Friday, May 29

 

Few names in American boating are more iconic than C. Raymond Hunt. After all, he designed the deep-V hull more than 60 years ago that has been regarded as the gold standard for offshore performance and safety ever since. So it’s news, big news, when his successors have made some adjustments now, creating a more efficient hull shape for today’s yachts with the goal of producing double-digit cruising speeds, under moderate power, while still retaining all the seakeeping abilities of the original. But Ray Hunt Design, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, has done exactly that, drawing a new Ray Hunt Design…

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Now: Social Distance on Your Own Luxury Island Privè

Here’s a new way to practice social distancing – or just have some fun on the water. It’s called Luxury Island Privè, and it’s an inflatable that you can anchor in calm water just about anywhere. The Luxury Island Privè (pictured at  top) is made by the Italian company Yacht Extension, and it lets you create your own oasis to sunbathe on soft cushions, relax in a pool with a net protecting you from jellyfish, have a relaxing drink at sunset, or simply get away from it all. When you’re done, roll it up in its own container and take…

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Maine Adopts New Protocols For Cruising There

Cruising in Maine will be a little different this summer, at least for the start of the summer. The state has a mandatory 14-day quarantine for people arriving from other states, while some Maine builders and marina operators have adopted new protocols of their own. “It’s important to understand that Maine is open,” said Stacey Keefer, executive director of the Maine Marine Trades Association. And Maine remains one of the most iconic and desirable cruising destinations in the United States, if not the world. But this year officials in Maine, just like officials in many other states and localities, have…

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Fishing Boat Burns, Sinks, off Point Judith, RI. See Video

A 40-foot fishing boat caught fire and sank about 2.5 miles southeast of Point Judith, Rhode Island, last week. The Coast Guard rescued all three people on board; they were not injured. The Coast Guard station in Point Judith heard a VHF Mayday call on Channel 16 at 11:01 a.m. saying that the boat was on fire. It dispatched two boats, and other boats were scrambled from the Narragansett Fire Department, Newport, and North Kingston. After the three crew members were taken off the fishing boat, the firefighters fought the blaze, pouring water onto the vessel. After two hours, it…

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NOAA Update: Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season Coming

May 21, 2020 An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to…

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Florida Keys Open to Visitors on June 1

The Florida Keys will open to visitors on June 1, after being closed for almost two months to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The checkpoints on the access roads in the upper Keys will be lifted; the roads had been blocked off since late March to anyone who did not live or work there. The Keys are a major cruising destination, for people cruising on the Great Loop and for people who simply want to enjoy some of the best boating, fishing, diving, and most exotic locales, in the continental United States. Marinas that had been closed are now scheduled…

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Parts of Erie Canal Set To Reopen by July 4

The New York State Canal Corporation just announced the schedule for reopening the locks on the historic – and much-travelled – Erie Canal and the system’s other canals in the state. The corporation said it planned to have most of the locks open by July 4, but some may not be open until much later. On its website, the corporation said, “Maintenance work that needs to be completed at specific canal facilities varies by location, and locks along the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca Canals will open for passage on a staggered fashion.” The locks had been scheduled to open…

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New German Builder Launches Solar-Electric Power Cats

Alva Yachts, an environmentally conscious German company, has just launched a new upscale line of solar-electric power catamarans called Ocean Eco, starting with a 60 and a 90. Alva uses a new manufacturing process to shape and integrate the solar panels into  the coach-roof of the boats, providing the maximum number of panels possible. The company now has two orders for the Ocean Eco 60 (pictured at top). At their peak output, the solar panels can generate 20kW for the 60. They work with a 300k lithium battery bank to give the boat a range of 110 nm at 7…

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Invictus Launches New 37 with Outboard Power

Invictus Yachts, the innovative Italian builder, is just introducing a new GT370S, with twin 425-hp Yamaha outboards, to the U.S. It had launched a sterndrive version of the boat at the Miami Yacht Show in February, but now it is offering an outboard version because outboards have become so popular here. If the view of the Invictus’ stern has changed, the view of the bow remains the same. Invictus yachts are designed by Christian Grande, the Italian designer who has won many international awards for his out-of-the-box thinking. All Invictus GTs have what the company calls a “half-reverse” bow, which…

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New Fountaine Pajot Power 67 Long-Range Cruising Cat

Fountaine Pajot just launched its Power 67 flagship, and the big French cat is now on its way to Greece; it’s off Gibraltar in the picture at top. The Power 67 is a long-range, blue-water cruiser with massive social and entertaining areas, and its lines show off Fountaine Pajot’s usual elegant and innovative design. The flybridge is covered by a hardtop with a sunroof, and it extends aft to protect the cockpit and port and starboard to cover the side decks. The teak swim platform lowers for access to the water, while the cockpit has several sunbathing areas, a grill…

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Ocean Alexander Launches New 45 Divergence Coupe Cruiser

Ocean Alexander just launched its new 45 Divergence Coupe, an outboard-powered, two-stateroom cruiser with all the comforts of a yacht but with the size, speed and handling of a sportboat. The Coupe, with a fully enclosed, climate-controlled salon and helm deck, is an update of the 45 Divergence that Ocean Alexander introduced at the Miami show in February, 2019. Several high-end builders, including Hinckley and MJM, have introduced outboard-powered boats lately, but Ocean Alexander was the first to move down significantly in doing so. Indeed, Ocean Alexander’s luxury fleet runs from 70 to 155 feet. There was so much interest…

 

 

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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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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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New GoPro HERO8 Black: Great for Action Pictures

