Author Peter Janssen

Cruising Life
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Ida Lewis: “The Bravest Woman in America”

Long before women could vote, much less hold down “a man’s job,” Ida Lewis was called “the bravest woman in America.” The reason: As the official keeper of the Lime Rock Light Station on a tiny island off Newport, RI, she managed to save 18 people from drowning. Lewis took over the Light Station when her father, who had been the keeper, died in 1872. After she started saving people by herself, Lewis became a 19th century celebrity:  She was on the cover of Harper’s Weekly; President U.S. Grant visited her when he was in Newport. Lewis kept the job…

On Watch
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On Watch

A Look Back at Miami: Let’s Hear It for the NMMA and Virginia Key I haven’t seen such an upbeat boat show in many years – probably before 2008, in fact. At the Miami International Boat Show last week on Virginia Key the docks were crowded, people were having fun, taking demo rides, buying boats. It wasn’t as if they didn’t have enough to choose from. Indeed, the show had 1,300 new boats for sale, including 550 in the water: big boats, small boats, outboard boats, inboard boats. If it floats it was there. And people were happy. Several told…

Annapolis Boat Show
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Stay Connected, Anywhere in the World, with the New Mazu App

Even in our constantly-on digital world, staying connected isn’t always as easy as it should be, particularly if you’re cruising offshore or out of Wi-Fi range. Everyone wants to stay connected, but it’s often expensive or complicated. Now the new Mazu app from SkyMate helps to solve those problems by making communications and nav functions both easy and inexpensive anywhere in the world. The way it works is certainly easy enough. You download the free Mazu app from the App Store for your iPad. Then you purchase the mSeries  system and install it on your boat (it’s designed to be…

Cruising Life
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Construction of the New Kadey-Krogen 50 Open: An Owner’s Progress Report

Here’s an inside view of the construction of hull number one the new Kadey-Krogen 50 Open, as seen through the eyes of its owner, Larry Polster, who’s also a partner and vice president of Kadey-Krogen Yachts.  Polster told me in Miami that he’s now doing what we all would love to do, living the dream himself, since he and his wife, Janet, plan to live aboard the boat once it is delivered next fall and then do some extended cruising, starting with the Bahamas after the Miami boat show next February. But it would be hard to find a…

Cruising Life
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Cape Breton Island: A Canadian Cruising Heaven that Still Beckons

Many years ago, I drove a Phoenix 35 from Norwalk, Connecticut, up to the little Canadian town of Gaspé, on the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, with my friend Eric Schweikardt, the photographer. The trip took us up to Maine, over to Nova Scotia, up to the Canso Canal, past Prince Edward Island and finally to Gaspé, at the entrance to the St. Lawrence. Unfortunately, we went right by Cape Breton Island and Bras d’Or, the magnificent lake in the middle of it. We were in a hurry, or thought we were, and, with the ignorance of relative youth, thought…

Cruising Life
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What’s Killing the Swimming Pigs in the Exumas?

In some circles, the swimming pigs of the Exumas are virtual celebrities. People put a visit to Big Major Cay, near Staniel Cay, where the pigs swim out to greet incoming boats (and hope for food) on their bucket lists. Over the years, the pigs have been written about in cruising guides, Forbes and Travel+Leisure; they’ve even been featured on The Today Show. But now about half the swimming pig population has turned up dead, and nobody seems to know why. Big Major Cay doesn’t have any human population, but it did have about 20 pigs and piglets. The Bahamas…

Boat Reviews
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Bavaria Yachts Virtess 420 Fly: An Award-Winning Cruising Machine. Plus Video

The Bavaria Yachts booth at the Miami International Boat Show was always busy, it seemed, and the star of the show there was the Bavaria Virtess 420 Fly, now in the U.S. after having been named European Boat of the Year a while ago. And, with its combination of German engineering and Italian interior design, it was easy to see why. Powered by two 435-hp Volvo diesels with Volvo’s IPS fingertip joystick control, the Bavaria 420 tops out at about 33 knots, and its 18-degrees of deadrise at the transom mean she can perform even in heavy seas. Overall, the…

Cruising Life
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A Palm Beach Couple Enjoy the Cruising Lifestyle on Their Alden 49

Patrick and Denise Segraves probably use their boat the way most of us do – on weekends, on vacation cruises or simply as a place to relax and entertain friends close to home. The Segraves, who live in Palm Beach, bought their Alden 49 Tonic four years ago in New York. They kept it in Newport, Rhode Island, for a year before bringing it down to Palm Beach themselves. With twin diesels producing 1,400 hp, Tonic hits 25 knots, which means the Keys and the Bahamas are all within easy reach. Read about the Segraves and their boating lifestyle here. http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/lifestyles/denise-and-patrick-segraves-enjoy-their-power-boat-life-palm-beach/OTwL9DcRtPyOJb4rchv0eN/…

Cruising Life
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Furuno’s New Radar: More Powerful and Precise at Both Short and Long Range

Long a leader in providing sophisticated radar for commercial users, Furuno has just introduced two new features to improve the performance of their X-Class radar units on cruising powerboats as well. By extending the maximum pulse length from 0.8 to 1.2 megaseconds, Furuno has increased the performance in both long- and short-range applications. This means that you can see land masses, for example, in great detail at long range, while you can detect many different targets, clearly and precisely, at short range. The two new features are for Furuno’s NavNet TZtouch and TZtouch2 units, and they’re called DRS12AX and DRS25AX.…

Boat Reviews
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Sirena 56: A New Yacht with a Long Pedigree and Lots Going On

Sirena Yachts, the powerful Turkish builder, is on a roll. They launched their new 64 in Dusseldorf in January and had sold four by the time they had a second 64 and a brand-new 56 at the Yachts Miami Beach show last week. And they gathered all their heavy guns there for the world-wide debut of the 56: Ipek Kirac, the company’s CEO; German Frers, one of the foremost designers in the world, who drew the hull and exterior; and Tommaso Spadolini, of Design Studio Spadolini in Florence, who did the interior. “The U.S. market is very important to us,”…

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