Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How to use a Luggage Tag Eye

The luggage tag eye splice. Have no rigging idea what that means? Read on…

The luggage tag eye is a longer eye splice than the standard eye. It has a few advantages, the most important one is that we do not directly splice to the shackle or attachment point so we can splice the rigging here in Annapolis.

Attach it to your boat wherever you may be without us having to ship a rigger to you (this gets expensive when you include the freight, beer, and pizza required).

Instead, watch the video below to see how to easily install:


We use the luggage tag for many items from our custom jacklines and 2:1 jib blocks to vang strops and tacklines. Give our customer service team a shout and we will help you get the best splice and most appropriate line for your application!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How to Replace a Tiller Universal



Sailing season is back in full swing, and it’s that time again to replace old, worn out parts.  Too often I see a race or pleasure cruise ruined when a universal joint fails. 

Don’t let this happen to you: examine often and replace early! 

Watch the video and learn how to remove the old universal, drill out the new one, and install the pin for a sleek and secure fit.



Tools you will need:

Things to Note:  Not all universals are as “universal” as the name implies.  The main difference is the receiver, which lives on the tiller, and the shape of the cap that locks it into it.  Try to match a manufacturer’s label on the tiller extension to find the right universal joint replacement.

That being said, getting the wrong brand is not the end of the world.  Most are made to fit a standard 5/8 inch diameter tube with an ID of .55 inches.

Every replacement comes with a new receiver (the part on the tiller) so installing a different brand universal only means you have to also switch to the new receiver.  Simply remove the 2 fasteners and replace for a proper fit.

*As seen in this example, the partner on the tiller has rounded sides.  The new universal I installed has a squarer, boxy cover.  Worry not, I simply back out the two screws and replace it with the new receiver to match.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How to Convert the Spinlock Deckvest Lite from Automatic to Manual

When choosing an inflatable life jacket, one option I always look for is whether or not I can convert it to manual firing to prevent accidental inflation in wet conditions.  

If you are an avid inshore sailor or power boater, stand up paddler (SUP) or kayaker, the Spinlock USCG Deckvest Lite is the perfect candidate for these applications.
The conversion from auto to manual inflation is very simple.  The first thing you will need is your Deckvest LITE, as well as the Manual Conversion Kit specifically made for USCG Approved Deckvest LITE which Converts Halkey Roberts Alpha Auto Inflator to manual firing only.  This kit contains a Blanking Cap and manual Tag for easy recognition. 

Here are the easy step by step instructions:


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How to Pack for a Weight Conscious Boat

Choosing the right gear isn't really a case of right or wrong, but being aware of what you choose to bring can make a difference on a sensitive boat, especially with a large crew.  Being the one who continually brings too much gear in a bag you could fit in, we’re here to help keep your weight conscious boat and crew happy.

Tip #1: The smaller the bag (even if it’s packed full) the better it looks as you walk down the dock

Tip #2: Pack for the conditions – check the forecast and know what you’re getting into before you leave.  No need to pack a jacket and trousers if it’s going to be sunny, warm with light breezes.

Tip #3: No one gives you grief if you’re already wearing the gear. If it’s chilly – put on a fleece before you get on the boat.


A great example for this would be the local Wednesday Night Racing here in Annapolis.  Let me show you what my normal kit is:


What I packed: