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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...

America America

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted July 2008 | Add a Comment

Who knew? I mean, at the start of the project, I was under the impression that installing an autopilot would be a piece de gateau. You know, something akin to, say, toggling a new DSC VHF into an ancient GPS plotter. Or changing the vital fluids in the genset. Or maybe even convincing my wife BJ of the absolute

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No Brainer

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted May 2008 | Add a Comment

If there'd been any chance of avoiding the whole extravaganza, I most certainly would have. I was dog-tired, having been underway since daylight, wheeling the Betty Jane down an increasingly lumpy Chesapeake Bay. It was pitifuly late, although a good-hearted guy at Somers Cove Marina had promised me on the VHF that he'd stick around past closing time. It

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No Brainer

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted May 2008 | Add a Comment

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At Sea: True Confession

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted April 2008 | Add a Comment

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Bye Bye, Blisters!

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted March 2008 | Add a Comment

A bad case of blisters can penetrate the skincoat and go deeper into the laminate.Except for one dispiriting little detail, the boat was exactly what I'd been looking for. She was meticulously maintained, reasonably outfitted, and cosmetically impressive—a perfect example of the model I'd been lusting after for years. In

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Black Marlin Boulevard

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted March 2008 | Add a Comment

Alfred Glassell and his record black.During the 1980's I spent time cruising the west coast of South America on oceangoing tugs. The company I worked for specialized in bulk cargoes and hearty ports like Antofagasta, Chile; Callao, Peru; and Guayaquil, Ecuador. Although such places handed me lots of exotic experiences, there were

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At Sea: A Cautionary Tale

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted February 2008 | Add a Comment

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Magical Mystery Tour

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted December 2007 | Add a Comment

The way the average marine transmission accomplishes the mission is "Way more complicated."Okay, my education concerning things mechanical has not been formal. Indeed, you might say I've extracted the whole shebang from the School of Hard Knocks—meaning I've typically learned about things by having to either maintain or fix

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Destinations To Die For: Man-O-War Cay, Bahamas

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted November 2007 | Add a Comment

Man-O-War offers service facilities, great hospitality, and protected anchorages. My roots are in runabouts—I've built a few, owned more, and enjoyed 'em all. So I was plenty excited as photographer Jeffery Salter and...

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Destinations To Die For: Panama City, Florida

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted November 2007 | Add a Comment

The Panama City Beach area is loaded with quiet bayous and creeks. I guess there's some disagreement over whether newspaperman Howell Raines actually coined the term Redneck Riviera to describe the swathe of beaches and communities on the southern fringe of Florida's...

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