Sunday, August 9

Hurricane Isaias made landfall near Southport, North Carolina, and left a trail of damage and broken boats at two marinas there. WRAL News reported “a giant pile of broken boats” at the marinas, and boat owners reported looking around and trying to find their vessels in the debris. The storm skirted Florida; Sean Collins, the dockmaster at Vero Beach Municipal Marina, said one boat had a cleat pulled out there, and largely avoided Georgia, but it then slammed into the Southport area with 94-mph winds and a five-foot storm surge that simply stacked up water at Southport Marina and South…

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Outer Reef Owners Create Their Own EPICENTER of Business and Homeschooling

EVEN BEFORE the pandemic struck, remote work has been accelerating around the globe. As the owner of an Outer Reef, your yacht is the perfect environment for productivity, privacy and comfort to get the job done. And when it’s time for a break, stepping "outdoors" has never been so rewarding. Here’s what our owners are saying:

"I followed your advice to Just Do It, and we are now on day 7 of the quarantine and operating our business and school classes offshore aboard "EPICENTER". No virus out here… just gorgeous water…” READ MORE

- Gary L., Owner of Outer Reef 650 Motoryacht "EPICENTER"

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New Desalinator Delivers Fresh Water. See Video Taste Test

A new tech startup based in Dubai and London is starting production of an innovative handheld, manually-operated desalinator that weighs only 1.5 pounds and costs about $70. It turns seawater into fresh water in just a minute. (See the Taste Test video below.) The desalinator is called Quench Sea and it’s made by Hydro Wind Energy. In trying to finance the desalinator, the company passed its crowd-funding goal by 700 percent. Quench Sea can make up to three liters (about 0.79 gallons) of potable water an hour. It uses a reverse-osmosis membrane that can produce 4,700 gallons before it needs…

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Enjoy Social Distancing on New Eco-Friendly Floating Pod

Want to get away from it all, without really going too far? Take a look at the new Anthénea Suite, a luxury floating home that’s both head-turning and eco-friendly. The French-built Anthénea is a 540-square-feet pod that runs off solar power with full living quarters inside, and an opening rooftop solarium with built-in seating for 12 and 360-degree ocean views. You can enjoy the Suite by yourself, or certainly treat your friends and family to a different type of day, or evening, on the water. Jean-Michel Ducancelle, the architect, says he was inspired by James Bond’s floating saucer in The…

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How To Use Flares in an Emergency. Take Heed…

Here’s some great advice about how to use flares safely from Skipper Tips.  Take a look now; these tips could help save you and your boat in an emergency: You cannot fire flares without permission from both the US Coast Guard and local authorities (check regulations in your area if outside of the US). But, you can train your crew before you cast off for cruising. Hold mock simulated drills out in the cockpit.  Follow these five steps: 1. Face Downwind Move to the edge of the boat. Put your back to the wind. Brace yourself as the vessel pitches and rolls. Double…

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Great White Shark Kills Woman – in Maine

On Monday afternoon, about 3:30, Julie Dimperio Holowach, 63, a retired New York fashion industry executive, went swimming with her daughter off Bailey Island in Casco Bay, Maine, near her family’s vacation home. She was about 20 yards offshore, and she was wearing a black wet suit. She was happy and laughing. Suddenly, she was flailing around. Her daughter swam back to shore and screamed for help. Some kayakers brought Ms Holowach’s badly injured body back to shore, while someone called paramedics. She was pronounced dead by first responders. Shark attacks are extremely rare in Maine. Indeed, this is the…

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Russian Hackers Shut Down Garmin Flying, Fitness Programs

You couldn’t make these names up, but it turns out that a Russian group called Evil Corp. and its subsidiary, WastedLocker, managed to shut down some Garmin flying and fitness programs last week. For a few days, pilots who use flyGarmin were not able to access up-to-date aviation databases, as required by the FAA, and thousands of runners and cyclists around the world were not able to access Garmin Connect. Earlier this week Garmin, the GPS giant, was able to get a decryption key to start to bring its services back on line. Some reports said that Garmin had been…

