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PassageMaker May/June 2020

PassageMaker Magazine (PMM) is the market leader covering the boats, people, gear, and destinations for the trawler and cruising-under-power lifestyle. Over the years it has evolved to connect the marine industry to consumers through print, digital, online, and in-person brands (Trawler Fest, Trawler Fest University, and Trawler Port)

United States
Active Interest Media
8 Issues

in this issue

3 min
wet on arrival

Editor-in-Chief @andrewtparkinson I must confess, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to plotting a float plan. Maybe it’s the anticipation of casting off lines and setting out on another adventure. Or maybe it’s just my inner control freak taking over. But for me, there’s nothing more pleasurable on the eve of a cruising leg than rolling out a paper chart with a set of parallel rules and a pencil, and etching out some lay lines. But, as with life, cruising doesn’t always work to schedule. I recall the last day of a perfect long-weekend cruise with my in-laws on their Meridian 490 Pilothouse Island Time. They had twisted our arms just enough to persuade my wife and me to join them on a diversion from their Great Loop expedition, spending a…

4 min
the word on the docks

YARD NEWS Aspen Moves to Improve Worker Safety Covid-19 has brought economies around the world to their knees with major disruptions to retail businesses, manufacturing and supply chains. Some boatbuilders have slowed or stopped production as government entities have severely restricted worker mobility. But not all businesses are simply waiting out the crisis. In order to prepare his factory for resumption of manufacturing, Larry Graf, owner of Aspen Power Catamarans, has implemented a number of safe practices aimed at keeping workers at his Burlington, Washington, facility from contracting and spreading the virus. Among the practices Aspen has instituted are requiring workers to wear dust masks developed by the builder’s upholstery team to prevent contamination; identifying touch points that are to be cleaned at least once a day; improving ventilation throughout the factory; filtering air…

3 min
the case for paper charts

Carts are about to change in a big way, and it’s not necessarily good for boaters. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has put in motion a five-year plan to end the production of paper nautical charts. For years, NOAA has been maintaining two parallel sets of charts—paper and digital—at great expense. As digital charts have become dominant, the production of paper charts has slowed. Today, the vector digital chart is primary, and the paper chart and its digital raster charts are updated to match. NOAA’s plan is to focus on the vector digital chart, which is created to international standards for Electronic Charting and Display Information Systems (ECDIS) that commercial mariners with redundant systems use instead of paper charts. Presumably, recreational boaters will be able to obtain printed copies of these electronic…

5 min
current affairs

The first indication of trouble we saw was smoke on the horizon. Closer investigation revealed a boat on fire, with one crewman sitting on the bow as flames engulfed the boat. As we approached, it became clear that the boat was beyond salvation. After we picked up the crewman, he told us the boat had old wire-and-pulley steering, and one of the wires had broken and fallen across the exposed battery terminals. Sparks flew. Batteries can be a serious hazard, so if it is time for a refit of your boat, then it is time to take a close look at the batteries. On modern boats, nothing works without the batteries. Engines will not start or run, nor will electronics systems for navigation and communication. You can tell that the batteries need…

7 min
top 10 diy tips

If you work on boats long enough, you learn some painful lessons. It has been said that the first time a task goes wrong, we call it experience; the second time, we call it a mistake. In no particular order, the following list shares some of our experiences and mistakes, in the hope that they will help you avoid your own. TIP NO. 1 Never partially assemble a component with loose parts, with the intent to return later to finalize the installation. Imagine that you are installing new hoses on a few seacocks. You carefully measure and cut several pieces of hose to length, and identify the proper hose clamps sizes. You want it all to look tidy and well planned, and toward that end, you decide to “dry fit” the hoses to make…

3 min
command performance

The wilds of the Pacific Northwest are not to be taken lightly. Though beautiful, the rocky shores, verdant outcrops and deserted scenery—many only accessible by boat—come with their own unique challenges. Hard-to-spot deadheads float in the water. A long rainy season, coupled with chilly climes, necessitates an enclosed helm. And far-flung ports require a large fuel capacity. For that reason, from the San Juan Islands to Desolation Sound, you can find trawlers cruising all over the Pacific Northwest. But you also see the faster Cutwaters: cruisers with a little more pickup, able to get places in a hurry. Built in Arlington, Washington, by Fluid Motion (the company also owns Ranger Tugs), Cutwaters are no-fuss, pared-down vessels packed with features. The brand shirks any air of pretentiousness for a more utilitarian approach…