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Making Radio Waves

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Tuning in to tune out

No question boating deserves its own soundtrack, its own voice, its own listening experience. Many of us want audio that’s distinctive when we’re on the water even more than we do when we’re on shore. Whether it’s Jimmy Buffett or nautical talk radio, boating goes best with its own soundtrack. Recently, a new station in Turks and Caicos began broadcasting its version of the ideal cruising music. Tradewinds Radio, based in Providenciales and broadcasting on 104.5 FM, caters to Baby Boomer boaters.

Illustration by Richard Clark

“It’s the kind of station that sweeps listeners away with the best music you can sing along to,” said Capt. Dan Horn, the station’s managing director. “It has a tropical flavor added to the mix of artists like Neil Diamond and Eric Clapton, back to back with Bob Marley, CSN, and Jimmy Buffett.” 

Tradewinds believes that the right sound makes boaters feel part of the nautical community. “I understand boaters,” Horn said. “I’ve been living on my own boat for the past 15 years.” 

If you prefer, you can find a beloved on-air boating personality in almost every corner of the country. “Nautical Talk with Capt. Lou” celebrated its 20th year broadcasting on 95.9 FM WATD in Marshfield, Massachusetts. Capt. Lou, whose live show is on Sundays at 11 a.m, has interviewed boating legends from Reggie Fountain to Jacques Cousteau. 

Airing out of Florida every Saturday are Capt. Tom Healy’s “The Boating Life,” at 8 a.m., and “The World of Boating” at 1 p.m. And in California, Capt. Mike Whitehead broadcasts his “Boathouse Radio Show” every Saturday at noon. All three are live call-in shows and feature information on boating tips, travel ideas, and nautical news.

For a new sound during your next day cruise or fishing trip, check out a local legend via podcast or satellite radio. What boating radio show or playlist do you recommend? Tell us on Facebook.