Browsing: On Watch

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Boat Sinks in Marlin Tournament. See Rescue Video

The 48th annual White Marlin Open, the world’s largest billfish tournament, started on Monday morning in Ocean City, Maryland, with 421 boats competing for a record $9 million in prize money. At 10:30, Knot Stressin’, a 34-foot Pursuit and one of the competitors, sent out a Mayday call saying its engine room was flooding and all six men on board were abandoning ship. It was about 60 miles offshore. The Coast Guard heard the call and sent out an 87-foot patrol boat and a 47-foot lifeboat. But Bill Chapman, the captain of Fishbone, a 65-foot fishing boat that also was…

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John Hauck, 82, Completes Great Loop Again, Alone

John Hauck, 82, just completed the Great Loop, again, by himself. Hauck finished the Loop, crossing his wake, 132 days after he left Demopolis, Alabama, on his Rosborough RF-246 named Grumpy. For Hauck, the second Loop came almost two years after he completed it the first time, on Aug. 2, 2019, after he had cruised 6,303 miles in 110 days. He spent most of the time by himself on that trip, although a lady friend joined him for a short spell. A retired Army special forces major who flew Cobra helicopter gunships for the 101st Airborne in the Vietnam war, Hauck…

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New Vesper Cortex Smart VHF; Touchscreen AIS

The new Vesper Cortex smart VHF is much more than just one more marine radio. It’s the first with high-speed AIS transponder technology, making your boat visible to others, and it’s also a major safety device, alerting you to potential collisions, providing an anchor watch, and giving you the security of a sophisticated man-overboard system. A New Zealand company, Vesper Marine developed the Cortex with wireless touchscreen handsets working with a mounted NMEA 2000-enabled mounted hub; it can work with up to ten tethered or portable rechargeable handsets, so you and your crew can use them from anywhere on the…

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Cruising 15,000 Miles on an Aquila Power Cat

April and Larry Smith, and their one-eyed dog Abby, don’t know how to quit. They completed the Great Loop in 2017 on a 52-foot Hatteras motoryacht; they completed it again in 2019 on their then-new 44-foot Aquila power cat. And they’re still going strong; in fact, earlier this week they were working their way up the East Coast, stopping in Ocracoke to explore the Outer Banks. Along the way, the Smiths have become well-known for their travels, as well as for Abby. They named their boat One Eye Dog, which helps make friends. They have electric bikes for exploring towns…

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Wally the Walrus Just Wants To Rest

He probably didn’t start out wanting to be a bother, or an international media star. Most likely, Wally the Walrus was looking for a place to rest. But when Wally, who’s about 10 feet long and weighs a ton, started climbing on boats in the U.K., France and Spain, he got some attention. In the past few weeks, he’s been trying to climb on so many boats in the Scilly Isles off the UK that local officials built him a soft float for him to sleep on, while urging boat owners to “gently deflect” his presence with an oar or…

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Lobster Boat Races Return to Maine

The popular lobster boat races are underway again Maine this summer, after some of them were cancelled last year because of the pandemic. So far, the fastest lobster boat, winning races in Boothbay and Rockland, is Blue Eyed Girl; it was clocked at 51 mph, which is a bit faster than it travels on its everyday working life picking up lobster pots in Southport, just west of Boothbay Harbor. Blue Eyed Girl is a Northern Bay 38 with a 900-hp Scania V8 owned by Andrew Taylor (pictured below), who makes his living as a Maine lobsterman. In his spare time,…

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Just Hope You’ll Never Need This

Safehaven Marine just held the rough-water sea trials off the entrance to Cork Harbour in Ireland for its new 41-foot Barracuda Search and Rescue vessel. The Safehaven 12.5 Barracuda is fully self-righting; it can recover and keep going even if it capsizes, and it’s made to handle all weather conditions anywhere in the world. Safehaven has sold some to the U.S. government. The 12.5 Barracuda has a deep-V hull, with a 24-degree deadrise at the transom, for performance in heavy seas. Power comes from twin 650-hp Cats working with two-speed ZF gearboxes and France Helices surface drives. Top speed is…

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New Picture from Terrifying Boat Crash in Oregon

Around the world, more than seven million people (including readers of Cruising Odyssey) watched the terrifying video showing a larger powerboat bearing down on three fishermen in a small boat near the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon on Aug. 12, 2017. In the video, the owner of the fishing boat, Chris McMahon, waves his arms and yells, “Hey, Hey, HEY,” as the larger boat, a 31-foot Bayliner Trophy, gets closer and closer. The video (below) shows one angler, Roni Durham, jump into the water. McMahon also dove in just before the Bayliner climbed up the transom of his…

Boat Reviews
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Nimbus 40: Much More Than a Fast Commuter

More than 20 years ago, I often commuted to work in midtown New York from Norwalk Cove Marina in Connecticut on a variety of boats, depending on which one my magazine was testing for the summer. I remember a Sea Ray, a Formula, a Fountain, a Donzi, a Phoenix and a Pursuit at different times. (There was no way I could commute back and forth in the same day on my own Grand Banks with its 8-knot top speed.) But those commutes, morning and evening, going down Long Island Sound, the East River past the U.N., around the tip of…

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Epic Delivery: Welland Canal to Quebec City

Scott Akerman, our Cruising Odyssey partner, ad director and a professional captain, is on an epic delivery of a 2018 Coastal Craft Concord 65 named Indigo from Midland, on Georgian Bay in Canada, to DiMillo’s Yacht Sales in Portland, Maine, with Captain Eli Bliss. Here’s his latest report on their journey from the end of the Welland Canal that connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario down to Montreal and then Quebec City (see picture above).  From the end of the Welland Canal, we crossed Lake Ontario to the St. Lawrence River and then past the Thousand Islands. Some of the…

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