Boat Cleaning Products Shouldn’t Break the Bank

A walk down the aisles of any marine store will present a boater with more chemicals for cleaning, protecting and lubricating than one could ever imagine. Many of these products work well, and many are as worthless as snake oil with their exaggerated claims. It is also probably not a coincidence that cleaning and maintenance Read More

Spare Parts to Keep You Afloat

If you’re MacGyver, all you need to keep your boat running is a Swiss Army Knife, some wire and duct tape, but lacking that resourcefulness, it is best to keep a good set of spare parts aboard the boat. Like so many things in boating, how a boat will be used drives many of the Read More

How to Select the Right Boatyard

You’ve had a great first season with your new boat! You cruised to wonderful destinations, met fabulous boating friends and managed to find deep water … most of the time. Now you need to start thinking about boatyards, but how do you choose one? Going into a boatyard is not like dropping your car off at Read More

What’s In Your Boating Toolbox?

The success of a project aboard your boat depends on a combination of understanding the systems and working with the right boating tools. So a good place to begin our first “Smart Boater” column will be in the boating toolbox. Having the right tools aboard could mean the difference between going boating or staying tied Read More

How Cruisers Stay on Course – Knowledge is Power

Wowie! What a blast we just had cruising the Tennessee River! Spectacular fall colors, wide-open waters and a 90-foot lock to keep a little challenge in our spirit. When the GPS hiccuped, we traced our route on the paper charts close at hand. Our next adventure has us zooming out into the Atlantic from Charleston Read More

Top Tips for Connecting Your Apple Device to Wi-Fi

Okay, imagine this: You’ve just pulled into a marina after a long day on the water, and because the last marina’s Wi-Fi was nonexistent, you have emails that have been waiting two days to send. Now you’re tied up and powered up, you reach for that well-deserved refreshing beverage and your iPad, you sit back, Read More

State Tax Laws for Boaters

For many of us our boats represent a sense of adventure hard to duplicate elsewhere in our lives. We purchased them with dreams of cruising to distant harbors and exploring waters far from home. Or many have purchased their boats to become their homes, freeing themselves of a permanent address. So what happens to the dream of cruising when you receive a letter from Read More

Recreational Boating Around Commercial Vessels

Imagine being out on the water with family and friends and having a scary encounter with a large ship or tugboat. Not only can this ruin your day, it can severely compromise the confidence of your crew. As a ship pilot on the Chesapeake Bay for 41 years, I have had numerous close encounters with recreational boat traffic. Most of Read More

Docking with Confidence

If you’ve ever sipped a beverage while sitting in a waterside restaurant then you’ve probably witnessed some awesome docking … sometimes in a can’t-look-away-from-the-wreck awesome. To avoid being the star of a Youtube video you will want to use these docking tricks and tips, many of which only require a bit of practice. Docking Neophytes As with Read More