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Jason Y. Wood's blog

Plowing a Fallow Field

I’ll never forget it. A few years ago I found myself on a borrowed center console with five people, some of the most knowledgeable boaters I knew. We had spent a full day exploring the sounds, channels, and backwaters of the North Carolina coast, swimming at anchor and topping off the day with a dockside dinner that wound up just around sunset.

Connect and Reconnect

What I Do at the Boat Show

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Austin Parker Introduces a New Kind of Hybrid

At the Genoa International Boat Show, Italian boatbuilder Austin Parker announced the beginning of an exciting new project, a 36-footer powered by a hybrid propulsion system developed by Italian industrial-equipment manufacturer Transfluid. The hybrid system is contained within the drivetrain in a unit (shown above) placed between the clutch and transmission.

Check Out the Latest Princess 40M

Princess 40 MHave you seen the M class yachts from Princess International? The British builder’s noteworthy into superyacht development and construction continues with the 40M Solaris, a 131-foot trideck motoryacht with six staterooms.

Coast Guard Foundation Raises the Bar

Recently, I was fortunate to attend the Coast Guard Foundation’s 34th Annual Salute to the Coast Guard in New York City, where honors were bestowed and funds were raised at a gala event in a midtown hotel. Before a crowd of nearly 700 comprising numerous U.S. Coast Guard officers, including the newly installed Commandant, Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, local dignitaries, commercial-shipping and shipbuilding representatives, and friends and family of the Coast Guard and its members, the foundation honored the heroic acts of the helicopter crew CG-6515 from Point Reyes, California (above), and the crew of Motor Life Boat 47212 (MLB) from Station Humboldt Bay, California (below). Both exhibited exceptional bravery in the line of duty to rescue civilians in dangerous situations, and a video presentation showing interviews with the Coast Guard personnel involved highlighted both their extraordinary poise in some challenging situations as well as their startling youth.

The Deck Perspective

The best thing about summer where I live in coastal Connecticut—and we’re in the thick of it as I write this—is the way we can live within a stone’s throw of the Sound (as in Long Island Sound) yet manage to keep things separate enough that it offers a true disconnect. By disconnect I don’t mean it in the what the hell is going on with this Wi-Fi? way but in the good unplugged way, that feel the warmth of the summer sun on your shoulders way. Keeping a boat nearby is the surest way to effect a much-needed escape, even for a little while. It’s funny, the difference I feel from when my feet are on my driveway to when they actually touch the deck of a boat, is downright stark.

Often puzzled, never stumped: The author figures every question has at least one good answer.

Hatteras Express Series—Get Excited for the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show!

Hatteras Yachts has announced two versions of a 45-foot Express yacht that will debut at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show in October.

Through the Lens

Jason Y. WoodI’m a photographer. As in, one who takes photographs (notice I didn’t say “I’m a good photographer”). In fact it’s been a boon to my memory, this smartphone-camera revolution. Think about it, today it costs you nothing to snap a picture and have it on hand wherever you go. 

I don’t think it’s an overestimation to say that 99 percent of the photos taken in the world today never see any physical form, and only exist in cyberspace, to be viewed through screens of various sizes on smartphones, tablets, or computer monitors, if at all. Even in the business of putting out a magazine, we print a lot of photos in ink on paper, but we post many more on the Web site and in our iPad edition. And if I could show you the hundreds of outtakes from our photoshoots with minute shifts of angle and F-stop and so on, you’d get an even larger sense of the boats we cover and the days we and our photographers spend on them (if you had lots and lots of time). But back to the snapshot idea as an aid to memory. 

Pale Gray Mornings

Jason Y. WoodOne thing I’ve noticed so far this summer is that the ospreys have been really active where I live. You may see these birds of prey in your neck of the woods too, soaring over waterways on their white- and black-barred wings in search of a fish for dinner. Maybe it’s because we’re often doing the same thing from our boats that makes our shared time within sight of these fish hawks that much more meaningful.

The ornithologists out there may have the science to correct me, but I swear I’ve watched these birds teach their young to fish just like we do. Or maybe I have that backwards, since their fishing technique is more refined than ours, and more successful.