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Capt. Bill Pike's blog

Removing The Un-removable

Using a Sextant for Navigation

Going Back For Backup

Can you believe? A celestial voyage down memory lane!

Many years ago, during what often seems like another lifetime, it was my job as a U.S.

Goodbye Split Controls...And Good Riddance

Boat HelmSo let’s go totally retro for a sec. Let’s say it’s 1988 and I’m just making what I remember as a fairly ragged transition from commercial seafaring to the recreational realm, or to be more technically accurate, to the realm of marine magazines.

A Wild, Wild Ride

Aspen 32The Aspen 32 from Aspen Power Catamarans (www.aspenpowercatamarans.com) has got to be one of the coolest, most interesting watercraft I’ve sea trialed in years. She has a very monohull-like appearance despite the fact that she’s got two hulls, not one. And get this: The Aspen is not actually a cat, despite her builder’s catamaranish name.

From the Field - Maritimo 58

Maritimo 58 So this is the first Maritimo 58—and indeed the first Maritimo of any description—I’ve seen with a black hull. Very striking. In fact, as I made my approach from dockside, I believe I was constrained to exclaim, “Holy Smokes.” Black hulls, of course, tend to show the least imperfection in glasswork and this hull looked about as smooth as a peach without the fuzz.

Ah Seattle…For A Whole Week

Arnie Hammerman

What better way to crank up an entire week in Seattle testing boats that to take a boat ride with my friend and Power & Motoryacht Publisher Arnie Hammerman and his sons, Avery (left) and Hadyn (right). Arnie upgraded to a brand new (or almost new actually) 26-footer from Cutwater, a Pacific Northwest builder, and he was quite excited to show her off.

The Perfect Holiday

Here’s hoping that, this year, Christmas will be as wonderful as Thanksgiving’s just turned out to be for my wife BJ and myself.

Those Special Show Moments

Big boat shows like the one held in Ft. Lauderdale every year offer a remarkable potential—just when you least expect it, you can find yourself sitting in the saloon of some boat some place with a bunch of people you’ve only read about, or who know way more about boats than you do, or who are well above average in their ability to please and handle an audience.

On Our Bookshelf

The Curve of Time

The Curve of TimeRecently, for a couple of reasons, M. Wylie Blanchet’s The Curve of Time has taken top spot on my nautical bookshelf. I identified with the widow Blanchet’s descriptions of the joys and vicissitudes of packing up five children and cruising a 25-foot, single-engine powerboat through remote coastal territory during the early 20th Century.