Sailing


 

A Boater's Guide to Hurricane Preparation

If you boat anywhere down the East Coast or the along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, you'll have to deal with some direct or indirect affects associated with a hurricane. There are some things to k…

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Discover Boating at the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco

We have a plethora of San Francisco Bay Area boating resources for you to test the waters - from rentals and charters to fractional ownership and on-water lessons.…

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Safety Tips for a Fun-Filled Father's Day on the Water

Before you embark on a fun-filled day on the water, check out West Marine safety expert Chuck Hawley's quick tips for smooth sailing.…

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Sail Away with Our On-Water Playlist

Discover Boating has once again compiled their ultimate boating playlist to keep the party rocking this summer. Here are the top ten boating songs.…

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Sailing Capsize Recovery: Scoop and Single-Handed Methods

The best sailors in the world have experienced capsizing & falling overboard. Read this article to learn scoop and single-handed sailing capsize recovery methods. …

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Sailing: Directional Terms

Just as parts of the boat have specific names, a sailor needs terms to describe things relative to the boat. Directional terms help you locate something onboard, or describe where to look for somethin…

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Sailing Navigation: Basic Rules

Learning how to sail? Read this helpful article on the four basic rules for navigating your way through some common sailing situations.…

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Points of Sail and Directions of Sail Trim

Sailors should know where the wind is coming from and the wind angle relative to their boat for sail-trim purposes. Learn the five points of sail in this illustrated article.…

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Tips For Boating In Shallow Water

While you should always be aware of your surroundings when you're at the helm, you should be on full alert whenever you're entering an area with shallow or "skinny" water. …

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Slip Sliding Away

If you've got a question about a boat trailer, this is the place to be. …

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What To Do When It’s Up To You

Here are seven simple rules to keep you in the clear, and tempers tamped down, as you pass boats in a narrow channel. …

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Hunting Hurricanes

With a season about to begin, this is prime time for hurricane prep. …

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Be a good neighbor: Know your marina etiquette

There’s only one word you need to know to master marina etiquette: Consideration. If you’ll consider your neighbor’s point of view for a moment, you will usually make the right decision. …

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Boat Owners Association: BoatUS

Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) offers benefits and services that support the boating lifestyle. …

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Gearing Up For A Boating Day Trip

Boating is one of the most enjoyable ways you can spend time with your friends and family. All it takes is a little preparation, and your day trip will be remembered for all the right reasons.…

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Boating Tips: A Little Marlinspike Seamanship

Five tips on marlinspike seamanship, written by a lifelong sailor who learned from his grandfather, a Naval Officer. …

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Powerboating & Sailing: Favorite Destinations

A look at favorite destinations of a lifelong seaman with more than 40 years on the water in sail- and powerboats. …

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Boat Wear: Foul Weather Gear

Get tips on the proper boat wear and gear for foul weather from a lifelong boater with over 40 years on the water.…

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Powerboating & Sailing: 11 Tips for a Better Summer Cruise

Cruising, whether on a powerboat or sailboat, will go more smoothly with these 11 helpful tips, written by a lifelong cruiser.…

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Boating Safety: Close Calls, Near Misses and Lady Luck

Five tips on how to avoid close calls and near misses when cruising or sailing, written by a lifelong boater.…

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Boats That Stand Out in My Life

It's not so much the boats, but the memories that stay with us. Read one sailor's account of the stand-out boats he's owned in his lifetime.…

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Tips On Using Marine GPS Based Devices

Marine GPS units are a welcome addition to the boater's arsenal of necessary equipment. GPS is an acronym that stands for Global Positioning System. The GPS is an elaborate network of satellites orbit…

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Tips for Taking Your Dog Boating

Nothing is more exhilarating that the smell of the sea and the wind in your hair as you sail carefree under a warm sun. If you enjoy boating, there's no reason not to take your best friend with you, a…

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"One Mom, Two Teens, No Exit"

At 21, she was the youngest woman to sail around the world alone, and her inspirational book about this odyssey, Maiden Voyage — co-authored with BoatU.S. consulting editor Bernadette Bernon — went on…

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Unlocking the Mysterious Lake Winds

Lake sailing is more complex than sailing on the open sea, but more predictable. A lake, like any body of water enclosed by land, is subject to gradient winds, always offshore, and by thermal winds --…

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Review Your Options Often

There's a difference between some tacks (or jibes) and others, and that difference is what makes sailing so much more difficult than golf. Sometimes the choice is obvious, in all Category I (oscillati…

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Stay With the Wind You Have

In one race of the Spring Soling Bowl off Annapolis in a dying northwesterly, we led up the second beat until nipped at the mark by Manfred Kantor, of Canada, who had come in from the right corner. Af…

