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Boating & Aviation
Soundings

Soundings

December 2020

Soundings is the news and feature publication for recreational boaters. Award-winning coverage of the people, issues, events -- and the fun -- of recreational boating. Check out our generous boats-for-sale section and our gunkholing destinations.

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Active Interest Media
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
good news

In 2020, it’s been challenging to check the news feed each morning without bracing for a little discomfort, but today I didn’t wince as much. There were some encouraging reports. That includes the story about the New Jersey lawmaker who axed a proposal to hike the boat sales tax. Governor Phil Murphy—after frustrating boat dealers, builders and owners around the Garden State with plans to increase the sales tax on all new and used boat sales—signed a $32.7 billion budget without that provision. Had the proposal gone through, it would have had a big impact, as Kim Kavin reported in Soundings last month. Last summer, Murphy said the state was in trouble due to Covid-19. With a $5.7 billion shortfall in projected revenue, tax policy changes would be necessary. So, he suggested…

2 min.
mailboat

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED I enjoyed reading “Homeward Bound” by Kim Kavin (September), about the Salty Dawg Sailing Association’s efforts to help almost 200 boat owners get back home after the Caribbean shut down in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The story is very good. I particularly liked the way Kavin chose to tell the story through the eyes of the participants who lived through the experience. That approach made the feature all the more interesting and engaging. The Salty Dawg Association appreciates the exposure that Soundings has provided for the organization. We also appreciate the fact that your story highlights the way cruising can be heavily affected by things happening in the wider world. For that reason, cruisers need to be prepared, at least mentally, to take on unplanned situations.…

3 min.
back to boat school

From her homeport on Sanibel Island off Florida’s West Coast, Mary Paige Abbott has been seeing what all experienced boaters have observed this year: countless newcomers on the waterways looking for a socially distanced way to have fun, and many of them with no clue what they’re doing at the helm. “For years, there have been people who should not be out on the water operating their own boats,” she says. “Now, we’re just getting hit with a huge quantity of those people. A lot of them, sadly, are people who have never boated before or who have been exposed to boating, but they’ve erroneously assumed that the sport is easy.” As chief commander of the United States Power Squadrons—America’s Boating Club, Abbott is in a position to do something about that…

6 min.
the art of navigation

When two prominent features appear in a line, one behind the other as seen from your boat, it forms a line of position, or a range line. Before electronic position fixing, the use of ranges was the tried-and-true method of staying in the center of a channel and knowing when to make a course change. Even if your boat is equipped with a suite of modern electronics, a range line can come in handy. The use of ranges is especially valuable when you want to increase situational awareness without taking your eyes off the horizon. Monitoring a range line is one of the best ways to assess the set of the current or to distinguish safe from hazardous water. Man-made range markers, lit or unlit, are built in many areas to…

1 min.
quiz

1. NAVIGATION: Which weather change accompanies the passage of a cold front in the Northern Hemisphere? A. Wind shift from NE, clockwise to SW B. Steady dropping of barometric pressure C. Steady precipitation, gradually increasing in intensity D. A line of cumulonimbus clouds 2. NAVIGATION: Despite weather predictions for continued good weather, a prudent mariner should be alert for all of the following, EXCEPT a sudden: A. Drop in barometric pressure B. Drop in temperature C. Wind shift D. Squall line 3. NAVIGATION: The fog most commonly encountered at sea is called: A. Conduction fog B. Radiation fog C. Frontal fog D. Advection fog 4. NAVIGATION: Cumulonimbus clouds can produce: A. Dense fog and high humidity B. Gusty winds, thunder, rain or hail, and lightning C. Clear skies with the approach of a cold front D. A rapid drop in barometric pressure followed by darkness 5. NAVIGATION: The standard atmospheric…

2 min.
sea stories

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING SUPER SOLO Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in 1969 became the first person to sail around the world nonstop and singlehanded aboard Suhaili, a 32-foot, teak-planked Bermudan ketch built in Bombay, India. One of nine entrants in the 1968-1969 Golden Globe race, the 29-year-old would be the only one to cross the finish line, taking 313 days to complete the circumnavigation. Since then, the solo skipper has completed many circumnavigations, including sailing in the 1977 Whitbread Round the World Race and winning the Jules Verne Trophy with Kiwi sailor Peter Blake. The story of his life is an interesting tale with twists and turns at every salty segue. The skipper’s story was recently put to film for the documentary Sir Robin-Knox-Johnston: Sailing Legend, a 56-minute documentary that can be viewed…