40)
8.5 (39)
8 (39)
7.5 (38)

Now, Check out the full results:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How to use the Gill Regatta Race Timer

So here it is, the Gill Regatta Race Timer!  This is a great watch for any type of sailing from dinghies to big boats.  The large display allows for quick glancing instead of prolonged time checks.

Big numbers and five preset countdown sequences make it a pleasure to use.  The large buttons make operation easy, as well as preventing accidental side button pushing.  (Side Note: We really like the green buttons on the black version because they're easier to see at a quick glance.)

The snap in cradle for the watch is contoured on the underside which makes for a comfortable wrist watch or provides a nice curved surface adapter if attaching to a dinghy mast. 

The cradle also has four screw mounting holes so the watch can be mounted to a bulkhead.  For great versatility and great timekeeping, this one’s a keeper!

Check out the basics and how to use the timer function: