Monday Minute - Get That Seating Right

Monday Minute - Get That Seating Right

Inspired from comments made from last week’s post, let’s discuss helm seat options. There is no one solution for comfortable and safe seating at the helm on all boats. It is something designers and builders used to ignore. Today it gets the attention it deserves.

Notice the helm seating when you go to the upcoming boat shows. And can you get around it once it is in position?

The Right Helm for You

The Right Helm for You

Setting up your helm requires some thought as to how best to utilize what is often limited space. Whether you are refitting an older boat or buying a new one, make sure the instrumentation works for you, and critical instruments are where you can see and operate them with a casual glance.

Monday Minute - The Discipline of A Wiring Diagram

Monday Minute - The Discipline of A Wiring Diagram

It takes discipline to keep everything shipshape. That is true on cruising boats, and it is true in life. Always looking just to get it done asap is not usually the best plan. Good enough rarely is.

Doing it right, then updating the documentation, including wiring diagrams, takes discipline but pays off in the end.

A disciplined life is a successful life.

Updating My Digital Chart Table

Updating My Digital Chart Table

As part of my midseason checkup, I reviewed the electronic devices and apps I use. Seems a bunch has happened that I had not really taken into account. Some navigation apps work better than others, and some no longer work at all. Companies consolidate and merge products and technologies in this shifting landscape, much like it did when paper charts were replaced with various formats and digital standards.

Monday Minute - Midsummer Maintenance

Monday Minute - Midsummer Maintenance

It’s been a crazy summer around Annapolis, with constant rain and heavy humid air on Chesapeake Bay. Not much fun for boating, but as we move into the second half of the season, it’s a good time to do some midsummer maintenance.

What is the Future of Information?

What is the Future of Information?

Time to step back from social media and regroup. How we get our information has changed in recent years, and not for the better. We need to rethink where we look for answers and updates. A new world is emerging that embraces a more human connection.

Monday Minute - Integrate, Innovate, or Evaporate

Monday Minute - Integrate, Innovate, or Evaporate

Times have changed since we first talked about integrating all electrical systems on a boat, even a complex trawler or sailboat. The marine industry wasn’t ready for it, but that is all behind us now.

For lots of reasons, 2018 may be considered The Year of Integration in recreational boating.

A Survey, a Comparison, and a Cool Trick to Learn

A Survey, a Comparison, and a Cool Trick to Learn

I watch a survey of a trawler with friends and we go on a sea trial. Soon we’ll compare our notes of this 2007 boat with a new one and see what’s changed.

And I share a nice way to get comfortable running a single engine boat.

Monday Minute - Restating the Obvious

Monday Minute - Restating the Obvious

Not sure why this comes up again and again. Perhaps it is because people are coming into boating for the first time and just learning. But the many rules and regulations do not alter the need for common sense. In any potential encounters with commercial and military ships, STAY OUT OF THEIR WAY.

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.