Sunday, January 21, 2018

May the Sea Embrace You Tenderly

May the Sea Embrace You Tenderly

April 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Recently, an avid sailor friend of mine passed over the bar. Shortly thereafter, I received an invitation to gather on the late skipper’s boat with family and friends to celebrate his lifelong passion for boats and the sea. It turned out to be one of the most moving experiences of my life as we shared […]

When It’s Time to Quit

When It’s Time to Quit

March 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Boating may be your passion, but do you know when to call it quits? I’m not talking about canceling an afternoon’s outing because of nasty weather — I’m referring to gradual changes in physical and mental capacity that pose challenges. If not acknowledged and addressed, these challenges may endanger the safety of the captain, the […]

A Bridge over Frugal Waters

A Bridge over Frugal Waters

February 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Sometimes when things go wrong on a boat, you might immediately seek professional help from the friendly mechanic at your marina or boatyard. However, if the quoted hourly rate makes you cringe, you may try to get creative. As for me, I make it a practice to trim costs anywhere I can, but a challenge […]

Don’t Do What I Did!

Don’t Do What I Did!

December 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

If you suddenly experience a mechanical problem on your boat, don’t panic. It could cost you big time. I know — it happened to me early in my sailing career. This was the first cruise for me and my wife, Meg, in our catboat. We spent the night anchored near a popular tourist attraction, just […]

Selling Your Boat? Don’t Get Scammed!

Selling Your Boat? Don’t Get Scammed!

September 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Sooner or later you will sell your boat. You may advertise it on a popular Internet site such as eBay or Craigslist, where the floodgates will open to scammers offering to buy your vessel sight unseen. The crooks want to separate you from your boat without paying, or fool you into wiring them money. My […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

September 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

If professional navigators screw up — and faulty plotting put a multi-million-dollar racing machine on the rocks in this summer’s Volvo Around the World race — what hope is there for the rest of us?  I’ve been sailing for 20 years; I committed two grievous navigational errors in a single cruise. Shame. Together with my […]

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

September 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Dear Editor, Are women just as good sailors as men? You betcha. The gals do everything the guys do: skipper everything from 10-foot dinghies to massive ocean-going yachts, race, particularly soloing around the world, delivery captains, navigators, even boat builders. In the 19th century more than one wife brought home a full-rigged ship when her […]

Look Out for Your Eyes and Skin

Look Out for Your Eyes and Skin

August 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

.                                     We enjoy being out on the water and basking in the sun. It’s relaxing, it’s invigorating, but it’s also potentially harmful to our health and our eyesight. Take the proper precautions, however, and you’ll stay shipshape. […]

Overcoming the Fear of Night Boating

Overcoming the Fear of Night Boating

August 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Sooner or later every boater will face a nautical crisis, usually not of his or her own making, that tests skills the skipper has put off learning. It might be a man overboard, running out of fuel, a life threatening storm, electronic systems down, a leak in the hull, a parted anchor rode, a broken […]

When Nature Calls

When Nature Calls

August 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

It goes without saying that privacy on a small open boat is nonexistent. That’s a problem when someone has to use the bathroom. What to do? “There’s nothing really practical that’s legal,” concedes Susan Shingledecker, vice president of BoatUS Foundation. “It’s a challenge.” The law is very clear. No untreated or raw human waste can […]

Letter To The Editor

Letter To The Editor

August 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Dear Editor, Are women just as good sailors as men? You betcha. The gals do everything the guys do: skipper everything from 10-foot dinghies to massive ocean-going yachts, race, particularly soloing around the world, delivery captains, navigators, even boat builders. In the 19th century more than one wife brought home a full-rigged ship when her […]

Swim Wisely and Warily

Swim Wisely and Warily

July 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

. When you hop off the boat, keep your eye on the currents, wind, and waves, especially along ocean beaches. The sea is seductive, but Mother Nature can turn a beautiful day at the beach into a tragedy for the unwary. Swimmers should be aware of five potentially explosive conditions: rip currents, rip tides, littoral […]

Knots to Know

Knots to Know

July 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

. The Ashley Book of Knots lists some 3900 knots. But you can get along just fine with 10. Knots are used to contain and fasten things on a vessel, such as a boat tied to a dock, an anchor secured to an anchor line, and control lines such as halyards and sheets on a […]

Don’t Let Your Boat Get Away!

Don’t Let Your Boat Get Away!

June 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Do you know how to tie up your boat to a dock? Surprisingly, many skippers don’t. BoatUS says more accidents, including sinkings, hull damage to one’s vessel or a neighbor’s, and damage to marina property, happen not when you are under way but when you didn’t adequately make your boat fast to your slip prior […]

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

June 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Dear Editor: “Man Overboard” is a timely wake-up call for the 2015 recreational boating season, when over 600 people are projected to lose their lives, mostly by drowning. That’s a small number of the 88 million American boaters, but it’s cold comfort for the families who lose a loved one. Most of those deaths could […]

Man Overboard!

Man Overboard!

