Monday, June 21

More than 20 years ago, I often commuted to work in midtown New York from Norwalk Cove Marina in Connecticut on a variety of boats, depending on which one my magazine was testing for the summer. I remember a Sea Ray, a Formula, a Fountain, a Donzi, a Phoenix and a Pursuit at different times. (There was no way I could commute back and forth in the same day on my own Grand Banks with its 8-knot top speed.) But those commutes, morning and evening, going down Long Island Sound, the East River past the U.N., around the tip of…

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The latest model from Hinckley. Launching Summer 2021.

For those who love the classic lines and timeless style of a Hinckley, yet crave the capabilities and performance of the latest in cutting-edge outboard propulsion, the Hinckley 35 hits the sweet spot. With hull number one finishing up with the team in Maine, and eleven on order, the first Hinckley 35 is slated to splash this summer. She is looking more beautiful than ever imagined, and we can’t wait to see her underway!

Explore the new Hinckley 35.

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Living Vicariously Through Outer Reef Owners’ Photo Journal

"DOGO’S HIDEOUT", a 2014 700 Outer Reef Motoryacht, has cruised to the corners of the earth, including rounding Cape Horn as well as the stunning cruising grounds of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. Her owner stated, "I highlight the high quality, performance and stability of the boat in rough sea conditions." Another Outer Reef Yacht that successfully rounded Cape Horn and cruised Patagonia was 880 Outer Reef Motoryacht "ARGO", now named "44 NORTH". She was specifically built for this incredible journey and future expedition cruising.
 

 

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Floating Through the Heart of Florida on a Leopard 53 PC

Coastal communities of Florida represent a melting pot with ever-changing cultures, whereas Central Florida, along the Okeechobee waterway, is still untouched by transplants. Discover the Okeechobee waterway-- the only navigable canal to run from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Leopard Catamarans

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New Safety Measures Proposed for Northwest Passage

I’ve been following boating traffic on the harrowing Northwest Passage ever since my friend Sprague Theobald cruised 8,500 miles from Newport, Rhode Island, to Seattle, on his Nordhavn 57 Bagan in 2009 (see photo above). Theobald, an award-winning documentary film maker, wrote about that trip in his gripping book, The Other Side of the Ice. His crew included his son, stepson and stepdaughter. At one point, when Bagan was trapped in ice that threatened to crush the hull, Theobald asked himself, “Have I brought my family together only to lead them to their deaths?” Since then, with global warming and…

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Idyll Time Starts New Cruising Season in Alaska

It’s the start of a new season for Jeff and Susie Parker on Idyll Time, their Kadey-Krogen 48 North Sea trawler, in Alaska. Veteran cruisers, the Parkers bought the boat new in 2006, cruised up and down the East Coast, completed the Great Loop, and three years ago shipped it to the Pacific Northwest, where they’ve been cruising ever since. Here’s their new blog posting, with Jeff’s terrific wildlife pictures: After eight days of work getting the boat ready for another season of cruising, we are finally pushing away from the dock for the first cruise of the season. It…

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Hodgdon Building Two New Electric-Powered Tenders

Hodgdon, the historic Maine builder, just announced that it’s building new all-electric tenders, on the same hull as its diesel-powered 10.5-meter and 12-meter Venetian line of luxury tenders. The new tenders will use Vita Power’s high-performance powertrains with dual-prop stern drives. The 10.5-meter (about 34 feet) will use a single electric motor and three Lithium-ion batteries. The 12-meter (abut 39 feet) will have twin motors and four batteries. The range for both boats is about 20 to 50 nm, depending on speed and sea conditions. The batteries on both boats can be charged from the mothership, using AC or DC…

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Wind Farms Coming for New York Bight

The Biden administration just announced that it’s starting the process of selling leases to develop wind farms in the New York Bight area between Long Island and New Jersey. The Bight is a triangle in the ocean between Montauk Point at the end of Long Island and Cape May at the southern tip of New Jersey. A total of eight leases will be for sale there, in what the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (part of the Interior Department) calls “a priority offshore wind farm.” The area is about 14 miles off the coast of New York and 26 miles…

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Whale Swallows Cape Cod Diver, Spits Him Out