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Stuck Between Two Winds

In my April ’07 column, "Review Your Options", I discussed my failure to properly analyze and manage a "two winds simultaneously" situation during the Soling Worlds and promised a second analysis. Aft…

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Four Ways to Win the Sea Breeze Game

This is a story about the physics of sea breezes. Yeah, I know...the last thing you want is a physics lesson. But take it from me — someone whose grade point average was ruined by Calculus — knowing w…

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Four Puff Tips

1. Try to determine the temperature of the air relative to the temperature of the water. If, for example, a cold front moved through overnight, there is a good chance that mixing puffs will be prevale…

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Finding the Perfect Hot Spot

Once you Discover Boating, you’ll soon find yourself looking for great new places to boat. You probably already know where the best boat ramps, docking spaces and restaurants are in your own area, but…

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Lightning-Proof Your Boat

Is your boat protected if it should be one hit by lighting? Find out the steps that you can take to protect your boat and crew if you get caught in a lighting storm.…

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Summer Sailstice - June 22, 2013

What better way to celebrate the longest day of the year than by kicking off a worldwide celebration of sailing? …

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How to Make the Most of the Least, Part II

Light air, heavy traffic: Tony Rey tells you how to outsmart the crowd on your next light-air run. …

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Light-Air Tips

Light Air is the term used to describe when weather conditions barely offer enough wind to move a sailboat. Follow these tips and you'll be moving along in no time.…

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New Rules for Marks And Obstuctions

The new racing rules go into effect Jan. 1, 2009, and Dick Rose guides us through the important revisions. …

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The Timber Hitch

When reefing, don’t get in a bind. Use this simple knot instead.…

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How to Make the Most of the Least, Part I

Light air can be maddening, but Tony Rey has the advice to make the most of it. "Boatspeed" from Sailing World's June 2008 issue.…

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TOWING THE LINE: NINE TIPS FOR TOWING

With the proliferation of affordable commercial assistance outfits such as Sea Tow and TowBoatU.S. plus the constantly improving reliability of marine engines, it’s not nearly as common as it once wa…

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Is it really the end of boating season?

Autumn in Michigan offers warm days, quiet lakes, and unbelievably beautiful displays of leaves changing colors. But despite this, some Michigan boaters insist on taking their boats out of the water a…

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Battery Basics

Here’s how to select the right batteries and maintain them in peak condition. by Tom Ireland …

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Fall Lay-Up

Nothing is harder on your boat than neglect, and neglect is exactly what recreational boats are subjected to when cold weather settles in. But proper lay-up techniques can minimize the ill effects win…

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Sailing Basics: 10 Beginner Sailing Terms To Know

While our glossary page provides a comprehensive list of boating terms, we’ve also compiled this short list of 10 beginner sailing terms that everyone should know.…

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A New Sailor’s Approach to Learning Navigation

We would encourage a new sailor to take advantage of Power Squadron and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Seamanship and basic navigation courses long before they head out to sea! In addition, I would recomm…

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What To Expect From a Sailing School

The short answer is that sailors can benefit from sailing school at any stage in their sailing lives. Perhaps the greatest benefits can be gained by attending a sailing school when people are beginnin…

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The Benefits of Joining a Sailing Club or Organization

The major benefit of being involved in a community boating organization is that you can enjoy the great sport of sailing without the cost or expense of owning a boat. Professional instruction is also …

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Charter Sailing Vacations: Frequently Asked Questions

A charter sailing vacation is one of the all-time greatest vacation options in the world! You have the opportunity to take a vacation in an idyllic setting that offers relaxation, freedom, exhilaratio…

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Buying a Sailboat New vs. Pre-Owned

Analyze your budget situation to determine if you can afford to buy new. If you’re not sure what your budget can afford, do some shopping at your local dealership or at the boat show, and/or speak wit…

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Racing In the Local Community: How to Get Underway

No matter where you live, the quickest way to find out about racing activities is to find a sailor. Most any sailor can refer you to another sailor who races and will be able to fill you in on racing …

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Tips for Planning the Perfect Overnight or Weekend Getaway!

Assuming that you are just sailing during the day and sleeping at night aboard, you only need to be practiced in basic navigation, anchoring and/or docking, and have experience in safe sailing under g…

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Boating is Affordable

Boating is affordable and there’s a boat for every age, lifestyle and budget. Most people don’t realize how affordable boating is: in some instances, you can buy a brand new boat financed for around…

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Tips on Buying from a Certified Dealer

Marine Industry Certified Dealers have earned a reputation for taking good care of their customers. In fact, to become certified a dealership must meet independently verified high standards in everyth…

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Your First Sail

They say you always remember your first love. You always remember your first sail, too. What will yours be like? Here’s what happens during a typical sail. Chances are, the boat will be on a mooring, …

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How Sails Really Work

Sails work by “catching the wind” only when the boat is sailing directly downwind. The rest of the time a sail is essentially an airplane wing standing on end, and works the same way: When properly tr…

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How Does a Boat Sail Upwind?

