Some restorations become the pride of a nation, while others become expensive embarassments – how does that happen? We find out, plus used boat reviews – including 9 of the best French designs of the last 50 years – and vital, informative info about sail repair and electric bilge pumps. Our boats don’t sail themselves! They take tender loving care and a few tricks of the trade.

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Extreme restorations 

From historic Tall Ships to Victorian weekenders: what does it really take to bring a piece of maritime history back to life?

Rustler 33 – Used boat review and test sail

David Harding finds performance and impeccable manners aboard this posh but practical weekender

9 of the best French yacht designs from the last 50 years

Rupert Holmes shares his pick of the trend-setting boats of the last 50 years that still make brilliant second-hand buys

Forecast on your phone – 4 of the best weather apps reviewed

Better understand the data that powers your favourite weather apps – and we review the 4 best apps

First time boat owner vs trailer-sailer in need of repair

How a ‘project’ trailer-sailer became the ideal introduction to the world of yachting

Harbour manoeuvres 

Tips for short-handed boat handling


Liveaboard diaries: 1,600-mile ocean beat 

Leaks and long days beating into the wind towards Antigua. Read the full back story – The family sailing around the world in a pandemic

A week charter cruise on The Thames 

A blissful canal boat holiday with locks, gymnasts and a curious cow

Wild Ionian weather 

Getting caught out by severe Mediterranean thunderstorms

Pitchpoled off Portugal 

Yann Quenet’s dramatic shipwreck in a 12ft keelboat and his subsequent redesign and round the world adventure


Sound of Sleat – local knowledge

Local knowledge for cruising this beautiful part of Scotland

How to repair a sail 

Troubleshooting tips to save your sail and get you home

Improve your bilge pump 

Which type of electric bilge pump is best for your boat?

How to replace a chart table 

Roger Hughes saves space and gets creative with an antique bureau

How to fit an auxiliary outboard 

Installing a second motor on a 36ft motor launch

How to enlarge a steering wheel 

Modifying the wheel of an inland waterways cruiser