The Tried and True of Traditional Tools

Venturing offshore still has its risks: We're caught unaware by the weather. Vessels run aground. Auxiliary power fails. But some things continue to work through it all.  (published March 2015) Nav stations have changed, and they continue to change. We now have more means to gather positioning, performance and weather

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Smoke Signals, Morse Code or …

The boats on which we sail are not the only things that have evolved demonic speeds. Modern offshore communications have developed right along with them.  (published February 2015) With spray flying up to the lower spreaders, we roared down the face of a 50-foot wave, surfing at speeds between 30

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Don’t Blame eCharts for Anything

What the grounding of the Team Vestas Wind boat in the Volvo Ocean Race reminds us about our own navigation  (published January 2015) We have long taught at Starpath School of Navigation that we should never blame echarts for anything that goes wrong. This is a fundamentally important rule that

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Beyond the Ditty Bag

Essential things every sailor should bring along when sailing on someone else's boat  (published December 2014) By now, the contents of a sailor’s ditty bag have been thoroughly discussed in countless articles. Every sailor knows how many hats—and what kind—they should bring, ways to sort and separate wet and dry

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Sailing Smart

Understanding the most important book in navigation  (published November 2014)Recent maritime news brings us back to the Navigation Rules. We tend to think of these Rules as the guideline to preventing collisions between vessels—in fact, the document is a product of the 1972 Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing

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Bicycling While Cruising

Carrying a bike aboard can be extremely useful and nprovide you with additional enjoyment as you cruise  (published October 2014) One of the main joys of cruising, for me at least, is exploring the various places I visit. My absolute favorite way to do this is by bicycle. Nothing puts

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The Major Refit

Time and miles have taken their toll. It's time to manage a refit to all your boat's essential systems.  (published Ocdtober 2014) The miles have slipped beneath the keel, the storms have been endured, and the sunsets have been enjoyed. Periodic routine maintenance has kept your boat up to its

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Rotary Currents

Learn the nuances of these currents to help in your coastal navigation  (published September 2014) Most tidal currents we deal with on inland waters are reversing currents. That is, from slack water the current builds in the ebb direction to a peak value, on average about three hours later, then

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