A lobster diver in Provincetown, Massachusetts, was swallowed by a humpback whale recently but he survived with just minor injuries. “I was completely inside,” the lobsterman, Michael Packard, 56, told the Cape Cod Times. Packard, a veteran diver from Wellfleet, was on his second dive of the day just before 8 in the morning. He was working from the boat Ja’n J, off Herring Beach Cove. A fleet of other boats were fishing for striped bass nearby. A commercial lobster diver, Packard dove down. When he was about ten feet from the bottom, he said, “All of a sudden, I…

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New Zealand Developing Hydrogen-Powered Chase Boats

Team New Zealand just gave a big boost to the development of hydrogen power in recreational boating when it announced it is developing hydrogen-powered foiling chase boats for the next America’s Cup campaign. For years, RIBs have been the standard chase boats for most America’s Cup campaigns. But now Team New Zealand is working with AFCryo, a Christchurch company, to develop a hydrogen chase boat. They just released renderings of a prototype, a radical foiling catamaran with four hydrogen tanks in each hull and electric motors built into the foils and rudder. The hydrogen-powered boats will be built at the…

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The Strongest Link in Your Chain

The strongest link – Mantus swivel is stronger than its corresponding Grade 40 chain. (WLL is 1/5 UBS)
Integrated shackle design completely eliminates side loading making this the safest swivel on the market.
The pin on the chain side of the swivel is the strength limiting part since the geometry of the chain determines the pin size. Mantus swivel is the first to feature an oblong pin to maximizes the pin strength, with the aid of computer modeling and physical testing we truly created a swivel that is the strongest link.
Note the innovative shackle bolt design – no shackle dog! This slim hex head design (with holes for safety wire) offers a slimmer profile making it easier for translating through your bow roller.
•  316 L Stainless Steel, Precision Cast and Electro-Polished Body
Pin made from 2507 Duplex Stainless Steel and is mechanically polished and electro-polished.

 

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Beneteau Building New GT 45 Express Cruiser

Beneteau just announced that it’s building a new GT 45, the newest in its popular line of express cruisers. With larger windows and more sophisticated systems, the new 45 replaces the 46 in Beneteau’s GT model line. The new 45, to be launched in September, has sporty lines, a swept-back windshield and cabin top, and windows all around for visibility and natural light. It has two cabins, with an optional third, and two heads on the lower accommodation deck, which also has much-larger-than-usual windows in the hull sides. Standard power comes from twin 380-hp Volvo diesels, while twin 440-hp IPS600…

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Fjord 40: A Less-Is-More Success Story

About half a dozen years ago, I cruised on a then-new Fjord 40 from Key West to Miami. There were four of us on board, and we stopped along the way at the over-the-top Little Palm Island Resort, where the dockmaster was more than happy to have us stay for a while because the boat was so stunning. The Fjord, with its post-modern, straight-line, minimalist Bauhaus-on-the-water design, was just about the polar opposite from my own much-beloved Grand Banks 36. But I guess opposites attract, because I also loved the Fjord. It performed, it had style, it was unique. With…

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New Palm Beach GT60: Sleek and Fast Cruiser

The latest Palm Beach GT60 just made its debut at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show below Brisbane in Australia. The sleek, sexy, low-slung sedan with a classic tumblehome and long sheerline drew the crowds and admirers the brand is known for. The standard GT60 comes with two large staterooms with double beds and generous en suite heads and showers. It also has a modern gourmet galley and both indoor and outdoor dining and social areas. Beyond its head-turning looks, the GT60 performs. The boat has a low center of gravity, and its warped-V hull slices through the waves (instead…

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Arksen Building 3 New Explorer Yachts

Arksen, the innovative British builder, just announced that it’s planning three new explorer-type yachts, the Arksen 45, 65, and 85. The 45, pictured above, will be launched later this  year. The 85 is scheduled for next spring, and the 65 will be launched sometime after that. The 45 is designed as a go-anywhere, off-the-grid cruiser that can function as an explorer, a chase boat, a dive boat, whatever. It is being built in the UK, with a composite hull with foam-filled D-tube fendering all around in partnership with Ring Powercraft, which specializes in RIBs and fast sport boats. The Arksen…

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Garmin Making New GPS-Based Marine Compass

