Browsing: On Watch

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Carlo Riva: The Engineer Who Created an Icon Ten years ago, my wife and I were cruising along the western shore of Lake Como, not far from the Villa d’Este, looking for George Clooney’s waterfront estate. She was hoping to see Clooney; I wanted to see his Riva. As it happened, we both struck out. But as the day wore on I was able to satisfy my Riva quota; there are more than a few Rivas running around on Lake Como. Actually, they’ve been built nearby in the little town of Sarnico, on Lake Iseo, since 1842. The great-grandson of…

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The Manatees, and the Manatee Zones, Are Here to Stay There’s good news for the manatees, Florida’s official marine mammal. They are no longer an “endangered” species; instead, they’ve been downgraded to just “threatened.” The U.S. Interior Department, which is in charge of such things, announced the change just after Manatee Appreciation Day. (Who knew? It’s March 29, in case you want to celebrate next year.) Manatees, which can live 60 years or so, have been around for the past 45 million years. They move slowly, spending most of their time eating seagrass or sleeping, although they can swim four or…

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Report from Palm Beach: “The Best of the Season.” Traditionally, the Palm Beach boat show is a buyer’s show; a lot of people, so the thinking goes, look at the Miami shows, but then a month later they actually buy in Palm Beach. The Palm Beach show, which just ended, certainly had a lot of the major cruising boats that had already been displayed in Miami, but it also had some new ones, including the Vicem 46IPS from Turkey and the Minorca 34 from Spain, while the new Sabre 45 (from Maine, of course) was undergoing sea trials just up…

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Now You Can Buy a Certified Pre-Owned Hinckley Hinckleys are certainly among the most beautiful yachts on the planet and, with their patented JetStick controls, among the most fun to drive. Most people would like to think about owning one. (I know I fit in that category, ever since I tested Dasher, hull number one of the Picnic Boat, in Southwest Harbor, Maine, back in 1994.) The basic problem, of course, is that they’re also expensive. The obvious solution: Buy a used one. But then, even with a good survey, do you really know what you’re getting? Now Hinckley has an answer…

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Solarwave 64: The Fossil-Free Future of Long-Range Cruising? Is this the new look of long-distance cruising? The new Solarwave 64 catamaran, with 42 solar panels on the hardtop, claims it can have virtually unlimited range at about 6 knots under solar power alone. Hybrid versions, powered by twin 220-hp Volvo diesels, can reach speeds of 20 knots. A Swiss company, Solarwave makes a 54-, 64- and 74-foot version of its new cat. They’re all designed for long-range cruising under solar power. They’re built in Turkey, by NEDSHIP, which has launched 350 yachts since it was funded in 1985, and all…

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Chris Bertish Crosses Atlantic on SUP, Solo, in 93 Days Whatever you do, don’t bet against Chris Bertish, a 42-year-old South African with a will-power that just won’t quit.  After all, what are the odds that anyone, even someone with several world records, will paddle a 20-foot-long SUP across the Atlantic Ocean, from Morocco to Antigua, all by himself and without any assistance. But that’s what Bertish just did, covering 4,050 miles in 93 days, starting in Agadir, Morocco, and ending up in English Harbour, Antigua. Along the way, Bertish figured he took 2,008,800 strokes (but who’s counting). “It took…

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The Growing Value of Experience I was listening to my car radio this afternoon and I heard a report from Peter Greenberg, the travel editor for CBS News. We used to work together at Newsweek many moons ago, so I paid attention. Greenberg was talking about millennials, and how their values are changing some markets. Many millennials are not buying cars any more, he said, because they don’t want to own something they don’t use that much, particularly when they can pick up a smart phone and use Uber or Lyft or Zipcar when they need to get somewhere. They…

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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…

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Report from Miami: A Great Opening Day Jeff Druek, the president of Outer Reef Yachts, didn’t make it to the opening day of the Miami boat show this year, although a lot of other people did. The problem was that Druek was just returning from going around Cape Horn on one of his boats, Argo, an 88-footer; he did make it for the second day, however. The mood on the opening day of the three Miami Shows was decidedly upbeat and optimistic. Down on Virginia Key, home of the Miami International Boat Show, George Armendariz, CEO of Beneteau of the…

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Countdown to Miami I can’t say, or more accurately, I don’t want to say, how many Miami boat shows I’ve been to over the years. Let’s just say, a lot. I do remember vividly the first one; it opened my eyes, and blew my mind. I know it started with dinner with the president of Hatteras and moved on to boat tests in Government Cut and raft-ups in Stiltsville. I previously had been a writer and editor at Time and Newsweek, sitting in corporate offices in New York. Now I was the editor of a boating magazine, taking off on boats,…

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