Piloting in Limited Visibility

Piloting in Limited Visibility

Sometimes we find ourselves traveling in less than ideal conditions. But if one is prepared, it is safe to keep going, but at slower speeds and using all the tools available.

Other times it is best to stay put. 

It's a Risky World

It's a Risky World

A couple of incidents worth reading about bring up the subject of maritime security. Military branches from many countries are working together to address these issues, but it is a complicated.

And an outstanding effort by the Australian Navy makes a miracle happen.

Monday Minute - A Slick Way to Carry Documents

Monday Minute - A Slick Way to Carry Documents

A nice solution for carrying one's license, credit cards, and cash when a wallet or purse is vulnerable, such as wet dinghy ride going ashore.

Secrets to Maintaining Brightwork

Secrets to Maintaining Brightwork

There are a few tricks to keep your brightwork looking good during the season. Here are some ways to hold off expensive refinishing jobs. Keeping up with brightwork while cruising isn't hard and is so worth it.

Monday Minute - You Can Fix A Chart Error

Monday Minute - You Can Fix A Chart Error

NOAA's Coast Survey group has a website for all cruisers to report errors in nautical charts. It is a chance to assist in making our charts more accurate.

The All-Important Spring Sea Trial

The All-Important Spring Sea Trial

The best way to have a trouble-free cruising season is to perform a thorough sea trial after you launch the boat. And be sure to run the boat at full throttle, which will surface equipment and components that are ready to break, clog, or disintegrate. 

Times are Changing - Developing Young Craftsmen

Times are Changing - Developing Young Craftsmen

It is time to develop a skilled workforce in the marine industry, as many older techs retire. Developing apprenticeship programs is now the focus of industry, federal, and state government who partner to create a talented and quality labor resource for the future.

Monday Minute - My Chain Hook

Monday Minute - My Chain Hook

Here is my version of a traditional chain hook with locking gate, custom made of 3/8-inch stainless steel plate. It is super strong and will never separate from the anchor chain, so I can sleep soundly, knowing the snubber/bridle will do its job even if we are in shallow water.

The Bucket

The Bucket

One of my all-time favorite true stories about a couple, alone in an anchorage, when something terrible happens that neither expected. Proof that great things never happen in comfort zones.

Have a box of Kleenex handy.

Monday Minute - Refresh Your Passing Skills

Monday Minute - Refresh Your Passing Skills

If you are doing the Loop, ICW, northern canals, or other waterway cruises that involves narrow rivers or canals, reacquaint yourself with the proper signals for passing other boats and marine traffic.

Is it one toot or two?

Stormy Petrel

Stormy Petrel

When you dream of the perfect boat for all the cruising dreams you want to do now, stop thinking you need a battleship. Take a chill pill and read about a couple who went way beyond the cruising plans of most anyone wanting to liveaboard and see the world.

Monday Minute - Bridge Clearance

Monday Minute - Bridge Clearance

As the new cruising season is on the horizon, it's not a bad idea to review some basic cruising information that not every cruiser deals with often. In this case, we clarify bridge clearance.

Check Your Inflatable PFDs

Check Your Inflatable PFDs

Safety gear can sometimes be forgotten when it comes to maintenance. I recently examined my inflatable PFDs to make sure they will inflate if they are ever needed.

When was the last time you checked yours?

Monday Minute - Treat Yourself to A Voluntary Survey

Monday Minute - Treat Yourself to A Voluntary Survey

Consider a marine survey of your boat, especially if you have owned it for years. It is a good way to identify issues before your cruising season begins.

Diesel Duck's George Buehler has Died

Sad news to pass along. George Buehler has passed away from complications resulting from an aortic aneurysm. 

We first met George and his wife Gail on Whidbey Island soon after launching PassageMaker. His unique design style and philosophy was apparent from the first moment.

While I did not agree with all of his concepts, his perspective was uniquely his.

I wish Gail peace and give her our prayers. Details on the link:

http://bit.ly/2FOIXLZ

Sleeping Comfort at Sea

Sleeping Comfort at Sea

Setting up your boat for offshore passages includes adding lee cloths for crew to sleep. Going upwind, the forward accommodations will be uninhabitable. The best place for rest is in the middle of the boat.

The Engines Go Into the Spencer 74

The Engines Go Into the Spencer 74

Installing these MTU engines is not your everyday boat yard scene, so everyone came to watch it happen. Rent a crane, hire some professionals to oversee the operation, and we're done by lunchtime. Of course, hooking it all together takes weeks.

One NM Per Gallon, Fast or Slow

One NM Per Gallon, Fast or Slow

So many boats consume a gallon of diesel to travel one nautical mile, but how do you care to make that happen? Slow and economical or a quick trip. For a number of boats with similar performance, it comes down to how you care to burn it.