Subscribe to our newsletter

Author Articles

by Capt. Bill Pike

PMY Senior Editor:
Bill’s career incorporates a wide range of experience in both journalism and boating. He began his writing career in 1972 as a general-assignment reporter and columnist for the Watertown Daily Times in Watertown, New York. Later he went on to work as a feature writer and reporter for the St. Petersburg Times. Read more here...

Checking and changing your galvanic isolator

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted December 2010 | Add a Comment

Now and again, I serendipitously stumble across an onboard problem well before it snowballs into something expensive. For example, I was recently talking with my industrial-electrician brother and the subject of...

Read Article

Twin-inboard boathandlers! Here’s how to improve your docking visibility.

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted November 2010 | Add a Comment

Look Ma, No Wires!There are two basic systems for maneuvering twin-engine vessels today. One’s conventional and somewhat old-fashioned—you simply use a couple of gear shifts to engage your propellers, sometimes in conjunction with a bow and/or stern thruster. The other is newer and decidedly slicker—you use a

Read Article

At Sea: October 2010

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted October 2010 | Add a Comment

Wheeeeeeee!!!!!!How Betty Jane became Florida's fastest trawler.After the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, it soon became obvious that vast quantities of toxic dispersants were being used to emulsify the errant crude whooshing up from the ocean’s floor. Moreover, the stuff bypassing the dispersants was

Read Article

Shaft Brush Boogie

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted September 2010 | Add a Comment

A cheap and easy way to prevent costly prop damage.

Read Article

Mega Shift

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted August 2010 | Add a Comment

Princess and Viking Sport Cruisers launch a superyacht series and do some re-badging.Not quite 15 years ago, I sea-trialed the first Viking Sport Cruiser to hit the States, a sleek mid-ranger with euro-style cachet and lotsa performance pizazz. As the day unfolded, I remember feeling increasingly mystified about the “strategic alliance” behind the V52 Express’ Anglo-American

Read Article

PMY TRIES... Nautic Air

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted July 2010 | Add a Comment

It was an interesting suggestion, really. Some weeks before, Heath Schuman of Nautic Air had UPS’d me an experimental version of his portable NA20 air purifier to temporarily try out on my trawler Betty Jane. I’d placed the thing on the dining table in Betty’s saloon straight off, plugged it into a nearby 110-volt outlet, and after securely closing all

Read Article

A Sirius/XM Development

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted May 2010 | Add a Comment

A Sirius/XM DevelopmentFinally—dependable, detailed, real-time weather info onboard.Sirius/XM services offer weather station and buoy reports (left), animated frontal boundaries (middle), and NexRad (right).Years ago, during one of the economic downturns that regularly plague the oil-and-gas business, I

Read Article

Battery Blasphemy?

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted April 2010 | Add a Comment

A contrarian take on battery replacement All batteries have terminals and cable connectors that need to be periodically cleaned, preferably with a battery brush. I’m guessing I’m in the same boat as a few other folks these days. I’ve got three marine batteries salted away aboard my trawler Betty Jane...

Read Article

Glorious Imperfection

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted April 2010 | Add a Comment

Owning up to your seafaring mistakesIt was refreshing, really. My wife and I were spending a winter Saturday at Port St. Joe Marina on Florida’s northern Gulf Coast with a merry band of people who were either cruising The Great Loop or planning to do so soon. The Great Loop, of course, is a circumnavigation of the eastern half of the United States via

Read Article

Vinyl Fever

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted March 2010 | Add a Comment

It was astonishing, really—the near-total absence of useful information on the Internet concerning the renovation and/or replacement of marine vinyl cushions. Sure, there were plenty of canvas and upholstery shops listed and some were even conveniently near where I keep my boat. But the related Web sites were pretty unsophisticated and, when I telephoned them, the results were often less than

Read Article