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Boston Man Dies When His Jet Ski Hits Moored Sailboat

A 43-year-old Boston man was killed when his jet ski hit a moored sailboat in Boston Harbor on Sunday afternoon. Massachusetts State Police said they received a call about 4:20 p.m. that a man was in distress near Malibu Beach in the Dorchester area. He had been riding on a jet ski that ran into a sailboat on its mooring. The Boston Police Department harbor unit was able to reach the man, Curtis Raper, who was unresponsive in the water. They brought  him to shore and administered CPR. He was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.…

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New Entry-Level Ferretti 500: Just Like Home

Ferretti is making its new entry-level 500, the first in a complete redesign of Ferretti Yachts, and it’s  scheduled to debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival starting Sept. 8. The new 500 is the start of a new era the company says, adding “a domestic dimension” to life on board a traditional cruising yacht. The idea is to make living on board feel just like living at home – that is, if you’re living in luxurious home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and extra social areas upstairs, downstairs, on the front porch and out back. Not to mention the swimming…

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New Protector 410: Redesigned Inside and Out

Protector has launched its new and improved 410 Targa flagship, with a fresh hull design for better performance and a new cabin for more creature comforts. With three 450-hp outboards, the new super-strong RIB tops out at about 70 mph, while maintaining Protector’s reputation for superb rough-water performance. For the new 410, the New Zealand company has widened the hull by 14 inches, using a winged flare to increase the interior space and improve the walk-through area. It extended the deep-V hull all the way aft for cutting through the rough stuff; it has an 18-degree deadrise at the transom.…

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Mazu Launches New High-Tech 82 Flagship

Mazu, the high-end Turkish builder, just launched its new low-profile 82 flagship with aggressive styling, a “bulletproof” windshield and a custom terrace out back. Powered by three 1,000-hp Volvo IPS1350 diesels and pod drives, the new 82 tops out at 40 knots. At its cruising speed of 33 knots, the 82 has a range of 400 nm. The new Mazu is nothing if not high tech. The hull is made from a light, carbon composite sandwich. The windshield is tempered and laminated. Custom glass windows surround the salon, providing almost 360-degree visibility; they also are cut into the hull sides…

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Tiara Building New 43 LE, First in Luxury Express Series

Tiara is building a new 43 LE, the first model in its Luxury Express series, with sports styling, upscale touches, and outboard power. The 43 LE is scheduled to be launched later this summer. The new boat has an innovative seating arrangement up top, and two staterooms and one head with shower below. The master stateroom is forward with an island queen berth, and the guest cabin is amidships with a double berth. The 43 LE is a sistership to the popular 43 LS that was launched at the Fort Lauderdale show in 2017 with a first-of-its-kind 360-degree rotating seating…

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New FCC Decision Could Hurt GPS Accuracy

Despite initial opposition from the Coast Guard, the Pentagon, the Departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Commerce and Interior, plus NASA and the FAA, the Federal Communications Commission has given a private equity firm permission to run a 5G wireless network that could harm the reliability of GPS signals. BoatUS, part of a new group called the Keep GPS Working Coalition, also opposes the ruling. “With this decision, the FCC is permitting one private company to upend the entire reliability of GPS,” said David Kennedy, the BoatUS manager of government affairs. “It’s unfathomable that the lone federal caretaker of our national…

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Raymarine Launches New Line of Faster, Smarter, Axiom+ MFDs

Raymarine just unveiled its new Axiom+ multifunction navigation displays plus new, updated Lighthouse electronic charts. Axiom+ is the successor to Raymarine’s award-winning Axiom line of MFDs. Raymarine says the new Axiom+ displays are smarter, brighter and tougher than ever before. The new displays come in 7-, 9-, and 12-inch sizes, and they have a quad-core processor for fast chart redraws, multi-channel sonar views, and augmented reality navigation. Storage is increased to 16 MB. (The 12-inch display is shown above.) Axiom+ displays are up to 25 percent brighter than previous models. And they are more user-friendly, with HydroTouch impact-resistant glass that…