Garmin just announced that it’s offering a new marine satellite compass to help make navigation safer and more accurate. The new MSC 10 has multi-band GNSS and a fully integrated attitude and reference system to provide accurate heading and position information. Garmin says the MSC 10 provides precise positioning and heading accuracy within 2 degrees. The system is based on information from GPS, so it will not be affected by any magnetic interference. “An advanced navigation tool, the GPS-based MSC 10 won’t be impacted by magnetic interference, so even in challenging situations, you’ll know exactly where you’re headed,” said Dan…

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Garmin OnDeck: Stay Connected to Your Boat

Garmin has launched a new remote OnDeck system that keeps you connected to your boat, no matter where you are. OnDeck lets you track, monitor and control (via up to five switches) what’s happening to your boat. “OnDeck is a comprehensive vessel monitoring and management tool designed to deliver important information about your boat directly to your fingertips, so you’ll always know that it’s safe, secure and ready for your next adventure,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin VP of global consumer sales. Is your bilge pump running, and running and running? You’d certainly want to know. Has your boat moved, and…

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New Super Kayak Cat: Inflatable, Stable, Fun

Here’s something new and fun that you might want to take on your next cruise or just keep in the trunk of your car: The Super Kayak, an inflatable catamaran kayak that weighs just 30 pounds and takes only four minutes to set up or disassemble (see the video below). The brain child of Kirk Kirchev, a London product designer, the Super Kayak is now on Kickstarter, with a planned retail price of about $2,100 before long. It is 12 feet long, 3 feet wide and can carry a maximum load of 220 pounds. The modular craft has two inflatable…

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How To Get Your VHF Ready for the Season

Here’s some timely advice from BoatUS about how to get your VHF ready for the season: ANNAPOLIS, Md., March 23, 2021 – In recreational boating, cellphones are just fine for routine communications. So why do you need a VHF radio – either a handheld or fixed mount – on your boat? Because in an emergency it’s the only thing that can directly connect you to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Rescue 21 system, giving you access to high-tech emergency response and Digital Selective Calling (DSC) capabilities that can hasten your rescue. All you have to do now is to ensure VHF…

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The Moorings Opens Charter Base in Historic Corfu

The Moorings just announced that their marina in Corfu, in the northwest corner of Greece on the Ionian Sea, is now open for charters. One of the most glamorous destinations in the world, Corfu is one of the seven Ionian islands, and offers everything from gorgeous beaches and snug harbors to lively tavernas and waterfront resorts. With a charter from Corfu, you can explore the smaller Ionian islands, as well as make forays to historic ports of call along the Greek mainland. Many cruisers think the Corfu waters offer the best cruising in Greece. They certainly are among the most…

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Branson Reopens Luxurious Necker Island Resort

Sir Richard Branson’s luxurious Necker Island resort in the British Virgin Islands has now fully recovered from the hurricanes and has just come up with a Private Family Hideaway package involving a six-person private jet, a private pool, a DJ, and rooms for all for just $137,000 for a week. This month, Branson formed a partnership with evoJets to offer “the ultimate exclusive luxury experience in a setting that is just about as exclusive as it gets.” The exact price varies according to the departure city; the above far is from New York. The flight is round-trip to Beef Island…

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New Covid Protocols Start May 15 in the BVI

The government of the British Virgin Islands has announced an update to its Covid-19 protocols that go into effect on Saturday, May 19. The BVI, of course, are some of the most coveted charter and cruising destinations in the world, and are the home of major charter operations including The Moorings and MarineMax Vacations. Here’s a recap of the new protocols are reported by The Moorings: Fully vaccinated travelers will be immediately released from quarantine upon receiving negative results from their Covid-19 test on arrival. The results take 24 to 36 hours to process. For unvaccinated adults, the previous four-day…

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New Upgrades at Champlin’s on Block Island

If you’re thinking about cruising in New England this summer, you’ll want to know about this: Among many other changes, the new owners of Champlin’s Marina and Resort on Block Island are offering seasonal dockage for the first time. Also, for transients, the marina will not allow rafting up. In the past, the marina had rafted boats three or four deep in crowded periods during the summer. Now, some boats will dock Med-style, stern-to, and occupants will get off on floating wooden docks that adjoin the fixed pier. Champlin’s, on Great Salt Pond, has been a major cruising destination for…

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New ICOM VHF: First Handheld with AIS

