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Engine Room
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Seven Tips for Long Diesel Engine Life

Do you check your diesel every morning before you leave the dock or your mooring? If you want it to work properly, and enjoy a long life, that’s a very good idea. Here’s some great advice from Skipper Tips about what you should look for: 1. Oil: Use this double-dip technique. Pull the dip-stick out and wipe it off. Push it back in all the way so that it gets to the bottom of the oil sump. Pull it out and look at the oil color. It should be black (brown or streaked indicates water in the oil). Smear the oil on your…

Cruising Life
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Where To Keep Your Boat in a Hurricane: BoatUS

Here’s some great, and very timely, advice from BoatUS about where to keep your boat in a hurricane, with specific recommendations if you plan to keep it ashore, on a fixed dock, a floating dock, a canal or river, on a trailer, a lift or a storage rack. Scroll down: Going back as far as Hurricane Alicia in 1983, our BoatUS Hurricane Catastrophe Team (CAT) professionals have spent thousands of hours working to identify and recover damaged boats. They’ve seen firsthand what works and what doesn’t when a boat is prepared for a hurricane. When asked where CAT team members…

Cruising Life
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What Those Numbers Mean on a Chart

Here’s some great advice from Skipper Tips about how to read a chart – electronic or paper – showing numbers, including some with underlines or enclosed by parentheses. Here’s how to read these symbols to keep off the rocks and navigate safely: Nautical datums are stated in two ways. Look in the title block area (that area of a chart just beneath the title) to the “Chart Datum”, or soundings (depths). These will be stated as feet, fathoms, meters or a combination such as fathoms and feet or meters and decimeters (tenths of a meter). Next determine the “Height Datum.”…

Electronics
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5 Top Multifunction Displays from NMEA

Every year, the people at nmeaboater.com (the National Marine Electronics Association) ask manufacturers to name one model in a boating electronics category that they think is their best. It’s not necessarily the most technically advanced or the one with the most bells and whistles, but it is the one that, for a variety of reasons, they put at the top of their line. Here’s the list for multifunction displays: Simrad NSX A new mid-range product in the Simrad line of MFDs, the NSX chartplotter/fishfinder redefines the easy-to-use touchscreen experience, while providing powerful new C-MAP charting and navigation with DISCOVER X and…

Cruising Life
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NOAA Proposes Speed Limits Near Whales

NOAA is proposing new speed limits to protect North Atlantic right whales. Here’s NOAA’s announcement last week: Today, NOAA Fisheries announced proposed changes to vessel speed regulations to further protect North Atlantic right whales from death and serious injuries resulting from collisions — part of a multifaceted approach to stabilize and recover this endangered population. The changes would expand the current mandatory seasonal speed restrictions of 10 knots or less in designated areas of the ocean and extend to most vessels measuring 35 to 65 feet in length. In addition, the agency is releasing a draft “roadmap” for public comment about…

Cruising Life
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NOAA: June Was 6th Warmest Month Ever

Here’s the latest monthly report from NOAA, with some disturbing news: June’s average global temperature continued 2022’s remarkably warm trend, as both the month and the year so far ranked sixth warmest on record. In addition, global sea ice reached near-record lows last month, with Antarctica seeing its lowest June ice coverage on record, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). (An iceberg on the Antarctic Peninsula is pictured above.) Here’s a closer look into NOAA’s latest monthly global climate report: Climate by the numbers June 2022 The average global surface (land and ocean) temperature in…

Cruising Life
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Anatomy of a Man Overboard Fatality

Here’s a MARS report case study about the death of a man who fell overboard while rigging the pilot ladder on a commercial ship. MARS is the Mariners’ Alerting and Reporting Scheme, a confidential reporting system run by The Nautical Institute to allow full reporting of accidents without fear of identification or litigation. As a result, there are no names or details. But the report, printed in Marine Insight, is eye-opening for anyone going offshore: A bulk carrier in ballast was making way at 7 knots in a traffic separation scheme (TSS). The pilot ladder was being prepared on the…

Cruising Life
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How To Avoid Submerged Dangers

Here’s some great advice from Skipper Tips about how to spot, and avoid, submerged jetties or piers or other underwater dangers: What two little known sailing hazards could damage your boat’s hull, crack your keel, or mangle your propeller shaft or rudder? Make sure that you mark these dangers of the deep on your nautical chart or electronic chart plotter. Scan any chart in sheltered waters and you might see submerged jetties, sunken piers, or hidden ‘groins’ (more on this later). Set your sailing course to clear these dangers by a mile or more if possible. Note the slight differences between…

Cruising Life
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Tony Fleming: Back in Alaska on Venture

Tony Fleming, the founder of Fleming Yachts, is one of the most experienced, and capable, cruising people I know. Over the years, Tony also has developed a worldwide following for the writing, photos and videos based on his voyages on Venture, his personal Fleming 65. Here’s his latest, starting in Auke Bay, near Sitka, Alaska. June 24th Friday We arise just after 0600 and leave for the fuel dock at 0735. We take on 475 usg @ $5.52 per gallon. We depart Auke Bay fuel dock at 0810. We pass the small town of Hoona which has three cruise ships…

Cruising Life
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How To Prepare for a Hurricane

Hurricane season is now well underway, and NOAA says it will be more active than normal. Here’s some great advice from America’s Boating Club (formerly the U.S. Power Squadrons) about how you can make your boat ready for the storm: Hurricane preparation for boaters can help protect your boat during the predicted above-normal 2022 hurricane season. If you live in a hurricane-susceptible area, you need to create a hurricane plan for your boat. First, ask your marina about its hurricane plan and what procedures are in place to handle major storms. This will help you formulate your own plan. Given…

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