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Cruising Norway’s Fjords on Electric Jetboards: See Fantastic Video

Here’s something you probably haven’t seen before: A pair of adventurers cruising through the icy fjords of Norway on electric jetboards. Boards on the fjords. Take a look at the video below, it’s terrific. The electric-powered jetboards are made by Radinn, a Swedish company that was started in 2013. The name says it all: Radical Innovation. To promote its boards, the company has tested them on the canals in Amsterdam and off the beaches of the Dominican Republic. It went to Norway, in March, because that’s where they could find the highest-latitude body of water that wasn’t iced in. The…

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Garmin Launches New Smartwatch for Cruising, Fishing

Garmin just launched the newest model in its quatix marine smartwatch series, and it’s designed specifically for cruising, fishing and watersports activities. You can use it control your autopilot, and you can load it with coastal charts so it serves as a navigation tool on your wrist. The new Garmin quatix 6 represents the next generation of smartwatches, according to Garmin. It connects to Garmin chartplotters and other marine electronics to control the autopilot, as well as onboard Fusion-Link entertainment offerings. It also displays boat speed, depth, temperature and wind. And it has preloaded activity for other sports, including paddle…

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Cape Cod Island Open to Public, First Time Since 1711

Sipson Island on Cape Cod just opened to the public – for the first time since 1711. The 24-acre island was the last one in Pleasant Bay in Orleans that had been privately owned. Much of the island was purchased in June by the Sipson Island Trust in partnership with Richard and Cheryl Nadler, who live in Orleans, to be used by the public for conservation and education programs. At the closing, the trust took ownership of six lots on the island, the Nadlers kept 2.2 acres for themselves and will temporarily hold two more until a fund-raising drive…

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Change of Plans: The Favors Cruise to Cypress Island

Jim and Lisa Favors are on the water again, this time on Cypress Island in the San Juans in Washington state on their red-hulled Ranger Tugs 29 Kismet. In this time of COVID-19, it isn’t the trip they had planned (they had originally hoped to get up to Alaska), but they are finding that it’s a beautiful cruising destination in its own right. The Favors are one of the most experienced cruising couples we know. They’ve already completed the Great Loop, and they trailered their original Kismet, a Ranger Tugs 27, around much of the U.S. for six years, before…

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Portsmouth, NH: A Historic and Charming Waterfront Town

If you’re cruising anywhere in the Northeast this summer, you might want to think about stopping at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Midway between Boston and Portland, Maine, Portsmouth is a little gem of a waterfront town with a blend of history, culture, architecture and (in normal times) some fun restaurants. And, if you don’t want to take the Piscataqua River the three nm to downtown Portsmouth itself, you can tie up at the first-rate Wentworth by the Sea Marina (pictured above) and take a cab to town. The marina is at the foot of a luxury Marriott hotel and spa complex…

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Bahamas Reopen on July 1. Here’s What You Have To Do

The Bahamas will reopen to international travelers on July 1. All visitors must present a negative COVID-19 test, taken in the past 10 days, and complete an electronic health visa. Here’s the official word about what you have to do from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation: NASSAU, Bahamas, June 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is preparing for Phase 2 of the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan, which will begin on Wednesday, July 1 and allow for the resumption of international travel to The Bahamas, with the exception of visitors from China, Iran, Italy…

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New Furuno MFDs: More Power, More Depth, More Safety

Furuno just introduced three new multifunction displays, with more power, faster responses and larger sizes. They’re all the third generation of Furuno’s NavNet MFD series, and they’re called NavNet TZtouch3. Furuno says they are the three most powerful MFDs on the market; they all have a more powerful quad-core processor for a fast response. The new MFDs come in 12-inch, 16-inch and 19-inch displays. The 12-inch version is a hybrid, with a RotoKey you turn to help navigate in any sea condition. (I’ve often found that this is a big help. If I try to use my finger to set…

