Are You Well Equipped or A Hoarder?

Are You Well Equipped or A Hoarder?

Everyone has a tolerance for a certain amount of clutter. On the sometimes limited space of cruising boats, having spares for every contingency must be balanced with knowing where everything is while not sinking the boat with tons of spares, consumables, and items that somehow find their way aboard. I’m as guilty as the next person, but I’m working on finding the balance.

Monday Minute - Getting Back into the Dinghy

Monday Minute - Getting Back into the Dinghy

Being on the water sometimes means being in the water. It happened to me recently, and reminded me of a clever technique to get back aboard one’s dinghy, especially suited to older boaters. Practice it a couple of times and you’ll have another trick in your back pocket next time you need to get aboard without a swim platform or ladder.

Complete Integration and It is Way Cool!

Complete Integration and It is Way Cool!

I got aboard a new MJM 35z in Annapolis to celebrate the new owners’ new boat. It sure is nice to have all the control this boat offers at one’s fingertips. Fast, economical, comfortable, and very well made, the MJM offers a look at what can be done.

Monday Minute - Distracted Driving

Monday Minute - Distracted Driving

A recent report on driver distraction brings this subject into focus. While the numbers relate to drivers on the road, there is some parallel to boat operators, and drinking is much more prevalent in boating. Scary stuff but a trend that isn’t likely to change with everyone’s addicition to smartphones.

Monday Minute - It's Always Something

Monday Minute - It's Always Something

No matter how much you prepare, there is always something. A young Swedish couple I follow recently sailed from the Big Island in Hawaii to Honolulu. The sail wasn’t pleasant, and in the brisk conditions, they heard a loud bang against their aluminum hull. Turns out they lost their Rocna anchor overboard. The chain had been removed for the trip to keep seawater out of the chain locker, done a million times, but this time, their trusted stainless steel anchor restraint failed.

It’s Always Something.

Smoke Signals

Smoke Signals

When your diesel engine exhaust goes from clear to blue, white, or black smoke, this is usually an indication of several factors going on that might need your attention. Knowing what the colors mean can be helpful to determine if something is lurking in your engine room. Blue, black, and white exhaust smoke all mean something. Do you know what they are?

Monday Minute - The End of Ethanol?

Monday Minute - The End of Ethanol?

The hated ethanol-blended gasoline has been a pain in the butt for years, rendering an outboard motor inoperable on a regular basis. Having a dinghy that won’t start is not fun, and we’ve all had to live with it. But now it seems ethanol may be going away...finally.

Inspecting Fuel Tanks

Inspecting Fuel Tanks

It is a good idea to inspect your fuel tanks every so often. Keeping them dry and well secured is vital for toruble free cruising. It also helps to check other components that come in contact with the tanks. Having piece of mind is a good thing.

Monday Minute - Boater Fraud is Alive and Well

Monday Minute - Boater Fraud is Alive and Well

Beware of official-looking documents designed to take your money. When it comes to renewing your vessel documentation, don’t fall for this type of scam.

Safety at Sea - Fear Management

Safety at Sea - Fear Management

All the what-if scenarios one can dream up due to lack of experience are best handled by managing one’s fears of the unknown. This is the crucial step in safety at sea for yourself and your crew. Too many people are lax when it comes to saying alert and situationally aware, and then are surprised when things happen to them that could have been easily avoided.

Don’t be one of them.

Monday Minute - Spring Boat Projects

Monday Minute - Spring Boat Projects

We look forward to spring boat projects in my house. Getting the boat ready for the season, fixing what no longer works, and getting familiar with the boat again. But it is already June, postponed after many long weeks of spring rain and other distractions.

It is finally coming together, however, and soon we will be back on the water.

Safety at Sea - The Issue of Guns

Safety at Sea - The Issue of Guns

For all the years I have been around cruising boats, there has always been the debate about carrying firearms. I still read neophyte questions by people looking for answers by asking others in social media forums and groups. It is most troubling.

I hope to present you with some facts surrounding guns on cruising boats. Not the legalities of doing so, but the very personal decisions and commitments required if you decide to bring them aboard.

Monday Minute - New Tech for Mosquito Bites

Monday Minute - New Tech for Mosquito Bites

I found a cool product that effectively and instantly relieves the swelling and itching of insect bites, in my case, mosquito bites. The German product really works, so I’m telling you about it as I have not seen it before. With all the rain we’ve had this spring, the mosquito problem will be terrible this summer.

Safety at Sea - Dealing With An Actual Threat

Safety at Sea - Dealing With An Actual Threat

What to do when a small boat approaches you from behind? How do you determine whether it is a friend or foe? A potential intruder comes aboard in port, what do you do? Let’s take a look at these situations, and discuss how to make sure the odds are on your side. Eliminating opportunity keeps you safer at sea and in port. Here are some ways to make that happen.

Monday Minute - The Meaning of Memorial Day

Monday Minute - The Meaning of Memorial Day

Today is the 150th anniversary of our country’s Memorial Day. Instead of simply enjoying a long weekend at the beach or backyard grill, or buying that new mattress on sale today, take a moment to reflect on the real purpose of this special day. On Memorial Day we honor our nation’s soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and others who lost their lives defending our country.

Safety at Sea - What Are The Risks?

Safety at Sea - What Are The Risks?

This begins a series of posts that offer an updated look at staying safe while cruising. This has been a hot topic over the years, but is even more important today. This series will look at current threats, provide insight and suggestions for keeping you and your crew out of harm’s way, and taking the proper steps to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You see the risks young people take walking down the street staring at their phones, texting their friends, oblivious of their surroundings. That is not the safe way to go cruising today.

Monday Minute - Consider Night Vision

Monday Minute - Consider Night Vision

Carrying night vision on your boat offers great utility, and is great fun. It makes night travel a lot safer, providing you with the tools to see in the dark. Highly recommended equipment, more affordable than ever before.

How to Avoid Windlass Woes

How to Avoid Windlass Woes

Often ignored until there is a problem, maintaining your boat’s anchor windlass system is the key to keeping your anchoring abilities safe and carefree, as it should be.

Monday Minute - What's In Your Dinghy?

Monday Minute - What's In Your Dinghy?

Like that credit card commercial, “What’s in Your Dinghy?”

What you carry in your dinghy may make a difference if the unexpected happens. Whether it is a handheld radio, sunscreen, or a working flashlight, it can make an unexpected situation just another cruising adventure instead of something less pleasant.

A New Take on Single vs Twin Engines

A New Take on Single vs Twin Engines

The question of single engine versus twin engines has been beaten to death many times over, in my opinion. It really doesn’t matter which you choose, as a single engine with a bow thruster can perform as well as a boat with twin engines. But given how the marketplace has evolved, many buyers are looking at older trawlers, and the age factor somewhat changes the discussion.