September 2012

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August 2012

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The Birth of Grand Banks

Marketing departments love legend. What better way to instill a sense of value in a product than a story of an inspired young person studying naval architecture in the evenings while apprenticing with a master shipwright during the work days? Of course, after 15, 20, or 30 years of perfecting his or her knowledge and…

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Where are all the Boats?

The San Juans are better in the off-season. They’re quieter and more colorful. The weather is more interesting—rain one moment, sun breaks the next, occasionally windy but often calm. The Cascades and Olympics, capped with snow, are even more dramatic than in summer. And there’s nobody around. I returned yesterday from four nights in the…

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A Few Favorite Weather Sites

I’m a weather geek. Rather than reality TV, I look up the weather and imagine what is going on in some of my favorite areas like the Strait of Georgia, Cape Caution or Dixon Entrance. I love to look at NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center – Pacific Region for the Current, 24 hour, 48 hour, and 96…

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Living Aboard: Two Years In

“Any regrets?” read the title of the post on TrawlerForum.com. The post followed: A couple was retiring, thinking about selling everything, buying a boat, and moving aboard. I thought for a few minutes, then responded. “No, no regrets…” Just over two years ago, on Halloween 2013, the purchase of my Nordic Tug 37 closed and…

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Inside Passage Weather Part 3: Developing the Long Term Outlook

This is part three of a three article series on understanding marine weather reports for a safe and comfortable cruising. Part 1 covered how to understand weather reports delivered via VHF radio and telephone. Part Two covered how to interpret the weather information available online. Part 3 covers how to understand the 4-6 day weather outlook…

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Testing the New Electrical System

One of the biggest winter projects this year is redesigning the electrical system. When I bought this boat, it had a bank of four golf cart batteries for the inverter and a bank of two 4D batteries for house loads AND engine starting. Needless to say, I was uncomfortable having a combined house and starting…

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Mark Reports: Annapolis Sail and Powerboat Shows

So what is going on in boating on the East Coast of the US? I went to the Annapolis Boat Shows to find out. The Annapolis Boat Show is really two shows. The first show is the United States Sailboat Show, with over 165 sailboats in the water. This year there were more large catamarans…

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That Sinking Feeling: Exploring the Depths of Puget Sound

“Would you be interested in joining the OceanGate team on a training dive to 250 feet off Everett, in our five person submersible, the Antipodes?” the email read. My calendar was clear for the day. There was only one possible answer: YES! After filling out a few liability waiver forms—basically signing my life away—I was…

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Don’t Approach the Dock Faster than You’re Willing to Hit It

“Don’t approach the dock faster than you’re willing to hit it.” I’ve heard this wisdom dozens of times. A shift or throttle cable might break, an engine could stall, a bow thruster might not work. Like all boaters, I’ve hit the dock a few times. But until yesterday, it was always my error. I misjudged, used too…

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