If your destination lies upwind, how do you sail there? Unless the wind is blowing from directly astern (over the back of the boat), the sails propel the boat forward because of “lift” created by wind…

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Choosing the Right Sailboat for You

Once you learn to sail, you’ll want to buy a boat of your own. But what kind? Traditional wisdom says to start with something small, maybe a dinghy or simple sloop (single-masted boat with two sails),…

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Will I Capsize?

If you sail a dinghy, high-performance centerboarder, boardsailer or other unballasted boat, you will capsize sooner or later, probably sooner. It’s just a characteristic of these boats, and folks who…

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How Does the Rudder Work?

Sailboats steer by means of the rudder, a vertical, blade-like appendage mounted either on the transom (the flat surface of the stern) or under the boat. In both cases the rudder works by deflecting w…

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Sailing is Easy

Read the how-to books and the boating magazines and you might think sailing is hard, but that’s not the case. Sailing is really very simple; a skilled instructor can teach you the basics in an afterno…

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How Do I Find My Way While Sailing?

When you start sailing, you’ll navigate by looking where you want to go, and going there. Some people spend their whole sailing careers that way. But it’s a good idea to learn at least basic navigatio…

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What Does the Keel Do?

The keel is basically a flat blade sticking down into the water from a sailboat’s bottom. It has two functions: it prevents the boat from being blown sideways by the wind, and it holds the ballast tha…

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Beginner Sailing Tips

New to sailing? Let us help you master the basics with these handy sailing tips and instructions for beginners. Both novice and experienced boaters alike can benefit from a quick review of these begin…

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Why Learn How to Sail? Reasons to Learn Sailing

Considering taking up sailing? Well, there are many reasons why you should learn how to sail. Sailing is an invigorating sport that offers many rewards, not the least of which is that it’s simply so m…

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Learn How to Sail - Sailing Rules & Instructions

Mastering sailing basics means being familiar with essential right-of-way sailing rules. One thing to remember is that there are different right-of-way sailing instructions for sailboats as opposed to…

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Learning the Basics of Sailing

Learning the basics of sailing is easy, but becoming truly expert can take years. There’s always something more to learn, and once you catch the sailing bug you’ll want to learn it all. …

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Ten Tips for Clean and Green Boating

Follow these easy top 10 tips for clean and green boating.…

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First Aid Supplies

As much as we try to be careful, accidents can happen while we’re boating—usually miles away from professional medical care. That’s why it’s important to have a well-equipped first aid kit on board, a…

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Sun Protection

Being on the water’s all about sun and fun, isn’t it? As they say, you can have too much of a good thing—and it’s all too easy to soak up more sun than you should’ve.…

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Windlasses

When it’s time to weigh anchor (retrieve the anchor), a windlass can make the job a whole lot easier.…

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Sailboat Hardware

Due to the nature of using the wind for power, a sailboat’s hardware endures a lot more stress and strain than a powerboat of comparable size. Over the years, all this hard work takes its toll and thi…

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Boat Buyer Guide: Tips on How to Buy a Boat

Plan ahead… There are a lot of choices. Allow enough time to explore many different types of boats, and several different brands within each category… This is a big investment that will change your li…

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Money Saving Programs for New Boaters from West Marine and BoatU.S.

Whether you are looking to outfit a recently purchased boat or are preparing your existing boat for an extended cruise, our Discount Outfitting Service can help.…

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Boat Buying Tips

Buying a boat can be confusing and stressful. Follow these easy tips to make it a smooth purchase.…

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Winterize Your Boat Yourself and Save Hundreds of Dollars

Proper winterization will prevent costly damage that can result from freezing, dormancy, corrosion and moisture, and will allow for a smooth launch come springtime.…

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Winterize Your Boat

Winterizing a boat and motor is the most important maintenance a boat owner can perform to help ensure safe boating next spring. …

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Ten Minute Walkaround

This 10 Minute Quality Walkaround is designed to help you learn enough about any boat - power or sail - to determine the basic quality of its construction.…

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Mistakes on the Water

Learn to keep some trouble, (not all) away.…

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Boat Trailer Tips

The ability to trailer your boat opens up a world of boating adventures. Trailer boating is convenient- and can be transported just about anywhere.…

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The Price of Ownership

We’ve talked to several San Diego experts to give you the details on boat ownership.…

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Used Boat Savvy

Getting a great deal on a boat doesn't have to be complicated.…

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Boating Insurance

Whether you\’re a novice or experienced watercraft owner, boating insurance works much like auto and homeowners insurance…

