Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Big Winds Ahead

Big Winds Ahead

June 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The time to plan for one of nature’s biggest blows — a hurricane — is not when the local weather forecaster warns in an ominous voice that disaster is just around the corner. That’s too late; the marina will be swamped with last minute requests to pull boats, the shelves at your local marine supply […]

The Case for Paper

The Case for Paper

April 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

  My marina neighbor boasted to me that the only paper he had aboard was “a roll in the head.” Really? With all of those shiny electronic navigation gadgets lighting up the bridge like a Christmas tree, what would my boater buddy do if a key component, such as a chart plotter, went down? Unless […]

Anchors Aweigh!

Anchors Aweigh!

April 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

  Nothing sounds as satisfying to a sailor as the splash of an anchor. I consider it the ultimate nautical security blanket. However, without the right anchor for the job at hand, security quickly turns to anxiety. The first seaman to set sail thousands of years ago likely attached the heaviest stone he could lift […]

Choose the Right Boat Insurance

Choose the Right Boat Insurance

April 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Many skippers look upon the experience of filing a boating-related claim with their insurance company as being on par with a root canal. While there’s always pain or hassle preceding a claim, having the right insurance company shortens the duration of aggravation. In my experience, the key to a pain-free encounter depends upon choosing a […]

Become a Green Boater

Become a Green Boater

April 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

  We all want a non-polluting boating environment with clear waters, clean beaches, and healthy marine life. While we cannot control every assault on our environment, boaters can curtail or eliminate our human-generated pollution. Petroleum products are high on the list of marine foulers. Before you leave your slip, take a look over the side […]

Go, Coast Guard, Go!

Go, Coast Guard, Go!

March 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

If a maritime disaster such as terrorism on the high seas, a hurricane, fire, grounding, or sinking occurs, it’s comforting to know that the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) will respond 24/7. As the principal federal agency responsible for maritime safety, security, and environmental stewardship in U.S. ports and waterways, the USCG protects and defends more […]

Boating or Camping? You Decide!

Boating or Camping? You Decide!

March 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

  If you think there’s a world of difference between boating and camping, you’re likely someone who goes home when the sun goes down. As far as I’m concerned, sleeping on my 19-foot catboat is an exercise in advanced survival camping. At six-feet, six-inches, my boat’s two bunks are long enough, but as each narrows […]

A Seaworthy Toolbox

A Seaworthy Toolbox

March 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

  Do you have an onboard toolbox? If so, does it contain the most helpful tools? Toolboxes are neither space wasters nor for show. Having a properly stocked toolbox may save you from a soaking, a tow, or from running up a big repair bill. Let’s start with the toolkit itself. As space on small […]

Shelter Island

Shelter Island

March 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

. Shelter Island’s five harbors beckon boaters. Tucked in between the forks of the east end of Long Island, about one-third of the island is a nature preserve. Coming from the north, opposite Greenport, lies Dering Harbor, home to a fleet of classic wooden sailboats. It is protected from all winds except those from the […]

When It’s Time to Quit

When It’s Time to Quit

February 1, 2017 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 […]

Know the Ropes

Know the Ropes

February 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Choosing the right ropes for your boat can become a rat’s nest of confusion. Three strand, laid, braided, hollow core, solid core, single braided, double braided — it’s a challenge to match the right rope to its intended application. An anchor line, a dock line, and a towline each perform a specific function. Get it […]

Boat Lingo

Boat Lingo

January 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Shiver me timbers, mate. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! Salty boating language? You bet, right out of Hollywood. However, the actual language spoken by recreational boaters today has everything to do with safety. New boat owners and inexperienced passengers without boating experience need to understand and utilize common nautical terms to communicate […]

Books at Sea

Books at Sea

January 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

  If something goes wrong on your boat, do you have the resources and the knowledge to fix it before you get into trouble? An onboard floating reference library of how-to books on the basics of seamanship and marine repair will give you that knowledge you need.   I know space is at a premium […]

Tyranny of Timidity of the Tiller

Tyranny of Timidity of the Tiller

October 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

I used to glance at the flag flying off my front porch as a sign of whether the sailing gods were going to smile on me before a cruise. Never mind that the day dawned sunny with blue sky and lots of fluffy white clouds — what was the message from Old Glory? If the […]

Nature Strikes!  Avoid Close Encounters on Water and Shore

Nature Strikes! Avoid Close Encounters on Water and Shore

August 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Boaters flock to the waters, relaxing as they go. While the usual safety warnings are never far from their minds, most boaters don’t think about some dangers lurking in protected bays and coves and within pristine beaches and parks. The menaces are the multitude of wildlife and vegetation in the waters and along the shores […]

Law Enforcement on the Water

Law Enforcement on the Water

August 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Have you ever had an encounter with marine law enforcement? Depending upon the circumstances, the meeting can be either a life-saving experience or a nautical humiliation. The good news is that there are men and women at the ready to engage in search and rescue missions, protecting lives and saving vessels. These first responders react […]

Smart Tips to Sell Your Boat

Smart Tips to Sell Your Boat

August 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Selling a boat on your own takes both luck and preparation. I’ve compiled a list of tips for you to follow; do the legwork, make the right moves, and you’ll be in position to enhance a quick sale. Survey your vessel. Unless you are selling your vessel “as is” (seen by some buyers as a […]

The Last Sail

The Last Sail

July 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It was a match made in marine heaven. He wooed her on a cruise to Maine and for the next 25 years they sailed every weekend from early spring until late fall. “We have explored every harbor, gunk hole, and sand bar on Long Island,” says Caroline (we’re using first names only here). They signed […]

Going Aground

Going Aground

June 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Crunch! You have just run aground. You feel embarrassed to do so in view of your family and friends, and your ego is dinged. Welcome to the club — you’re not really a true boater until you have experienced a scraping. What distinguishes an old salt from a newbie is what you do to minimize […]

Don’t Do What I Did

Don’t Do What I Did

June 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Don’t ever try to outwit a railroad bridge. I know from first-hand experience that you will lose and be one unhappy boater. A number of navigable Connecticut waterways, such as the Housatonic, Thames, and Connecticut Rivers, empty into the Long Island Sound. These are popular destinations for Long Island boaters, as are the historic seaport […]

Boating for Different Abilities

Boating for Different Abilities

May 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Boating is a great morale builder for those with physical disabilities. If you have family members or friends with restricted mobility that you have been reluctant to take aboard your boat, please revisit your position — an open passenger policy benefits everyone. Persons confined to a wheelchair, those who must use a walker or crutches […]

Right Navigation Lights

Right Navigation Lights

May 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

. The sleek power cruiser glided into the marina just at sunset, lit up like a Christmas tree.  Port and starboard navigational rope lights gave the vessel a slightly demon-like quality while a line of underwater blue lights along the hull further added to its bizarre beauty. You couldn’t miss seeing it, but all those […]

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 […]

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 […]

Prep Your Guest List

Prep Your Guest List

January 1, 2016 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 […]

First Boat, Right Boat

First Boat, Right Boat

January 1, 2016 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 […]

Man Overboard!

Man Overboard!

January 1, 2016 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 […]

Look Out for Your Eyes and Skin

Look Out for Your Eyes and Skin

January 1, 2016 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. […]

Don’t Do What I Did!

Don’t Do What I Did!

November 17, 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 […]

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