ICOM just launched its new breakthrough IC-M94D handheld VHF, the first in the world with built-in AIS. Combined with DSC (Distress Signal Calling), AIS (Automatic Identification System) is a boon to boating safety and secure navigation. Until now, AIS was limited to larger VHF units and helm-mounted display screens. With the new Icom, you can have all the safety and communications features (receive only) of AIS in the palm of your hand. You can use it on a smaller boat, a dink or simply as a back-up system on a larger vessel. The M94D is a significant VHF even without…

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Meet Orca, Your New Marine Co-Pilot

Orca, a brand-new Norwegian startup, just introduced its new wireless navigation system that is designed to become your “marine co-pilot.” A combination of hardware and software, Orca is organized around a built-from-scratch interface that is meant to make your cruising life safer, easier and more up-to-date. Orca’s founders say they started with a blank slate to rethink the entire design of marine electronics, looking for an iPhone moment. They ended up with a system that includes a rugged tablet from Samsung, a mounting arm, an interface for quick attachment and charging, and an Orca Core computing base unit that connects…

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Is Our GPS System Too Vulnerable?

What would happen if your GPS went down? I don’t mean just the GPS on the chartplotter on your boat, or on your smartphone, or on your tablet, or even on your fitness watch. I mean the entire system. What would happen? Total chaos. Much of our infrastructure and our national defense is based on GPS. Forget about autonomous trucks on the interstate, or getting your next delivery from Amazon. GPS has become an unseen, but invaluable, part of our daily life. The problem is, at least according to this thought-provoking story in The New York Times, it’s too vulnerable.…

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Iridium Launches First World-Wide Marine Distress Service

Iridium just launched the first world-wide, real-time emergency marine distress service. The new Iridium Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) started last week; it is the first immediate response and rescue service that works anywhere in the world, even in the Arctic and Antarctic. At a virtual press conference from its headquarters in McLean, Virginia, Iridium officials said the new service can provide life-saving help to mariners at sea. “This is a historic moment in both the satellite and maritime industries,” said Iridium CEO Matt Desch. “It is not every day that you get to announce the launch of…

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Luxury Canal Barges Starting Up Again in Europe

As parts of Europe are recovering from the Covid pandemic and starting to open up their borders, luxury hotel barges are resuming their voyages down the canals and waterways on the continent and the UK. European Waterways operates the largest fleet of canal barges. They usually hold no more than a dozen passengers, and they offer a slow, leisurely and immersive vacation through some of the most beautiful, and historic, countryside in Europe. The barges cruise at only 3 mph, often just feet from shore, and often cover just 70 miles on a six-night trip. That slow pace, say Derek…

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Captain of Dream Charter “Odorous” and “Abusive” Suits Say

Here’s a story about a dream charter in the Bahamas over the Christmas holidays that went terribly wrong, ending with two lawsuits seeking $10 million in damages and charging that the captain was “odorous, ill-tempered, curt and dismissive, outright angry and abusive.” The suits also say that instead of dropping the passengers off on Exuma Island, he cruised back to Nassau, leading to “false imprisonment” and “panic attacks, trauma, fear of death.” The name of the yacht is Dream, and it’s a 196’9” Abeking & Rasmussen launched in 2001. It charters from Burgess for $420,000 a week, and it has…

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Dream Yacht Charter Starts New Flexible Program

The world’s leading yacht charter company, Dream Yacht Charter, just launched a new Sail Pass program to help you plan ahead in these uncertain times. With the Sail Pass, you can charter up to three times a year, twice in high season and once in low season, for one annual price. The actual price varies depending on the size and type of charter yacht you want. The people at Dream Yacht Charter recognize that with the world-wide Covid-19 pandemic in the past year, many people have postponed their vacations and some may be reluctant even now to commit themselves to…

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The Moorings Starts Charters in Key West

The Moorings just opened its latest charter operation in Key West, the southernmost point in the United States; it’s actually closer to Havana than it is to Miami. Key West, just in case you haven’t been there, also exists in a different mind-set than the rest of the United States; it’s fun, it’s historic, and the boating is sensational. Once the home of Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and Jimmy Buffet, Key West offers a vacation, on land or on the water, that you won’t forget. It has a unique architecture, and is full of pastel homes and colorful bars. You…