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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...

Jabsco Oil Changer

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

When my buddy Bruce said he had a like-new Jabsco Porta Quick oil changer he’d give me for free, I was happy. When I discovered the unit sells for $209.99, I was ecstatic.The Porta Quick is a 14-quart plastic container/reservoir with a 12-volt electric impeller-type pump on top. A cord with alligator clips supplies battery power, and a toggle switch

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Toss the Sawzall!

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

So a guy walks into a boatyard and says, “Hey, I gotta have a bow thruster.” In a few days, an open-ended job begins, with the bill contingent upon the yard’s hourly rate, expertise, and the man-hours worked. When the guy returns he finds his boat starring in a veritable horror show. A couple of first-time thruster installers have blundered into a foam-cored transversal while cutting a hole in

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100 Largest Yachts 2009 #96: Trident

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

Trident | 213'9" ( tie )In June, during a tour of Dutch-based builders, I got a chance to take a short cruise around Amsterdam aboard this 214-foot beauty. And even though her Donald-Starkey interior was not yet complete, I did get to check out some of her more striking design elements. From the centerpiece elevator that Feadship rightly

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100 Largest Yachts 2009 #82: Attessa

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

Attessa | 225'0" ( 71 ) Billionaire industrialist, shipping magnate, and true boat lover Dennis Washington owns this 226-foot beauty, which has a storied past despite her youthful appearance. She was originally launched in 1998 as the 203-foot Feadship Lady Avila. In May 2001, during a passage from Thailand to Rhodes, she caught fire

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100 Largest Yachts 2009 #78: Martha Ann

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

Martha Ann | 229'6" ( 67 ) ( tie )Martha Ann’s a globe-trotter of the first order. Since her launch in December 2007, she’s already made landfall in a host of palm-fringed ports in the Bahamas and western Caribbean. One of her most spottable attributes is her striking blue hull, a color not shared by sisterships Apoise (89)

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Swap or Not?

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

I explained to Joe Galati of Galati Yacht Sales that PMY was looking for a cruiser with incandescent or halogen lighting that we could swap for LEDs from Imtra Marine. We had four objectives:First, we wanted to see if it’s a do-it-yourself project or a job for a pro. Second, we wanted to measure energy savings—LED lights are heralded for their energy efficiency but backup data is

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Ahoy Dr. Freud

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

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The Creepin' Crud

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

Like lots of folks, I’ve got two diesel powerplants onboard, one for propulsion and the other for auxiliary power. And just a few months ago, the latter began showing signs of the creepin’ crud—it was overheating, sounding hoarse, and exhaling a greasy gray smoke under load.The most telling symptom, however, seemed to be that the cooling water that was supposed to be

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Marlow 70E

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

A passagemaker that's efficient and environmentally conscious.The first time I went aboard the Marlow Explorer 70E Mark II, she was tied up next to the Rod and Reel Club on Miami’s posh Hibiscus Island. It was late, with a boat-show party going on, and the feeling under the live oaks was pure nautical romance. Lanterns on the

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Ahoy: Dr. Freud

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

If you’re a careful reader of PMY (and I’m sure you are), then you’ve probably perused a recent boat test of mine (“Cost Effective,” May 2009) that dwelled in part upon the difficulties I had returning a 50-footer to her slip after a sea trial during the Miami International Boat Show. The episode did not constitute a true horror show by any means, but the events were embarrassing enough. Sure, my

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