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How to Sell Your Boat

Pricing, prepping and paperwork essential to the successful sale of your boat.…

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Tax Breaks for Boaters

It is probably the secret dream of all boat owners - finding a way to deduct the cost of their boats every April when the IRS comes calling for the annual donation.…

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Boat Pricing Guides

There are three generally accepted price guides in the U.S.: the BUC Used Price Guide, the NADA Marine Appraisal Guide, and the ABOS Marine Blue Book…

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Sell Your Boat for More

With a little preparation and some elbow grease, you can improve your odds of selling quickly and at the best possible price.…

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All about Capacity Plates

Learn about the different capacity plates and what is required by law.…

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Boating Resources for Women

Associations and Committee's designed to help Women in boating.…

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Deep Cycle Batteries

Buying the right storage battery can be confusing. A number of different types are offered, at widely varying prices.…

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Safe Trailering

The most important thing to know is if you are certain that your trailer is right for your boat. …

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Suddenly In Charge

Learn what to do if you become Capt. Pay attention to the basics.…

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But I Don't Want To Be In Charge!

Even if you don’t own a boat, if you ever go out in one as a passenger, you should know the basics of boating.…

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Boat Safe this Spring or Fall - Avoid Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a condition that exists when the body’s temperature drops below ninety-five degrees. Learn how to avoid it!…

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Dockside Do's and Don'ts

Tips that you should adhere to to make dockside boating safer and more pleasant for you and your dockside neighbors.…

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Never Take Anything for Granted

Boating safety is nothing you can ever take for granted.…

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The Life Expectancy of the Marine Engine

An automobile engine may run almost twice as long (3,000 hours) as your marine gasoline engine. Marine engines normally work harder and under worse conditions. …

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Electrolysis Can Eat Your Prop

To complete the electrical circuit, the zincs must be connected to the items they are intended to protect.…

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Bilge Pumps

It is important to frequently test your bilge pumps by switching from the automatic to manual position on the bilge pump switch.…

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Looks Like Chicken Pox - AKA Blisters

Water being absorbed through the gelcoat and fiberglass laminates in the hull causes blisters.…

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Towing for Fun

The moment you hook a line to a derelict boat, you become responsible for it and all aboard it.…

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Rules of the Road Summarized

Collisions between boats are one of the most dangerous and frequently occurring mishaps on our nations waters.…

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Navigating Inlets

One of the most dangerous locations that a small boat can be located is in the jaws of an ocean inlet.…

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Heavy Weather Boat Handling - Part 2

Some of the most challenging conditions you may encounter as a skipper are the adverse conditions of "Heavy Weather."…

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Through-hull Fittings

Every through-hull fitting in your boat is a potential hole that could sink you in a matter of minutes.…

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Running Aground

Despite all efforts to stay off shoals, beaches, or rocks, groundings do happen. It is important that every boater be prepared for such an event.…

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Battery Saver

With a battery charger maintaining a constant voltage, those intermittent loads such as flushing a toilet will run down the battery capacity.…

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Engine Cooling Systems Explained

Most newer marine engines use an enclosed cooling system. There is a small tank on the top of the engine that combines of fresh water and coolant.…

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Play the Numbers Game

Hull Identification Numbers (HIN)are required. But, what are they and what do they mean?…

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Aids To Navigation

You encounter buoys in a specific order. What do they mean and what should you do?…

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Getting Help on the Water

The Coast Guard serves as Search and Rescue (SAR) coordinator for all maritime emergencies.…

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International Code Flags or Signaling Flags

International code flags are used to signal between two ships or between ship and shore.…

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Cone of Protection from Lightning - Faraday's Cage

With heavy thunderstorms you will often find lightning. Lightning on the water can bring life-threatening circumstances.…

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Boating in Heavy Weather - Part I

If you have kept a proper lookout, developed a "weather eye" and monitored the weather on your VHF radio, you should have time to get prepared. …

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Hurricane Preparation Checklist

Here you can find a list of the many things to consider before, during and after a hurricane.…

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Weather 101 - Cloud Formations

Clouds are a tool you can use to predict or forecast weather. The type of cloud and direction of movement can warn you of weather changes that are imminent. …

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What can you say about Seasickness?

Seasickness is caused when the minute inner ear organs that enable a human to balance are disturbed by the motion of the boat swaying and pitching. …

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GPS Overview

GPS is a satellite-based navigation system developed by the U.S. Department of Defense to provide a accurate method of navigation.…

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Trailer Without Tears

If you’re one of the legions of trailer sailors, you know the advantages of having your boat in your driveway or storage yard instead of in a slip or on a mooring. Storms are not likely to be a concer…

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