Gary Reich

Exterior Marine Wood Finishes: Part Two — Oils, Sealers, Hybrids

A couple of coats of Amazon teak oil makes this teak deck shine, but without making the surface smooth and slippery like varnish or Cetol would. Photo courtesy of Teak Decking Systems.

It's a sign of spring: Boaters have been walking out of the marine supply shop where I fill in part-time with fistfuls of brushes, thinners, and wood finishes … [Read more...]

Exterior Marine Wood Finishes: Part One, Traditional Varnishes

Varnish looks great and does a great job protecting wood, but getting it right requires a deft touch and some clever tricks. Photo by Gary Reich.

In recent years, real wood on new boats has definitely gone out of style. Unless you’re looking at a polished Chris-Craft launch, a 64-foot Jarrett Bay … [Read more...]

AIS for Boaters: Part 2

These two VHF radios are integrated with AIS capabilities. Once networked with a GPS, the VHF units can be used to send and receive AIS information. Note the ship icons on the display. Photo courtesy of Standard Horizon.

In the first part of our discussion about the Automatic Information System (AIS), we covered the nuts and bolts about how the system works, why its use … [Read more...]

AIS for Boaters: Part 1

This AIS transceiver not only broadcasts information about the vessel it’s installed on, but receives information about other AIS-equipped vessels as well. Note the various targets on the display, represented as circles with direction marks. Image courtesy of Furuno.

“When was the most scared you’ve ever been aboard a boat?” I get asked that question a lot, and every single time I remember a cold November evening … [Read more...]

EPIRBs: Your Lifeline to Search and Rescue

This is a top-of-the-line 406 MHz Category II EPIRB with supplemental GPS. Category II units are manual release; Category I units automatically deploy. Photo courtesy of ACR.

OK, first of all, what the heck is an EPIRB, and why do you need one? Let’s get the acronym out of the way first. EPIRB is short for “emergency position-indicating … [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...]