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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...

Hemingway’s Pilar

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted March 2011 | Add a Comment

Two serendipitous (but very different) meetings with the most famous sportfishing vessel of all time—Hemingway’s Pilar. The year was 1992, and I was in Cuba working on a magazine story about marinas and other aspects of the Cuban marine scene.

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Dinghy Replacement

By Capt. Bill PikePhotos by Jeffe... | Posted February 2011 | Add a Comment

Recently, I underwent a profoundly meaningful conversion experience and, like a whole passel of converts before me, I’m hot in the heels to share it with the world. The whole thing started several weeks ago when I felt the pain of being dinghy-less for the

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The Ultimate Upgrade

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted January 2011 | Add a Comment

Disaster struck at seven o’clock on a wintry North Florida morning. Tim Martin and his buddies were idling along in Martin’s seasoned battlewagon, 30 miles offshore, having deployed lures for the early wahoo bite. “Hey,” yelled Adrian Heilman from the cockpit as one of the exhaust ports burped black smoke. From the helm station on the flying bridge,

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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...

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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

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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

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Shaft Brush Boogie

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

A cheap and easy way to prevent costly prop damage.

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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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