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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...

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

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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

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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

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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...

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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

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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

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Clock Work

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

A home workshop project evokes a little nautical nostalgia.I wasn’t sure what the trouble was, really. For some unknown reason, the forged-brass clock that usually hangs near Betty Jane’s lower helm station had started chiming with diminished fervor. Instead of a bright ting, ting, it was going tunk, tunk. So I removed the screws holding it in place

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Sanlorenzo SD92

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

  I’m an unabashed, unapologetic traditionalist when it comes to marine design and aesthetics. So, right off the top, I’m going to admit that my appreciation for the classical good looks of Retro Blue, Sanlorenzo’s newest semidisplacement SD92, should probably be taken with a grain of salt (and a healthy dollop of open-mindedness) especially by those readers who

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Game Changer?

By Capt. Bill PikeMarty Mason | Posted January 2010 | Add a Comment

Twin Disc challenges pod drives with a smooth, quick joystick system for shaft-drive boats.Most likely, it was the eyebrow that got me. I was winding up a pleasant dinner with a boatbuilding friend at the recent Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and gabbing about one of my favorite topics—the super-sophistication of

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The Single-Hander of Vero Beach

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted December 2009 | Add a Comment

How one man built a 40-ton steel trawler with little more than a stout heart, two hands, a welding machine, and a Toyota forklift. In a way, the whole thing began in Belize over a decade ago. Gil Devenport, an average Joe from Vero Beach, Florida, with none of the obvious attributes of a muscle-bound superhero (like hulking

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