Boating Skills

Towing Safety: The Art of Getting There

Start getting ready for your weekend of boating the night before you leave. That will lead to fewer mistakes. Photo Courtesy of General Motors.

Of course, we all want to get on the water as soon as possible. That leads to hurrying, which in turn leads to mistakes. So while the water is frozen (at … [Read more...]

Boating Weather: The Name of the Wind

A pilot boat charges ino the teeth of the Fremantle Doctor in western Australia. Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons.

The earth’s prevailing winds are caused by uneven heating at the equator and the poles. This, along with the rotation of the planet and the influence … [Read more...]

Boat Wiring: Use Good Terminals and Tools

This ratcheting crimper places a precise amount of pressure on the crimp fitting while also making two crimps—one on the wire and one on the wire jacket—at the same time. Photo by Gary Reich.

Maybe you’ve seen this at your marina or boatyard before: an able-bodied weekend warrior hanging upside down in a bilge or wet locker mumbling obscenities … [Read more...]

Boating Weather: Clouds

Rough weather can pop up quickly. Using your own understanding of clouds along with local forecasts from the pros will keep you safer on the water.

Boating when it’s nice out is fun; boating when the weather conditions aren’t perfect is challenging. Boaters who most easily adapt to the conditions … [Read more...]

Boating Weather: Atmospheric Pressure

Pressure changes in our atmosphere are due to uneven heating of air. Wind flows from high pressure toward low pressure.

“Man lives at the bottom of an ocean of air,” reads the opening of the chapter on the atmosphere and its circulation in Knight’s Modern Seamanship. … [Read more...]

Boating Weather: A Bit of Oceanography

Over many thousands of years, the outflow of the Hudson River has created the well-known undersea canyon.

I was fortunate to go to sea right after high school on a Woods Hole Oceanographic vessel, the Lulu, sub-tender for the deep submersible Alvin. I was only … [Read more...]

Boating Weather: Thermal Sea and Land Breezes

As sunlight warms the land during the day, the air above the land rises. and cooler air from over the water is drawn inland.

All summer long I’ve been describing the southwesterly sea-breeze conditions typically found on Narragansett Bay to my boating guests. While the shape … [Read more...]

How to Tie a Bowline: Remember the Two Loops

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A lot of people have tried and failed to learn how to tie a bowline, the most important knot in boating, and one of the most important knots anywhere. It’s … [Read more...]

How to Winterize a Small Outboard

Time to rake leaves and winterize engines. This 8-hp Merc is standing on its skeg in trash barrel full of clean fresh water.

Let’s say you run your small outboard in salt water all summer and don’t flush it as often as you should during the season. (For a lot of us who leave … [Read more...]

Nautical Sound Signals: The Prolonged Blast

Horns can be mouth-powered, hand-held, or fixed-mount, like this one, which has a DC-powered compressor to produce a 126 dB blast.

It’s a clear, sunny day, and you hear a 4- to 6-second blast of a ship’s whistle or horn. What should you do? Please, look for the source! This signal … [Read more...]



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