Seamanship is the art and science of operating a boat. Seamanship encompasses navigation, radio communications, boat handling, watch-standing, anchoring, docking, engine and equipment maintenance, towing, weather forecasting, search-and-rescue techniques, and more. These skills are attained over time, but there are many books, videos, and courses available to acquaint you fully with the wide range of subjects.
For a quarter of a century, GPS (Global Positioning System) and other GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) have steadfastly provided excellent time and positioning information to mariners of vessels great and small, across oceans and ponds, in all seasons and in all weathers.
We were just a few hours out of London, in the notorious Dover Straits on my first trip to sea at the age of 16, when we collided with another ship in thick fog.
If you have yet to see the video that has been floating around the nautical blogosphere this past week of a Washington State Ferry colliding with a classic trawler, take a few minutes to watch.
It’s a dark and squally night in November 2014. Vestas Wind, one of the boats participating in the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race, is romping along at 16 knots in the Indian Ocean.
Storm drogues and sea anchors can vastly improve your comfort level at sea. Often confused as the same piece of equipment, a speed-limiting storm drogue and a sea anchor serve two very different purposes.
A coastal Florida Rescue highlights several safe practices to use on the water when in the face of an oncoming thunderstorm.
Distant harbors beckon the power cruising boater, but distant harbors take time to reach, which means you may need to use that second set of 12 hours we get each day—you know, the ones in the dark.
We, and I speak for all skippers, have been lectured ad infinitum about how to prepare and what to do when the electronics go zap. But the one thing that seems to be overlooked is weather. When the black boxes literally go black, so does our connection with weather prediction.
Sometimes you end up in less than optimal situations no matter how you try to plan. We had been keeping an eye on Sandy for about a week when we pulled into Portsmouth, Virginia, one of our favorite stops along the ICW.
Not all women are that ambitious, nor do we need to be, but a few boat skills are worth knowing. If you are intimidated, but have the desire to learn, there are several less-than-daunting ways to get started.
“Negative, we don’t run vessels at full throttle around here,” declared the dealership’s captain and lead mechanic, shortly...