Tuesday, January 23, 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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Vessel Safety Checks

Vessel Safety Checks

May 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Risk-Free and Cost-Free Would you avail yourself of the opportunity to have a complimentary and risk-free check of all your onboard equipment and personal protection gear, to be sure that it all meets federal standards? You can do so just by setting up a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) administered by members of the U.S. Coast […]

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 […]

Vessel Safety Checks

Vessel Safety Checks

January 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Risk-Free and Cost-Free A Vessel Safety Check (VSC) is a complimentary and risk-free inspection of your boat to confirm that it meets both federal and state requirements for safety.  Administered by members of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary or the United States Power Squadrons®, the VSC is available for all vessels. According to William […]

Good Books, Good Days

Good Books, Good Days

September 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

. September is filled with glorious, sun-drenched afternoons. Where better to spend them than on the deck of your boat, reading an enjoyable book?  We’re sharing reviews of books we’ve recently read. There’s one to entertain the ‘tweens, one for fans of short stories, an action adventure, and a novel about sailors seemingly on opposite […]

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 […]