Browsing: On Watch

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We Test the New, Prize-Winning Back Cove 34O: A Fast, Fun and Game-Changing Couple’s Cruiser By Peter A. Janssen I nailed it. As I jammed the throttles all the way forward, I realized this isn’t your father’s Back Cove. Actually, it isn’t like any other Back Cove ever, and I’ve driven every new model since Back Cove introduced its first one, a 29, in 2003. Back then, Sabre Yachts created Back Cove as a single-diesel, low-maintenance, user-friendly Down East cruising boat. But now, on this brand-new Back Cove 34O, all that was ancient history. Powered by twin 300-hp Yamaha outboards,…

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Flag Flying Over Frying Pan Shoal Tower During Florence Becomes Popular Symbol of Resilience By Peter A. Janssen Here’s a story about how one tattered American flag, flying over a former Coast Guard lighthouse off the coast of North Carolina, became a symbol of resilience and renewal during storm Florence. The Frying Pan Shoals lighthouse was built in 1854, about 39 miles off Southport and 32 miles from Bald Head Island, at the southern end of the shoals there. So many boats had broken apart on the shoals that the area was named the Graveyard of the Atlantic. On a…

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Newport Show Opens with More Great Looking – and More Powerful – Boats than Ever Before By Peter A. Janssen The Newport show, the first of the fall boat show season, just opened, with more boats than ever before and, to my mind, more great-looking and great-performing boats than ever before. The brand-new Palm Beach 50GT, for example, just launched for the show, is boating eye-candy writ large, with a head-turning sapphire blue hull, low profile, drop-dead gorgeous tumblehome and curves everywhere. The fact that it tops out a 42 knots, driven by twin 600-hp Volvo IPS800s, is just icing…

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From Seattle to Michigan to Florida to the Trent Severn Waterway in Canada: The Favors Find the Advantages of a Trailerable Ranger 29 By Peter A. Janssen When we last visited Jim and Lisa Favors, they had just bought their Ranger Tug 29 in Seattle and were spending a few weeks cruising and getting used to their new boat. Not that they needed an introduction to Ranger or to cruising. They already had cruised extensively on their Ranger 27 (completing the Great Loop, for example), but a year ago they wanted to move up in size and traded up to…

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Newport ’18: First Show of the Season Is Larger than Ever. Plus, Our Reviews of 29 New Cruising Boats You Can See There By Peter A. Janssen The Newport International Boat Show has always been my favorite. It’s the first of the fall show season, so almost all the new boats are there, and then, well, it’s in Newport. Enough said. This year the show, the 48thannual, runs from Thursday, Sept. 13, through Sunday, Sept. 16, with most of the docks and engine and accessories tents at the Newport Yachting Center, but also spilling over to neighboring docks. There’s also…

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Nordhavn Owners, Anxious to Cruise, Hold Their Own Rendezvous in Puget Sound By Peter A. Janssen It’s not news that a lot of boat companies have summer rendezvous for their owners, usually at sought-after resorts or marinas. But it is fairly unusual for owners to organize their own gatherings, just because they love cruising on their boats and want to spend time with like-minded people. That’s exactly what just happened at the first meeting of NAPS, or Nordhavns Around Puget Sound, when 15 sets of Nordhavn owners got together at Port Ludlow Marina, an upscale waterfront resort with 300 slips…

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After Circling the Pacific, the Youngbloods on Mystic Moon Are Back in Alaska, Counting the Bears By Peter A. Janssen John and Kathy Youngblood are closing in on the finish line of their six-year circumnavigation of the Pacific Ocean on their 2004 Selene 53 Mystic Moon. When we first wrote about them in April, they were in Japan; now they’ve made it up to the Aleutian Islands (the picture above shows Mystic Moon in Kiska Island, at the very tip of the Aleutians) and on to Katmai National Park, just across from Kodiak Island. They hope to complete their circle around the…

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Slowboat Flotilla Runs Down West Coast of Vancouver Island, a Quintessential Pacific Northwest Cruise By Peter A. Janssen The Slowboat Flotilla of five cruising boats is now on its third week of running down the west side of Vancouver Island, a quintessential Pacific Northwest cruise in the ocean that isn’t all that popular. Most cruisers in that part of the world take the much more protected Inside Passage, starting on the east side of Vancouver and going up to Alaska. Indeed, the Slowboat people took another flotilla up that way earlier in the summer. The west side of Vancouver is…

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Grieving Mother Orca Carries Dead Baby Around the San Juan Islands for More than Nine Days By Peter A. Janssen A grieving mother orca has been carrying her dead calf through the waters north of Puget Sound and around the San Juan Islands for more than nine days, with her orca family staying close to her, taking turns staying at her side. The calf was the first to be born to the endangered pod of orcas, killer whales, in three years. The death was a setback to the orca population; it numbered 98 in 1995, but it’s down to 75…

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The Maine Boat & Home Show: Great Boats, Artisans, Boatyard Dogs and More By Peter A. Janssen For a totally different kind of boat show, take a look at the Maine Boat & Home Show in Rockland, Maine, from August 10-12. It’s full of Maine-built boats (and boats that are like Maine-built boats), artisans, custom furniture, a small-boat love-in, and its trademark annual Boatyard Dog Trials. It’s more than a boat show; it’s really a state of mind. And it’s fun. Did I mention the live Dixieland band, the food trucks with lobster rolls, and the friendly, welcome-aboard attitude of…

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