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Facing Disaster Head On

Illustration by Richard ClarkWhen it comes to dealing with emergencies at sea, clear thinking and calm nerves often mean the difference between life and death. Seasoned boater Michael Ayres proved that point during an ill-fated trip in November—and saved two lives in the process.

Show Stoppers: Five Ways to Screw Up Boat-Show Success

If you’re headed to Miami this week to buy a boat, you know everybody and their brother has plenty of advice on how to spend your hard-earned money. We say: Why bother? All that planning and careful consideration don’t sound like fun. Just go—it will all work out for the best. Here are five ways to waste your time at a boat show:

Sitting Still

It's not surprising that the owner of Abeking & Rasmussen's 134-foot SWATH is willing to go to great lengths for stability.

Does Yacht Design Matter?

photo courtesy of Riva Yacht           

To answer this blog’s titular question in short: Of course it does. The real question, masked by that rhetorical one, is “How much does yacht design matter?” It matters to boaters, and to those who are thoughtful enough to understand the importance of boat design in the greater context of how it represents and reminds us of our collective past, and how its halo affects other kinds of design.

Bienvenido a Miami

 

I was going to write about that norovirus outbreak on all the cruise ships that's been going but then I remembered that next week is theYacht and Brokerage Show in Miami and I got all excited. First off, I need some sun like the desert needs the rain. The New York City winter has made my complexion go from its normal cream-cheese hue to what I would now describe as translucent pink.

Have and Have Yacht

There was a bit of a kerfuffle across the pond recently when (as my colleague Alyssa Haak noted a few weeks back) British Education Minister Michael Gove reportedly proposed that the recession-stricken country build Queen Elizabeth II a brand-new $90 million megayacht to celebrate her 60th anniversary on the throne.

Fright Night

 

Illustration by Gil AdamsThere’s more to after-dark navigation than having high-falutin’ electronics onboard.

 
I was curious, really. I hadn’t done any hard-core, nighttime navigation in years. Sure, over the past couple of decades, I’d briefly piloted a few recreational vessels around in the dark, plying parts of rivers and bayous with little more than a chartplotter, a careful hand on the wheel, and a trusty spotlight. But frankly, in all that time I’d never shepherded a vessel through the darkness into a big, working seaport with radar as my primary navigational tool. Would I be as good as I used to be?

Yacht Contracts Signed

In the past two years, I've gotten to see quite a few shipyards where megayachts get built, but most have been in Europe. (I'd name them but fear I'd leave one off.) In the process, I've learned a lot about construction methods and how projects reach completion.

But I can most clearly see the impact of a yard's success in Northeastern Wisconsin for no other reason than I used to live there and I have family that still does. My grandpa knows people who have worked in local yards, the builders and welders and other skilled craftsmen.

Stability For Smaller Yachts

Intrepid 390 Sport Yacht with Stabilizer from Mike Plante on Vimeo.

You've probably heard about the Seakeeper gyro that's showing up in all kinds of yachts 50 feet and larger. Well, now the company has come out with a less power version that's suitable for boats under 50 feet. It's actually a prototype for a new, small mode; that Seakeeper will introduce at the Miami boat show. Its compact size not only means it doesn't take up a lot of space, but also that it doesn't require a lot of electricity. Does the small unit work as well as the big one? For the answer, check out this video.