Sail

Time to Think About Going South

Time to Think About Going South

It’s an exciting time of year, to begin planning for the fall trip south. So many choices, so many new things to see, it is a wonderful experience.

But let’s get squared away with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence first, which disrupted a lot of territory in both North and Sount Carolina. Thankfully, we don’t need to rely on social media, as the team at Cruisers’ Net has stepped up to the task.

Monday Minute - What A Wild Week!

Monday Minute -  What A Wild Week!

It was a wild crazy week of a storm, world class racing, fake news, and best of all, a Viking ship!

Prepare For The Coming Storms

Prepare For The Coming Storms

Get ready for some nasty storms on the U.S. East Coast. Pam Wall shares some good information about how best to prepare. And take these storms seriously.

Getting Rid of an Old Boat

Getting Rid of an Old Boat

So what is one to do when a boat reaches its end of life? There are some options, but frankly the industry hasn’t really solved this issue in a way that is sustainable.

Monday Minute - Where Do Old Boats Go?

Monday Minute - Where Do Old Boats Go?

I attended the annual boat auction in St Michaels, and wonder about the fate of old boats that no longer have a meaningful purpose.

What is Life Beyond Boating?

What is Life Beyond Boating?

At some point, we must think of the future. We are the luckiest generation as we enjoy a longer life span than our parents, generally have better health, and hopefully many active years ahead of us.

How do we get there, by plan or by chance?

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.

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.

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.