Browsing: On Watch

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New SmartMooring Brings Your Boat to You. See Video

Here’s a new idea that was just introduced at the Annapolis Powerboat Show: The SmartMooring, an app-controlled device that travels along an underwater chain and brings your boat to you. Forget the dinghy. Just stand on a dock, press a button on your smartphone and SmartMooring will deliver your boat. At the end of the day, when you’re back at your deep-water mooring, press the button again and SmartMooring will carry you back to shore. (You can see how it works in the video, below.) Tom Derecktor, an engineer and member of the Derecktor Shipyard family, developed the SmartMooring after…

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Liveaboard Owner Saves His Two Bulldogs from Burning Boat

Mike Babbitt, a retired police detective, saved his two bulldogs after his motoryacht caught fire when he was moving it to the fuel dock at the Bremerton (Washington) Yacht Club. His fast thinking saved the dogs, Pearl, who weighs 60 pounds, and Hootie, who weighs 70; it also saved other boats from becoming involved in the fire themselves. About 3 on a recent calm afternoon, Babbitt, who lived aboard his yacht Doctor’s Orders with his wife Jamie, took it out of its slip to get some fuel. Then he saw flames coming from the engine room. Babbitt maneuvered the boat away…

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Boaters Provide Lifeline to Hard-Hit Bahamas

In a truly inspiring display of caring for their fellow human beings, friends and strangers alike, hundreds of boat owners have rallied to provide aid to people in the Bahamas whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Dorian a month ago. The storm’s historic winds, with sustained speeds of 185 mph, destroyed entire towns and villages in the Abacos, leaving 15,000 people homeless. Marsh Harbour was particularly hard hit. “It was pure hell,” one survivor said. Others said they survived by tying themselves to trees. As of this week, 600 people are still missing and 56 have died. Hubert Minnis, the…

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Fabio Buzzi Dies in 80-Knot Crash in Venice

We usually write about powerboat cruising, not powerboat racing, but we want to note the tragic death of Fabio Buzzi, a legend in the performance boating world, because of a very personal connection. I drove a Fountain 47 catamaran with Buzzi almost 20 years ago in North Carolina to a speed of 162 mph, the fastest in the world at the time. Buzzi, 76 and a ten-time world powerboat champion, died this week when he was trying to beat his own record racing from Monaco to Venice. At the very end of the race, at night, he hit an artificial…

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Bahamas Fisherman Loses Everything in Dorian – Even His Wife

As Hurricane Dorian regains strength and heads up the North Carolina coast, possibly making landfall off Cape Hatteras, it’s easy to lose track of the human suffering that the historic storm has already inflicted in the Bahamas, where 20 people were killed and 70,000 face a humanitarian disaster with shortages of fresh water, food and medical supplies. But here’s a heart-wrenching story from CNN that brings the real cost home. It’s about a Bahamian fisherman who lost everything in the storm – including his wife: CNN) – A Hurricane Dorian survivor is giving a dramatic account of what happened after…

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Newport Show Starts Sept. 12 with 340 New Boats

The Newport International Boat Show, the first show of the season in the Northeast, opens on Thursday, Sept. 12, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 15. This show has always been one of my favorites, because almost all of the new boats are there, and then, well, it’s in Newport, one of the most historic and iconic boating destinations in the United States. The show this year, the 49th annual, will have 340 new sail and power boats from 15 to 90 feet, centered around the Newport Yachting Center in the middle of town, plus tents and land displays for engines, electronics…

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Coast Guard Ending Massive Search for Two Missing Firefighters

The Coast Guard is ending a massive search for two firefighters who have been missing since they left Cape Canaveral last Friday morning for a short fishing trip. The two men were last seen launching their 24-foot Robalo center console on a boat ramp near Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral on Friday morning (see the surveillance photo above). Their families alerted the Coast Guard about 8 p.m. Friday when the men had not returned or responded to cell phone calls. The search started in Northern Florida and during the week expanded all the way up to the Outer Banks of…

Cruising Life
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Yacht Crashes While Captain and Mate Have Sex on Bow

I’ve never seen a story like this before, as reported in Australia’s Daily Mail. According to court documents there, the captain of a charter yacht, Crystal Blue, and a deck hand were having sex on the bow while the boat crashed into a nav beacon and another yacht on the northern part of the Gold Coast. The accident, in March, 2018, caused $140,000 damage to the Crystal Blue. The deck hand, Cheya Handley, said she had been drinking beer and vodka with the captain, Jeremy Kane Piggott. They were bringing the boat back home from a charter up the Brisbane…

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Bizarre Trial: Son Fixes Boat, It Sinks, Mother Is Lost

On September, 15, 2016, Nathan Carman left Ram Point Marina in South Kingston, Rhode Island, on Chicken Pox, his 45-years-old, 31-foot aluminum boat for an offshore tuna fishing trip with his mother, Linda Carman, 54, from Middletown, Connecticut. That was the last time anyone saw either the boat or Linda Carman. Eight days later, Carman, then 23 years old and floating alone on an inflatable raft, was rescued about 100 miles off the Massachusetts coast by a passing freighter (see picture, above). He said the Chicken Pox started taking on water and sank. In the confusion, he swam for the raft and…

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Grumpy Completes Great Loop, with Some Lessons for Us All

Mission accomplished. John Hauck, 80, a retired Army special forces major and helicopter pilot, just finished the Great Loop, arriving back home in Demopolis, Alabama, 110 days and 6,303 miles after he left. He put 416 hours on the twin 150-hp Mercury outboards that drove Grumpy, his RF-246 Rosborough, and said they “performed flawlessly.” Hauck did the Loop solo, except for 21 days when a lady friend joined him, from the Erie Canal to Ludington, Michigan, on Lake Michigan. He says if he does the Loop again, it would be nice to have company onboard. Hauck’s journey was a major…

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