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Report from Miami: More Power, More Smart Boats

The big Miami shows just opened with a new emphasis on high-tech, artificial intelligence and power and more power. Mercury introduced a brand new 400-hp outboard, it’s most powerful yet for recreational use, while Volvo teamed up with Tiara to launch a new outboard version of its revolutionary IPS pod drives for inboards (see the picture at top), and Raymarine showed off its artificial intelligence assisted docking system that I just tested – and I’m still smiling. To celebrate Mercury’s 80th anniversary, Mercury President John Pfeifer unveiled the new 400-hp Verado, which he said was an upgrade from the 350-hp Verado,…

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Miami Shows Open Soon: Here Are Some New Boats, and New Trends, To See There

With the huge Miami boat shows rapidly approaching, they start on Feb. 14, I’ve put three brand-new cruising boats, and two brand-new artificial intelligence docking systems, at the top of my must-see list. The three boats are all quite different from each other, but each one in its own way illustrates particular trends that spill over to many of the other 2,000 boats on display in Miami. (There are actually two separate shows going on at the same time in Miami. One is on Virginia Key, and the other has one location downtown between the MacArthur Causeway and the Venetian…

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How Warmer Water in the Gulf of Maine is Affecting Lobstermen, for Better and for Worse

Here’s a dramatic video-story from The Washington Post about how the warming waters in the Gulf of Maine are changing people’s lives and disrupting economies there, for better or worse. The Continental U.S. is 1.8 degrees F warmer now than it was a century ago; seas on the coasts are nine inches higher. Water in the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than water in 99 percent of the world’s oceans, changing patterns of marine life, particularly for lobster fisheries, and upsetting a way of life that many families enjoyed for generations. “There’s no doubt things are changing,” one lobsterman…

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After Two Years, The Goldbergs Cross the Pacific on Their Nordhavn 50

Two years after they left Mexico, Ron and Nancy Goldberg just completed their Pacific crossing, arriving in Bundaberg, Australia, on their Nordhavn 50 Duet just ahead of a nasty front. The last leg took them 745 nm from Fiji to New Caledonia, where they waited 60 hours for a weather window, and then another 813 nm to Bundaberg. “Conditions slowly worsened toward the end of the journey,” Nancy wrote on their blog, mvduet.com, with 20-knot headwinds for the last day. “Duet just soldiered on, with spray flying over the top of the pilothouse.” The Goldbergs spent a few days in Bundaberg, restocking…

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Miami Boat and Yacht Shows Preview (Say Goodbye to Miami Beach), Plus 39 Reviews of New Cruising Boats

The big news about the big Miami boat shows next month is that the Miami Yacht Show, which had been up on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach for the past 30 years, is moving to downtown Miami. The traffic problems on Collins, and the show’s distance from the large Miami International Boat Show down on Virginia Key, were just too much. This year the yacht show will open at its new location on Biscayne Bay, at One Herald Plaza, between the MacArthur and Venetian Causeways, with a brand new look and layout; it also will be at the Sea Isle…

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Brian Calvert’s Busy Year: A Marriage, A Charter Business, and Cruising in the Philippines

Brian Calvert, surely one of the most experienced powerboat cruisers around, just wrote his Nine Year Report from his Selene 48 Further in the Philippines. It was a busy year on many fronts. He married his long-time first mate, Donna, (see picture above) in a local ceremony with 124 guests. They had a “soft start” to their charter business. And they decided to make their base in Coron, a diving mecca in Palawan in the center of the Philippines.  “Coron, he wrote on furtheradventures.com/blog, “is simply my favorite place on earth – or at least the half I’ve seen.” A…

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Coast Guard Families “Are Freaking Out” in Shutdown. “Bankruptcy Is a Last Option.”

The government shutdown is hitting the Coast Guard hard. In a week when the Coast Guard started its ice-breaking patrols on the Great Lakes, the 41,000 members of the Coast Guard are wondering whether they’ll get their next paycheck, scheduled for Jan. 15. Right now they’re working without pay. And they and their families are not happy. In Washington, the Coast Guard posted a five-page tipsheet on its website called “managing your finances during a furlough.” It suggested tutoring, “turning your hobby into income,” babysitting and holding garage sales. “Bankruptcy is a last option,” it said. The Coast Guard removed…

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Veteran “Commuter Cruisers” Jan and David Irons Complete the Great Loop

By Peter A. Janssen Back in 2004, Jan and David Irons left Annapolis and headed south on their Passport 37 sloop. Over the next dozen years or so, they made it as far as Cartagena, Colombia, and back. Along the way, the Irons discovered that cruising year-round wouldn’t work for them. So they developed a schedule of “commuter cruising,” leaving the boat somewhere safe, coming back home for six months of normal family life and then returning for six more months of blue-water cruising. They even started a website, www.commutercruising.com. Somewhere along the way they also dreamed of doing the…

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Experienced Cruisers Want To Explore Even More of Remote Alaska on their Nordhavn 52

Josh and Natasha Tofield know a good thing when they see it, both in terms of boats and in terms of destinations. They now own their second Nordhavn, a 52 named Samba, which they praise for its build and its seaworthiness, and they’re spending their cruising time in the far reaches of Alaska, in Kodiak, and even farther out, in Dutch Harbor. Indeed, since they bought their first Nordhavn, a 40, in 2005, they’ve cruised more than 30,000 miles between Seattle and Kodiak, spending time at some 450 different anchorages. The Tofields, retired from the practice of plastic surgery, live…

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Bertram Continues Its Comeback with a Beautiful New 50 Express

By Peter A. Janssen It looks like Bertram has hit a home run with renderings of a beautiful new 50 Express, scheduled to be launched next spring. The 50, the company’s first express in many years, comes as Bertram is enjoying a remarkable turnaround under new leadership and a new plant. Indeed, the 50 will come on the heels of the successful launch of a new 61 in 2017 and the introduction of a new 35, meant to be a modern interpretation of the iconic Bertram 31, in 2016. Bertram once was one of the most celebrated brands in offshore…

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