Monday, January 22, 2018

Off-Season Boating Tips

Off-Season Boating Tips

October 31, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Many of my particular boating stressors disappear once the temperature drops. The water becomes a serene and peaceful place without the jet skiers playing chicken with my wake, boaters cranking out loud music, and the maddening traffic. The silence comes from an absence of boaters, which means that it isn’t all good news. There’s some […]

Ready Your Boat for the Offseason

Ready Your Boat for the Offseason

October 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

As autumn’s colors put on a show and temperatures drop, boaters know it’s time for the winter layup. It may seem like an arduous task — especially since we rarely want to put our vessels away — but preparation and checklists help. Begin by cleaning the boat thoroughly. Be fastidious, as that leaf laying on […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

September 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

My girlfriend and I spent hours repairing, sanding, painting, washing, compounding, waxing, buffing, rubbing, and polishing our boat to start the season. Our extended labor of love yielded a boat that was so good-looking it even garnered a compliment from the boatyard mechanic. I put the boat into the slip. Using the “tighter must be […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

August 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

My girlfriend and I were boating when we noticed two men and a young boy in a 14-foot dinghy waving us down. We motored over — they said that that their motor had died. New attempts to start the engine failed, so we agreed to tow them to their marina. We had never performed a […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

July 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

It was September 24, 1985. I knew Hurricane Gloria was approaching so I ran over to my marina to lash down the boat. Upon arrival, I noted a lot of activity — boats were being hauled as folks feverishly prepared for the storm. Fellow boaters urged me to have my boat hauled too, but as […]

A First-Rate First Aid Kit

A First-Rate First Aid Kit

April 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

As a long-time boater and medical professional, I have found first aid kits sold at marine supply stores to be lacking. Therefore, I stock my floating first aid kit to match the realities of a day spent offshore. The kit itself should be waterproof, able to float, and a solid color (never opt for clear, […]

Towing with the Flow

Towing with the Flow

March 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

. No one wants to have a towboat operator come for their vessel, but everyone is happy to see that towboat heading towards them when they need one. I met with such a two-phased tow operator recently. Captain Jim Reynolds, owner of Towing and Marine Service of Bay Shore (part of the nationwide TowBoatU.S.), has […]

Are VHF Radios Necessary?

Are VHF Radios Necessary?

February 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

. You have a smart phone containing marvelous technology that does everything but make coffee. Since one of its more basic features is making phone calls, is there any reason for a boater to have a single function, very high frequency (VHF) radio as well? Yes! Veteran mariners recommend a VHF as your primary tool […]

Night Moves

Night Moves

February 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

. I was once on a friend’s boat on a foggy moonless night trying to find a cut leading to his channel. He says, “It’s easy, we just stay between the two red flashing lights ahead.” We were seconds away from smacking into a bulkhead! It turns out what he was using as a navigation […]

Safe Water Sports

Safe Water Sports

February 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

. Jet skiing, tubing, and water skiing have grown in popularity, and though much is written about safety for boaters, I believe the safety issues concerning these other water sports require attention. Jet and water skiers and people in tubes are vulnerable as they are unprotected by a hull, so those engaging in the activities […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

January 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

It was one of those autumn days with cobalt blue skies and high cirrus clouds. It was cool and breezy, but still a good day for boating, so Robin and I spent the morning in my 17-foot Mako. I had shut down the engine so we could drift off the beach. About that engine — […]

Boaters, Make a Difference

Boaters, Make a Difference

July 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

As boaters likely reap the most pleasure from our local waters, we should protect the marine environment. Protecting pristine waters, clean beaches, and a viable marine habitat is something we owe ourselves and future generations. I’ve witnessed the destruction caused by careless ways — a gull’s wing fouled by a plastic bag, a sea turtle’s […]

A Walk in the Sun

A Walk in the Sun

March 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The words “walk” and “sun” in the same phrase likely conjure up images of strolling during warm weather while enjoying balmy breezes. Yet for me, the opposite is true, as the walks I most enjoy are on a desolate beach as an intense winter or early spring sun warms me and a brisk northwest wind brings […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

October 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Like a host preparing for company, I gave my 23-foot Sea Ox cuddy with a Mercruiser 250 horsepower engine inboard a quick wash down before my friends arrived at the dock.  She was a thing of beauty in my eyes. I had bought the boat in late November from a guy in my marina who […]

Drifting with a Purpose

Drifting with a Purpose

August 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

One Friday night after work I announced our boating plans for the weekend to my girlfriend, Robin. I saw her frowning as I described a day of fishing, rafting up, and a sunset photography shoot at Silver Point. The frown became a pained expression when I added we’d be at the dock by 5:00 am. […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

May 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

I wanted to anchor just uptide of a bridge, so my friend dropped the anchor as I powered in reverse to set the hook. Using a 4:1 ratio of line to depth — we played out 40 feet of line for the 10-foot depth. A short while later, we were frantically fending off the bridge […]

Taking Better Photos

Taking Better Photos

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Want to take more professional looking photos when you’re out on the boat or exploring the waterside sights? Photographers provide pointers with terms such as F-stop, shutter priority, aperture, and depth of field, but I have some simple tips to correct common photo errors and improve the quality of amateur images. Some spectacular photos violate […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

August 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

With the navigation lights reflecting off the glassy dark water, three of us left East Rockaway Inlet at 4:30 am on my 25-foot Aquasport. My girlfriend Robin, my friend Ed, and I were headed to a favorite spot off the New Jersey coastline.We were soon greeted by a crimson sunrise, prompting Ed to recite the […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

June 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

My girlfriend Robin, my brother Peter, my 6-year-old niece, Abby, and I set out early for the first “shakedown” cruise of the season. We were excited about the trip to my new marina in Oceanside on my newly re-powered 19-foot Winner. The plan was to travel from Massapequa Cove to the State Channel, pass Jones […]