Ben Meakins

Towing astern

We examine the techniques of towing and setting up an astern tow at sea, trying out the textbook theories in practice

Padlocks test

Ben Meakins utilises a saltwater spray tank, bolt croppers and a hacksaw to assess the effectiveness (or otherwise) of a selection of padlocks when it comes to preventing boat break-ins

Compact freshwater hose test

How portable, practical and useable are cassette-type hoses? Ben Meakins wrestles with the problem, tests six models and promises not to gush

I recently carried out a repair to my boat using a 3D printed part in the process. There was a leak around my depth transducer housing, and I could either…

Robin Garside devises a cheap, simple and effective method of straightening out his boat’s damaged toerail

In many situations, leaving the mooring under power is the only sensible option. But if conditions allow, why not spare the engine and sail off instead? David Harding offers some…

PBO assesses the effectiveness of the ‘one size fits all’ Oceansteer emergency rudder with a trial run on the PBO Project Boat

Torie Morley and Toby Hamer realise a burning ambition to restore a Fireball dinghy– and reveal how Skunk earned her stripes

(C) Ben MEakins

In Pete Goss’ classic account of his Vendée Globe campaign, Close to the Wind, he tells the tale of a boat show encounter with a member of the public who…

Telltales: how they work, how to use them to steer a close-hauled course and how to interpret their behaviour

Being able to leave the helm for short periods of time is made much easier with something to hold the tiller for you. We compared three tiller locks for effectiveness,…

project boat

John MacKenzie finds himself renovating a war veteran’s Leisure 17 that had resided among chest-high nettles in a field in rural Hampshire for 17 years

Chart plotters and instruments have been around long enough that they’re now considered standard equipment on most boats. But sailors have had to take the functions offered with chart plotters…