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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...

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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Wax On, Wax Off

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

Remember “Wax on, wax off?” It was Mr. Miyagi’s discipline-building anthem in Karate Kid. For years, I figured it was merely a figment of some movie maker’s imagination—it couldn’t be applicable to boat detailing, right? Wrong! As part of my campaign to do my maintenance chores myself, I recently detailed my trawler Betty Jane and made her literally sparkle. But I had to cheat.

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Automatic Autopilot

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

John Redmond of Redmond Marine Electronics in Destin, Florida, does some pre-assembly in Betty Jane’s saloon.Hand-steering my 1988 Grand Banks 32 Betty Jane for hundreds of miles down the eastern seaboard some years back qualifies me for a profound appreciation of autopilots. Certainly, the trip was physically onerous,

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The Bottom Line

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

Although I’m loathe to acknowledge my naivet concerning such matters (especially since I’m 61 years old and have owned boats all my life), my approach to in-water bottom cleaning was plain as dirt—if not downright cavalier—until recently. It went something like this: When growth on chines and running surfaces slipped past the faint-slime stage, I’d simply dial up a marina-recommended dive

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Spirit, Love, Truth

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

The store in the shopping center in West Palm Beach, Florida was exactly like Capt. Bart Miller had described it on the phone. A big black-and-gold sign over the door proclaimed: Black Bart Big Game Fishing. The floor inside was paved with scuffed, ambience-inducing dock planks. The walls were hung with

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