Author Peter Janssen

Engine Room
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Three New, Easy-to-Use Portable Outboards from Honda

If you need a new outboard for your dink, inflatable or small RIB, take a look at Honda’s new 4-, 5- and 6-hp portables. Each one weighs about 60 pounds, and they come with 15” or 20” shafts. Honda is hardly new to the outboard market; they’ve been making outboards since the ‘60s. These newest models are carbureted four-stroke engines with overhead valves. They all have a 1.5L onboard gas tank, but the 5- and 6-hp models also offer a connection to an external tank. They all have a tiller handle that swings all the way up, and all the…

On Watch
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The First Thanksgiving

. The voyage from Plymouth, England, to Cape Cod took the Mayflower 66 days, and for most of them the 102 passengers and 30 crew on board were cold and miserable. The fall weather was often brutal, the aging 100-foot-long square rigger couldn’t sail into the prevailing westerlies, and it leaked. The Mayflower finally dropped anchor off Cape Cod on Nov, 27, 1620, and everyone spent that winter on the boat; half of them died of malnutrition or exposure. The next spring Squanto, a Pawtuxet who spoke English (he had been kidnapped by a British sea captain), got the Pilgrims…

Gear
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SEABOB: Swim Like a Fish, Over and Under the Water

Take a look at the new SEABOB, which I just saw in action at the Fort Lauderdale show. It’s not complicated, it’s not salty, it’s simply fun. SEABOB basically is an electric-powered, jet-propelled water sled or scooter that lets you glide on top of the waves at up to nine mph or dive underwater like a fish. The basic SEABOB, the F5, is easy to handle; you steer by shifting your weight. It has two control grips and you just squeeze the trigger to keep going. This SEABOB weighs only 64 pounds and you pick it up with a…

Cruising Life
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New Orleans Volunteers Restore WWII PT Boat, Offer Rides

Who doesn’t want a ride on a PT boat? Think power, speed, history, glamour (JFK and PT 109). Now, thanks to a nine-year restoration by a group of volunteers at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, that will be possible starting next April. During the war, PT  305 served in the Med. The two restored decals with swastikas  on her hull means it sank two Nazi ships. After the war the 50-ton, 78-foot-long patrol boat went through a series of reincarnations until it was in total disrepair. Then the New Orleans volunteers stepped in. Now it is fully restored,…

Cruising Life
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Sandy Hook Harbor Pilots: “Lords of the Harbor”

Ever since 1694, the Sandy Hook Pilots Association has been helping ship captains safely navigate the shifting currents, sandbars, fogs, and other marine traffic in and out of New York Harbor, the busiest harbor on the East Coast. Often, simply getting to or from the large ship becomes a matter of skill, timing and courage. But, over the years, these pilots have done their jobs so well that they are often called “Lords of the Harbor.” Here’s a look at one pilot who recently helped the Queen Mary 2 safely navigate the harbor and head out to sea: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/nyregion/at-sea-with-new-york-harbors-channel-masters.html

Boat Reviews
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Aspen C120: A Cat with a Difference

The new 42-foot Aspen C120 power cat is anything but just another pretty boat. Developed by Larry Graf, one of the more creative people in boating, the new C120, like all Aspens, has an asymmetrical proa hull (think of native boats in the South Pacific), where the port side is 35 percent narrower than the starboard side, which houses the single 330-hp Volvo diesel. The point: Stability, performance and above all, fuel efficiency. Graf says the boat burns just 11 gph at 17 knots. Graf founded Aspen Power Catamarans in Burlington, Washington, in 2008; he had founded Glacier Bay Power…

On Watch
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Greenline 36 Hybrid: The Future of Boating?

Just introduced to the U.S. market at the Fort Lauderdale boat show, the new Greenline 36 Hybrid offers a combination of a totally silent 6.5-knot speed under electric power, or an 18-knot speed under traditional 220-hp Volvo diesel power (boosted to 25 knots with an optional 370-hp Yanmar). The reaction to the boat at the show, said Vladimir Zinchenko, the CEO of SVP Yachts of Slovenia, the new owner of Greenline, was “very good. People are much more comfortable with hybrid technology today. They love the environmentally friendly aspect and the idea behind Greenline.” I tested an earlier version of…

Charter
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Plan a Winter Break: New Moorings Power Charters in the Seychelles

The Moorings has just started power charter vacations in the Seychelles, the series of secluded, sandy islands with incredible marine life in the heart of the Indian Ocean. You can now book a memorable charter on a Moorings 514PC (power cat), with four staterooms, five heads, air conditioning and two 350-hp Yanmar diesels. Depending on your desires and experience, you can charter the big cat as a bareboat or with a captain. It has a fully furnished salon, with a convertible sofa sleeping two adults and access to the huge foredeck that takes advantage of the full 25-foot beam. Up…

Cruising Life
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Catch Up with the Parkers, If You Can

You’d be hard put to find more couples with more cruising miles under their belts on the same boat than Jeff and Suzie Parker, from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ten years ago they bought their Kadey-Krogen 48, Idyll Time, and they – with their two dogs and two Amazon parrots – have been going strong ever since. The Parkers have already completed the Great Loop and now they’re cruising a bit closer to home. In their latest blog, covering a short cruise from Manteo to Ocracoke near the Outer Banks in North Carolina, Jeff learns that even the most experienced cruiser can…

Electronics
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New Smaller Garmin Touchscreen and Keyed Chartplotters

Designed for people who don’t have a lot of space at their helms, Garmin just introduced at the Fort Lauderdale show a series of smaller, less expensive touchscreen and keyed chartplotters and combo units. The new models are additions to Garmin’s popular GPSMAP series and are  7- to 12-inch plotters available with or without built-in sonar. The new units are GPSMAP 7×2 and 9×2 touchscreen chartplotters and GPSMAP 10×2 and 12×2 keyed chartplotters. Dan Bartel, Garmin’s VP of worldwide sales, says the new units “are designed for the budget-conscious customer who desires premium features typically found only in a higher-end…

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