Browsing: On Watch

On Watch
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What Better Place?

Memorial Day weekend is the normal start of the boating season for a lot of us, but there’s nothing normal about the season this year. In many parts of the country, people are just starting to emerge from their stay-at-home restrictions, trying to figure out where and how to get back to their normal boating and cruising lives again. In the Miami area, some people had an early start. The boat ramps were filled, and overflowing, when the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted; the pictures were evidence of pent-up demand in action. It is a good time to have a trailer…

Boat Reviews
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Ocean Alexander Launches New 45 Divergence Coupe Cruiser

Ocean Alexander just launched its new 45 Divergence Coupe, an outboard-powered, two-stateroom cruiser with all the comforts of a yacht but with the size, speed and handling of a sportboat. The Coupe, with a fully enclosed, climate-controlled salon and helm deck, is an update of the 45 Divergence that Ocean Alexander introduced at the Miami show in February, 2019. Several high-end builders, including Hinckley and MJM, have introduced outboard-powered boats lately, but Ocean Alexander was the first to move down significantly in doing so. Indeed, Ocean Alexander’s luxury fleet runs from 70 to 155 feet. There was so much interest…

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Maryland Lifts Ban on Recreational Boating

There’s good news in Maryland. You can go boating there again. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan just lifted the state’s boating restrictions, which have been in place for more than a month as part of the fight against COVID-19. They had prohibited recreational boating, except for paddle boards and for people fishing for food. Now, recreational boats, power, sail and PWCs, are permitted in the state’s waters once more. Anglers can fish for the sport of it, and not just for sustenance. The state’s Department of Natural Resources expanded permitted recreational activities to include boating, fishing, golf, tennis and camping. Hiking,…

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92-Foot Yacht Sinks Near Monterey, Coast Guard Rescues Crew

Going Coastal, a 92-foot Paragon Motor Yacht, just sank nine miles south of Monterey, California, despite the Coast Guard’s efforts to keep it afloat. The Coast Guard rescued the two men on board, who were not injured. The Coast Guard reports that the Going Coastal crew made a Mayday call at 11:45 a.m. on Channel 16, saying the yacht, built in Taiwan in 2006, was taking on water about 35 miles south of Monterey. The Coast Guard dispatched a 45-foot response boat from Monterey and a Dolphin helicopter from San Francisco to help in the rescue. The Going Coastal crew…

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Restored Nantucket Lightship for Sale: Asking $4,950,000

Looking for a new liveaboard? Or perhaps a sturdy, long-range cruiser with a storied past? Then consider the Nantucket Lightship, a floating lighthouse now docked on Boston’s Commercial Wharf. It has a steel hull, six elegant staterooms, a 3,500-nm range, a crow’s nest, and a double Fresnel lens on its foremast. And it’s for sale for $4,950,000. The 128-foot lightship, WLV-612, was built for the Coast Guard by Curtis Bay in Maryland and launched in 1950. It cost about $500,000 then. The vessel served outside the Golden Gate as the San Francisco lightship and then as the lightship for Portland,…

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New Closings on the Erie Canal?

This isn’t good news for anyone planning on cruising the Great Loop or the inland portions of the Northeast this summer. Now, on top of all the problems with closings and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it turns out that the Erie Canal might not open on time. The Canal, a historic 363-mile stretch from Albany, on the Hudson, to Buffalo, on Lake Erie, may not open as scheduled on May 15 because of delayed maintenance and repair work on seven locks there, starting with Lockport, at the western end of the canal, and running east. An eighth canal…

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Jock Williams, 80, Completes Down East Loop in His Stanley 36

Last summer, when he was 80 years old, Jock Williams completed the 2,700-nm Down East Loop in a Stanley 36, a boat that he built in his own yard in Maine. Now, Williams says he’s ready to go cruising again, although he’ll have to wait for the coronavirus pandemic to end. Williams, who owns the John Williams Boat Company on Somes Sound on Mt. Desert Island, is no stranger to cruising. (He’s on the right in the picture above, with Reg Elwell, a cruising companion.) Williams grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, joined the Navy after graduating from Colby College, worked…

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New Cruising Grounds: Home. Here’s How To Enjoy It

Many of us are locked down at home, trying to make it through the seemingly endless coronavirus pandemic. We miss the water, we miss our boats, we miss going places. But there are things we can do to ease the pain. In fact, some of them are fun, and you might even want to keep doing them once we get back to the days when we have a choice in where we can go, what we can do. And those days will return. First, you can dream a bit. The Moorings is here to help you with that (see the…

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Cruising Update: New Orders in Florida, Delaware, Washington and More

The stark, red-letter quarantine warning pictured above is a sign of the times. And the times are getting scary. In Newport, Rhode Island, the harbormaster is ordering all vessels arriving from out of state to self-quarantine for 14 days. The governor of Florida just issued stay-at-home orders for 30 days. The governor of Maryland basically prohibited recreational boating there. Washington state closed all recreational fishing and closed the parks. Many marinas in Washington are closed to transients; most fuel docks are still open because they’re considered essential to commercial activity. The U.S.-Canada border is closed for recreational boats. Across the…

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How To Stay Sane in a Time of Crisis

For those of us who love to go cruising, these are trying times. We’re all heading into uncharted waters here, roiled by confusion and often competing narratives, and we don’t know how long this will last or how it will end. Many of us live in areas where we have been urged, or ordered, to stay in place, or at the very least to practice social distancing. Now, it seems to me that cruising people are unusually independent people, self-sufficient and capable on the water; we can take care of ourselves, our crew, and our vessels. On land, however, it’s…

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