By Michael Guelker-ConeMost of us have a bucket list of things we want to accomplish or places we want to go before heading off to that great marina in the sky. My list of places to visit has expanded along with my experience and the confidence that came with it. Many places on my list are close to home, including Washington’s Swinomish Channel. I kept putting it off because of the horror stories I’d heard of boaters running aground in the channel. In Seamanship and Piloting, I’d been warned that it wasn’t a matter of whether you’d ever run aground but when.
By Emmarie RabyThe crossing from Grand Portage, Minnesota, to Windigo at Isle Royale National Park takes you over 24 miles of open water. Because you can’t see land, you have to navigate using charts and set courses on the GPS. It’s fairly difficult to stay in a straight line with lots of waves and wind pushing you in different directions.
By Yvonne Hill with photos by Art DoddEach year, we recognize the top educators in United States Power Squadrons, America’s Boating Club, with the Charles F. Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching. These volunteer instructors have devoted themselves to teaching boating and boater safety courses to prepare our members to become the best trained, most prepared boaters on the water.
Members submitted and voted on their favorite boating photos
Via an online poll, USPS members voted for their favorite photo in The Ensign’s Spring 2019 Photo Contest, in which we invited photographers to submit their best boating photos.
By Rafael BelliardWhen my first mate Linda, the perennial travel opportunities researcher, found the perfect way to round the cape, we decided to make it happen. We would take the trip with back-to-back cruises from Miami, Florida, to Valparaiso, Chile, and on to Buenos Aires, Argentina, which included the much sought-after “rounding of the Horn.”
By Al Meyer
The beginningI launched my previous boat, Wee Lass, a Penobscot 14 designed by Arch Davis, in 2004 and had lots of fun with it. In 2008, Hurricane Ike damaged the boat, but I repaired it and got it back in the water.
The boat developed a slow leak where the centerboard case joins the hull. Over time, it became more and more of a nuisance. When I noticed discoloration on some of the hull planks, I decided to start building a replacement.
By Tim Akpinar with Erol AkpinarFrom their childhood, people might remember the enchanted tale of “The Reluctant Dragon.” Its author, Kenneth Grahame, is probably better known in boating circles for this quotation from “The Wind in the Willows”: “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
As readers can appreciate, much of that “messing around” involves contracts being entered into for the hauling, storage, mooring and repair of those boats. In many instances, people don’t always realize a contract has been created because such deals are often consummated casually with nothing more than a handshake or nod.
By Dick SorensenOn a cloudless Ohio winter day, Dr. Ralph Newman of Columbus Sail & Power Squadron/29 led 20-plus Ohio State University Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps midshipmen out into the bright sunshine. The rest of the squadron’s Navigation instructors joined them to teach the basics of a noonday sight. As students raised their sextants to take their first reading, my mind flashed back to how this came about.
I had read in a recent issue of The Ensign that the United States Naval Academy was reintroducing the study of Celestial Navigation to the midshipman curriculum. My initial reaction
By Rafael BelliardGoing around South America’s Cape Horn has always been fraught with awe and understandable concerns about ships wrecked by rough seas, icebergs, huge waves, and strong currents. As avid cruising sailors and travelers, Linda and I had always dreamed of visiting South America and rounding Cape Horn.
When Linda, the perennial travel opportunities researcher, found the perfect way to round the cape, we decided to make it happen. We would take the trip within the sybaritic comforts of a cruise ship on back-to-back cruises from Miami, Florida, to Valparaiso, Chile, and on to Buenos Aires, Argentina, which included the much sought-after “rounding of the Horn.”Read More
By Tim Akpinar
Wear and tear can be a tricky legal issue when it comes to examining damages to a boat. It’s not so much the general concept of wear and tear that’s confusing. The notion of a boat and its machinery being worn away with use is straightforward enough. Inside an engine, piston rings wear away as they slide up and down cylinder walls. Below the waterline, propeller blades rotating at high speed wear away as a result of cavitation. Boat owners accept this basic premise.
The tricky part comes when wear and tear arises in the realm of insurance claims. Here, the concept is sometimes used as a legal defense in denying property loss claims. Here’s an example. Let’s say a boat sinks. The owner is likely to view the sinking as a single catastrophic event, which appears to be a covered loss in an insurance policy. It could seem like an open-and-shut case.
By Randy White
I recently returned from sailing my new boat from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, to Marmaris, Turkey, a voyage of 1,453 nautical miles through 27 waypoints. We ended up sailing through a major storm, and I want to share the choices we made that led to that experience as well as the lessons we learned.
By Dan Fannon
F or quite some time, I’d wanted to build a boat. But what kind of boat? Would it float when it was done? Would it look more like a workbench, or would it have graceful lines?
My wife, Melissa, and I had many questions. In search of answers, we went to an annual gathering of boatbuilders in Guild, Tennessee, at Nickajack Lake on the Tennessee River, where we could talk with people who had built their own boats.