Sunday March 23, 2014
This will be my last blog post on this site and my final weekly newsletter as I sail on to a new time in life. It's been a good cruise on this website, and I'll miss the opportunity to review new gear and products for sailors and share information and tips about all aspects of sailing. For the many readers who have read parts of Sailing.About.com over the last five years, thanks for your attention - and I hope you've gained something significant. But while all good things come to pass on a personal level, the information on this site should live on as long as it remains relevant. Sail on! Be safe out on the water! And here's a final shameless plug for my latest book written for anyone who wants to know what really causes boating accidents and emergencies that too often lead to fatalities: check out Suddenly Overboard: True Stories of Sailors in Fatal Trouble. Thanks, and goodbye for now.
Sunday March 16, 2014
It's still early spring and many of us in northern climates haven't even begun to think of launching our boats, but in warmer climates the Coast Guard continues to report incidents and rescues in many areas and, sadly, continuing boating fatalities. It may be that in fact boaters are at greatest risk early in the season, when they're excited to be back out on the water or so busy focusing on the renewed experience that they sometimes pay less attention to safety issues.
Of course, staying safe involves a lot more than just watching where you're going and trying to stay in the boat. Here's a good overview of safety principles to get ready for the season plus links for more information. Remember too that when you invite guests aboard, they're often not familiar with the boat or risks - take a moment to give them a safety briefing. Then get your boat ready, launch, and enjoy!
Thursday February 27, 2014
I've recently read and reviewed a couple books that may be of interest to you if you're considering living aboard a boat and/or going cruising long-term. Both target readers who have not yet firmly made that decision, and both are very good at exploring the many variables involved to help you reach a decision and then start firming up your plan. They don't, however, offer a lot of practical advice for those who are already living aboard or cruising. "Gently with the Tides" by Michael L Frankel is a collection of articles from Living Aboard magazine on all dimensions of life on a boat. "The Cruising Life" by Jim Trefethen analyzes his own family's 4-year experience cruising full-time and offers solid advice on how to make the decision and how to afford it.
Sunday February 23, 2014
Cruising just about anywhere on your sailboat is great fun, of course, but for us northern types who suffer a wintry off-season, the lower Florida Keys and Key West are great fun if you can get here. I'm writing this now from the 75 degrees and clear water of Bahia Honda, where I trailered our smaller sailboat, a West Wight Potter 19, down from New England. In the boat basin nearby are a MacGregor 26 down from Montana, an older O'Day 19 down from New Hampshire, and a 28-footer with an onboard diesel just arrived (2000 miles by trailer) from Colorado! Just call us the cult of trailer-sailors in the know. I hesitate even to write this, worrying the crowds may discover our little piece of paradise and fill the place up. In a day or two I'll sail down to Key West for grins and fruit punch drinks. The couple in the larger cruiser is headed for the Dry Tortugas. Ah, it's a tough life!