May 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the most frightening cries heard on a boat is “Man overboard.” Falling into the drink can be brutally unpredictable and sudden; the lack of a quick rescue response can result in death. Grim U.S. Coast Guard statistics over the years reveal that the majority of Man Overboard (MOB) incidents happen to people of […]

Fire!

Fire!

May 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

. There’s nothing more frightening than fire at sea, where the only escape may be by abandoning ship. The good news is that almost all fires are preventable. Except for fires triggered by lightning, almost all fires on recreational vessels are the result of human negligence.  As the average power boat is stuffed with potential […]

Prep Your Guest List

Prep Your Guest List

April 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Your boat is cleaned and polished. Your fuel tanks are full and all systems are operational. But you’re not ready to get going until you’ve fully prepped your crew and guest lists. As many of the recreational vessels in local waters are under 25 feet and don’t offer amenities like a cabin or head, a […]

Halt Boat Burglary

Halt Boat Burglary

April 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

. Ever had anything stolen from your boat? This article is for you. Never had anything stolen from your boat? This article is for you. In my book, the secret to good marine security is to think like a crook and then do the opposite. Here’s what I imagine a criminal might say in certain […]

First Boat, Right Boat

First Boat, Right Boat

February 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

There’s an old saying that the two happiest times of a boater’s life are when you buy a boat and when you sell it. However, it’s likely that cliché was first coined and then repeated by people who didn’t buy the right boat for their needs. Trust me — making the right choice means a […]

Be Wary of Overconfidence

Be Wary of Overconfidence

January 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Three well-publicized boating disasters have serious implications for every recreational power or sail skipper who ventures out to sea even on sunny, calm summer days. In October of 2012, HMS Bounty succumbed to raging seas tossed up by Hurricane Sandy and sank with the loss of two, including the captain.Five people on a charter fishing […]

What’s the Difference Between Tow and Salvage?

What’s the Difference Between Tow and Salvage?

May 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Sooner or later, even the most cautious recreational skipper will have an issue that requires outside assistance, such as an engine breakdown, running aground, running out of gas, or an unfortunate encounter with another boater or the bottom. Depending upon the circumstances, the assistance that’s rendered could be either a tow or a salvage. The […]

Nautical Rhymes Can Keep You Safe

Nautical Rhymes Can Keep You Safe

April 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Every skipper knows those little memory tools that may help keep you safe at sea. Mnemonics like “red right returning” and “red sky at night, sailors’ delight — red sky in the morning, sailors take warning” allow boaters to recall when and where precautions are necessary. Along with the standards, I’ll share some additional memory […]

The Scoop on Picking the Perfect Marina

The Scoop on Picking the Perfect Marina

April 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Are you new to boating or seeking a better home for your boat? Unless you’re a member of a yacht club, own your own dock, or are buddy-buddy with the town harbormaster, your boat will likely reside in a marina. With hundreds of marinas in our area, choosing the right place for both summer boating […]

Urban Night Boating

Urban Night Boating

January 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Many of us are urban boaters, plying the crowded waters in and around large metropolitan areas. These environments demand extra caution, particularly at night. A city skyline makes a spectacular backdrop for a night’s cruise, yet the greatest challenge for the urban skipper is light pollution coming from traffic lights, auto tail lights, and the […]

Nautical Courtesy

Nautical Courtesy

October 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

I remember watching Tony Soprano on TV the first time he took his son out in his new cabin cruiser. He shot out of his slip at full throttle, submerging the “No Wake” sign in his wash while capsizing a canoeist and a kayaker. He never looked back, and I shuddered. That’s because the wake […]

Don’t Do What He Did!

Don’t Do What He Did!

October 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A commercial fisherman nearly lost his life this past summer, enduring the scare of a lifetime and a sharp learning curve about safety at sea. A U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) helicopter plucked him from the Atlantic Ocean after spending 12 agonizing hours bobbing in heavy swells 43 miles from shore. The man said that he […]

Keep a Safe Distance!

Keep a Safe Distance!

September 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

. New York Harbor and Long Island Sound are two of the most spectacular urban waterways in the world. Sail down the East River at night, and you will know what I mean. Once you are under way, free as a bird and with nothing but wind and water to guide you, it’s hard not […]

Enjoy the Ocean Wisely and Warily

Enjoy the Ocean Wisely and Warily

August 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

. When you hop off the boat, keep your eye on the currents, wind, and waves, especially along ocean beaches. “The sea is seductive,” says William C. Winslow, public affairs officer in the Auxiliary’s First Southern Region, “but Mother Nature can turn a beautiful day at the beach into a tragedy for the unwary.” Swimmers […]

Boaters, Prepare for Hurricanes

Boaters, Prepare for Hurricanes

July 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Besides being boating season, it’s also hurricane season. The National Hurricane Center forecasts an extremely active season with an above-average amount of major hurricanes (winds exceeding 74mph) — perhaps as many as nine. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a 70% chance that between three and six of up to 20 named storms […]