If you want to take some great pictures, videos or stills, of your cruising life this summer, take a look at the new GoPro HERO8 Black, a waterproof, super-stabilized, touch-screen action camera. GoPros have been popular in the boating and water-sports community since they launched their first HERO in 2004. Now the HERO8offers new features that should enhance GoPro’s legendary appeal. For starters, the HERO8 has been streamlined, so it’s easier to fit in your pocket – a very good feature when you’re bouncing around on a cruising boat. It has folding fingers at its base so you can swap…

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Details for New Protocols for Yachts, Charters, in the Bahamas

Here’s a good look at what the new protocols mean for boats and charters in the Bahamas, now and for this summer, from Denison Yacht Sales. Take a look: A breakdown of the Bahamas State Of Emergency and new protocol for yachts, boats, and charters in light of the coronavirus If your boat is currently in Bahamian Waters, or you had plans to shelter in the Bahamas with your vessel, you will need to take action in light of the new protocols set in place for COVID-19. The Commonwealth of The Bahamas issued a statement on April 14, 2020 stating…

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Miami-Dade Opens Marinas: Lines Form

People couldn’t wait to get back on their boats when Miami-Dade opened up parks and marinas there last week, after being closed for six weeks because of COVID-19. The pent-up demand was so great that people camped out next to their vehicles on Friday night, waiting for the 6 a.m. Saturday opening at Blackpoint Marina in South Dade. Police had to direct traffic there (see the picture at top) as hundreds of cars and trucks trailering boats lined up, waiting to get in. The marina has four launch ramps, and police let in ten cars at a time. But by…

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Trouble in Paradise: Cruisers Overwhelm USVI

So many cruising boats have headed to the U.S. Virgin Islands recently because of the COVID-19 pandemic that they have caused worries about overloading the finite resources on the islands there. At this time of year, there usually about 270 boats moored or anchored in the USVI – St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, and Water Island. Now there are about 600. The problem is that many ports have closed across the Caribbean to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The USVI, subject to U.S. laws, at first welcomed cruisers. On March 27, Gov. Albert Bryan, Jr., said the islands…

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Bahamas Announces New Protocols for Boating There

Bahamas Government Protocols for Boating in The Bahamas April 2020 April 14, 2020 Updated 4/17/20 The Government of The Bahamas has released official COVID-19 related protocols for foreign and local boats that are currently in the waters of The Bahamas. The Bahamas Safe Passage Home and Sea Quarantine has been established by the Association of Bahamas Marinas as an orderly way to help boats either remain moored or leave Bahamian waters safely while minimizing the risk of spreading the virus throughout the islands. The program will be in effect until normal border travel is restored.  Please note that our program…

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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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Simrad Launches Two New Radars for Smaller Cruising Boats

Simrad Yachting just announced the launch of HALO20+ and HALO20 radars, a pair of compact, pulse-compression units designed for smaller cruising boats. Both radars provide excellent detection with short-range performance, while HALO20+ has the fastest rotation on the market and can detect targets farther away than the HALO20. With a 20-inch dome, the HALO20+ is Simrad’s smallest pulse compression radar yet, delivering a full 360-degree sweep every second. Simrad says it has an industry-first 60 RPM rotation at ranges up to 1.5 nm. These fast updates give boat owners an almost real-time view of close range activity, helping to avoid…

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Charters Can Reopen in the U.S. Virgins on June 1

Good news: The U.S. Virgin Islands can open up their charter operations on June 1. The Virgins, of course, include some of the best cruising grounds around, with beautiful water, white-sand beaches, and great dive sites. And you’re still in the United States; no passport needed. Albert Ryan, Jr., the Governor of the U.S. Virgins, just issued an executive order spelling out the protocols for when and how the islands will reopen in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was his sixth executive order about the crisis. Reopening the charter business is good news for those of us who love…

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Now: Cruise the Arctic Circle on a Luxurious Charter Yacht

If you’re tired of feeling hemmed in, think about taking a charter to the Arctic Circle this summer on a luxurious 253-foot, ice-breaking yacht, fully equipped with a helicopter, a submarine and a 16-person Jacuzzi. Ariodante Travel has just announced Arctic Circle tours on Legend, an expedition yacht with a Lloyds 1A ice-class hull. The tours start in the Svalbard archipelago (pop: 2,642), midway between mainland Norway and Iceland. From there, Legend can go just about anywhere in the Arctic Circle, including the North Pole, Greenland, the North Cape and Spitsbergen. We have to wait for international travel restrictions to…

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When Things Get Better, What To Take on a Charter

At some point, the current coronavirus crisis will wind down, and we’ll be able to take charter vacations again. In the meantime, we can plan ahead; a few dreams about warm waters, white beaches, and dark rum painkillers never hurt anyone. When the  timing is right, we can start making a list about what to take on that dreamed-about charter. Even for the most experienced or organized cruiser, a list helps. For newcomers, it helps a lot. Here, from the people at Awestruckwander, is one of the most thorough lists I’ve seen of what to take on your charter, including…

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When We Can Travel Again, European Waterways Barges Are Waiting

When things start to open up again, you might want to think about a European Waterways cruise for your next charter vacation. They offer the largest fleet of luxury hotel barges cruising along the less populated canals and small rivers of Europe and the U.K. On a European Waterways barge you can celebrate an end to enforced social distancing by exploring the European countryside, from the South of France to the Highlands of Scotland. Each barge, a floating boutique experience, holds from six to 12 guests. European Waterways offers six-night, all-inclusive tours along canals and small rivers, visiting local towns…