Browsing: On Watch

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Florida Couple “Enjoyed Every Second of Every Day” on Great Loop. Plan To Do It Again

Steve and Jane McKinney just completed the Great Loop in Sabbatical, their 1988 Albin 36, crossing their wake just north of red day beacon 74 in Charlotte Harbor in Florida. The trip took 369 days and lasted for 6,845 miles, and they had such a good time they’re going to do it again. “We enjoyed every second of every day,” Jane told me. The McKinneys are not life-long cruisers. Indeed, they didn’t start thinking about the Loop until two years ago. They’d been married for 33 years and have four grown children, and they were approaching a time in life…

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Virginia Couple Cruises Puget Sound on Their Brand-New Ranger Tugs 29

Before last summer, Jackie and Mike Quinn did most of their boating near home in Hampton, Virginia. They live in an inlet there, and they’d take day cruises on the James River or the lower Chesapeake on their 24-foot Crownline. But last August they expanded their cruising area, by about 2,900 miles. They spent five days cruising Puget Sound in Washington State on their brand-new, red-hulled Ranger Tugs R-29 CB, as part of Ranger’s Pacific Northwest Factory Delivery Experience.  They loved it. “We had a great factory delivery experience and continue to have an awesome post-delivery experience,” they told me…

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Miami Recap: More Energy, More Enthusiasm, More Innovation

It’s easy to sum up the just-ended Miami boat shows with one word: Energy. There was so much going on, between the boat show on Virginia Key and the yacht show downtown, that the energy was almost palpable. The logistics of traveling between the shows was not easy, but once you arrived there were new boat intros just about everywhere, new hull shapes (foils, anyone?), boats with seven outboards (yours only has two?), boats with hybrid power to keep your cruising quiet, green and potentially unlimited, and  boats with artificial intelligence that prevents you from running into the dock (you…

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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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