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Best New Electronics: NMEA Technology Award Winners

If you’re thinking about buying new electronics for your boat, either as part of a new vessel or as an upgrade on your existing one, you’ll want to take a look at this review of some of the best from NMEA Boater. It lists the winner and four other finalists for the National Marine Electronics Association Technology Award in 2019, and it’s certainly a good place to start. It has the manufacturers’ own descriptions of their entries. The overall winner was Raymarine/FLIR ClearCruise (pictured above). The entry says it “is an industry-first navigation technology that brings leading-edge Augmented Reality to…

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Stay Connected with New, Fast, AquaFi Mobile Hotspot

Here’s a new way for you – and a lot of your friends – to stay connected when you’re cruising: the Taylor Made AquaFi Mobile Hotspot. Indeed, the AquaFi Hotspot delivers fast and reliable 4G LTE speeds for up to ten users on board at the same time. The AquaFi provides a secure 2.4 GHz connection, and it can connect with multiple devices at up to 150 Mbps. Speeds will vary according to the strength of the cell signal. The device requires a Nano SIM card (included) and it’s easy to set up with the free AquaFi app. Made for…

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Simrad Launches New Faster, Smoother, Glass Bridge Display

Simrad just introduced a new NSO evo3S Glass Bridge display that it says is particularly appropriate for large cruising and fishing boats. The new display is faster, smoother and easier to use than previous models. The NSO evo3S delivers much faster page changes, cutting loading time in half. It also provides much smoother transitions. A new iMX 8 integrated six-core processor makes movement on the screen – such as panning and rotating charts – smoother than ever before. The increase in  power also means that evo3S can multitask easily, even when the screen is split six ways, as in the…

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Seattle’s Popular New AirBnB for Boats

Here’s a fun story from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about how GetMyBoat, the new boat rental app, has taken off there: By Christina Ausley, SeattlePI This past Fourth of July, it seemed many a Seattleites were hunting down a boat rental for the weekend alongside their lakeside cabins. Nonetheless, a massive boat rental app has launched across the Seattle area, and it seems to be … the AirBnB of boats? GetMyBoat, the world’s top boat rental website and app, divvies out boat rentals to more than 130,000 vessels in 184 countries. From powerboat rentals, sailboat charters and fishing charters, to jet-ski…

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Aquila Making New 54 Power Cat for Comfortable Cruising

Aquila just announced that it’s building a new 54-foot cruiser for its large, worldwide catamaran fleet, and it is designed for maximum comfort inside and out. The full-beam master stateroom is forward, for example, with panoramic views from hull side windows; it takes advantage of the cat’s more than 25-foot beam to make it a special place underway or at an anchorage. The 54 will debut later this year, and we’ll have more details later on as well. But what we know now is that the boat will have three-, four- or even five-cabin configurations, plus a possible skipper’s quarters…

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The Moorings Reopens Charter Base in the Bahamas

Here’s some good news. It’s now possible to start planning, and even start taking, some great charter vacations again. Indeed, The Moorings just reopened its Bahamas charter base in Nassau, serving the gorgeous Out Island Exumas chain, on July 7. You have to meet the current requirements for traveling to the Bahamas, but with a little paperwork that’s easy to do, and then you can take a week’s charter there just the same as you could in the pre-COVID days. With its 50 years of experience, The Moorings is trying to make today’s charters as easy as possible, and to insure…

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How To See Amsterdam by Boat This Summer

This isn’t exactly blue-water cruising, but it sure looks like fun, for a whole lot of reasons. First, Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities in the world, which isn’t surprising given my Dutch-derived last name and the fact that a great-great-grandfather was a Dutch sea captain (or so the story goes). But Amsterdam is so full of history, art, and fascinating architecture that wandering along its ever-present canals is a pleasure, no matter what your family heritage. Here’s a great story from Dutch News about how to see the city by water, even for a short visit: There is,…