Dremel Tools

For cutting or smoothing in tight spots, nothing quite beats a Dremel tool.

Dremel tool The most common unit is the Dremel 395D Variable-Speed MultiPro Tool which can vary from 5,000 to 35,000 RPM. Such high speeds can make short work of even tough jobs, such as cutting through stainless rigging wire.

Unless you've already got a bunch of accessories and are looking for a replacement tool, you're probably better off buying a kit, such as the 75-piece kit or 77-piece kit. These give you the tool and a bunch of different bits and accessories, such as cut-off wheels and sanding drums, the two things I use most on the boat.

For heavy-duty cutting, I like to use diamond wheels, which don't fly apart like the standard cutoff wheels.

Offshore Sailing book cover Offshore Sailing by Bill Seifert with Daniel Spurr

We went to a Windjammers lecture to hear Bill Seifert and I was impressed enough to buy the book on the spot. I've heard a lot of people talk about ways to improve a boat, but I've never heard one person suggest so many good ideas that I hadn't considered. Part of the charm is the specificity of the suggestions. Everyone says you should secure your floorboards, hatchboards and batteries. Bill shows good suggestions on how to do so.

The suggestions are very practical for the do-it-yourselfer, too. Many show how to make or adapt inexpensive solutions. Tip #12 on closing the deck blower vents is one that will pay off for me without ever going offshore. I'll implement that one to stop the wintertime storms from finding their way belowdecks.

Besides modifications, the book also includes advice for operating offshore, cooking, boat selection, dealing with bureaucracy, and more.

Bill Seifert has worked at Tartan, TPI, and Alden Yachts. He's a veteran of many Marion-Bermuda races and now runs his own yacht management company. His tips are born of experience--not of book-learning--and it shows. He obviously knows his stuff.

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Last modified: Saturday 19-Jun-2010