Essential Offshore Gear

The SSB Radio demystified: Part Two  (published June 2012) Heard the SSB is too complicated to install or learn to use? Think again. Modern SSB radios are no harder to learn than your TV set, and new gear allows them to be installed far easier than before, at lower cost

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Where On Earth Are You?

Tracking devices abound, and they are only improving  (published June 2012) The skipper on Thursday’s Child took a few moments out from dealing with the heavy weather on deck. It was cold. And the Southern Ocean waves were huge—40 feet or higher. More than 2,000 miles from land and singlehanding

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Correcting for Current

(published May 2012) In many inland waters, tidal current flow is a dominating factor in navigation. In special cases like the Gulf Stream, it can also be crucial in the ocean. With a working GPS, it is less of a challenge once underway because we can see directly from our

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Weather Wizardry

Sailing season is the time to be aware, and the place to start is www.weather4sailors.com  (published May 2009) We’ve all seen the headlines and read the stories. Each year, someone is caught unaware by an approaching squall, knocked down in a gale or storm, and hurt—or worse. Last year it

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Essential Offshore Gear

The SSB radio, demystified  (published April 2012) SSB radios are king when it comes to reliable, long-range communications. Above and beyond satellite phones, the SSB gives you the unparalleled ability to communicate to many other listeners simultaneously, requires no service contracts, and provides a wealth of information to you at

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Bermuda and Beyond

Getting from the East Coast to Bermuda can present a road full of potholes  (April 2012) It’s another Bermuda Race year. That, however, is just one of the many reasons that sailors fetch up on those wreck-strewn, reef-surrounded, sandy, and yet still hospitable shores. At times, it can be a

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Know Your Limits!

The invisible lines on the water that affect your rights underway  (published March 2012) Mariners who sail both U.S. inland and coastal waters are required to know one set of boundary limits—the ones that mark the jurisdiction of the U.S. Inland Navigation Rules. These boundaries are called Demarcation Lines; they

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Communication Leadership

(Published March 2012) The forecasts suggested that the hurricane may be closing with our projected track in the next four or five days. But already we were facing the effects of an extra-tropical low-pressure system, and the sustained winds from that less daunting system were projected to get up to

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As Fickle as the Weather

One thing is certain-it's going to change  (published February 2012) It’s a common axiom in many parts of the world—if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes and it’ll change. For sailors, that can be good or bad news. Sorting the good from the bad before the fact

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Ocean Dead Reckoning

If we were guaranteed our GPS would always work, we would not have to do much more for ocean navigation. Unfortunately, we would never know if the GPS was right until the last day of the voyage—and we would be rightfully anxious about that throughout the voyage, because we know

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