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Soundings July 2018

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.

United States
Active Interest Media
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
one word: plastics

If I’m really honest with myself, my love of boating is deeply entwined — no, totally inseparable — from my love of the sea. I know that because, in my heart’s heart and my mind’s eye, it’s a small wooden sailboat that seems ideal to me. Something beamy, not too much freeboard, small engine off and a full mainsail, face turned up to the sun’s caress and only the quiet rush of parting water, a faint brine carried in the breeze and the occasional cry of seabirds … how could you ever beat that fantasy? Well, you can beat it (to a pulp) with reality. And I don’t mean the arguments that have kept me tied to an engine all these years, I mean THAT A SINGLEUSE PLASTIC SHOPPING BAG IS…

3 min
[mail boat]

I really enjoyed Mary South’s “Caribbean Comeback” (March 2018) about the British Virgin Islands. It is so heartwarming to see the resilience and recovery of everyone in the BVI. All the beauty is still there. John Barry Oak Island, North Carolina IMPELLER TRICKS I read and enjoyed Tom Neele’s article “Down And Dirty In The Engine Room,” (March 2017 and in a recent Dispatches eNewsletter) and can thoroughly empathize with every aspect, from screwdriver drops to contorted one-handed grabs for unseen parts. One tidbit that I wanted to offer for help to readers hoping to do their own repairs, whether maintenance or emergency, would be: When attempting to re-install a rubber impeller, say, into a sea water pump, the easy trick would be to compress the vanes in the spin direction, and hold them down using…

1 min
hinckley launches sou’wester 53

Yo, Duuuude! Get Your Surfboard A new meteorological buoy in the Southern Ocean may have recorded the largest wave — 78 feet tall — ever measured in the Southern Hemisphere. It may also have failed to record an even bigger one. We’ll never know for sure because the buoy is not a full-time employee. It’s solar-powered, so it needs to conserve its energy. It works only 20 minutes per three hours, transmits its data via satellite, and then takes the next two-and-a-half hours off. Not a bad gig, if you don’t mind rough weather. Hinckley recently took the wraps off its Sou’wester 53, a carbon-epoxy pilothouse sailboat that Tripp Design Naval Architecture drew for cruising families. It is the first production sailboat from the builder since the Bermuda 50 in 2015. “She is…

1 min
seamanship quiz

1. INTERNATIONAL RULES: On a vessel of 30 meters, what is the minimum required visibility distance in miles of the masthead light? A. 2 miles B. 3 miles C. 4 miles D. 5 miles 2. INTERNATIONAL RULES: A vessel underway at night and displaying a green light above a white light would be: A. trawling B. mine clearing C. under sail D. a pilot boat 3. INTERNATIONAL RULES: A vessel wishing to overtake another vessel on her starboard side in a narrow channel would sound which signal? A. 1 prolonged, 1 short, 1 prolonged, 1 short B. 2 prolonged and two short C. 2 prolonged and 1 short D. no signal required unless changing course 4. The four standard light colors used for lighted aids to navigation are red, green, white and: A. purple B. orange C. blue D. yellow 5. What kind of front has been pushed up and…

4 min
beware at the pump

In mid-April, President Trump said he was planning to remove summertime Environmental Protection Agency regulations and allow the sale of E15 gasoline — made with 15 percent ethanol — year-round. The move drew immediate concern from BoatUS, which has long said that ethanol can harm marine engines, decrease fuel efficiency and increase fuel costs for boaters. Allowing E15 to be sold year-round, the group says, would only add to existing fuel-supply problems that boaters face. “We think it increases the likelihood that we’re going to have misfueling in boats,” David Kennedy, BoatUS government affairs manager, told Soundings. “For a lot of people, you’re going to the lake. You’ve got the boat, the kids, the dog, all the things going on, and you’re pulling in to fuel up your boat. We’re trying to educate…

3 min
flotsam & jetsam

HISTORIC WINDJAMMING OPPORTUNITY Victory Chimes, the only known surviving example of a Chesapeake Ram schooner, holds a USCG Certificate of Inspection for 50 passengers and has been sailing the Maine coast for charter since 1990. The 132-foot, three-master has 21 passenger cabins and is offered for sale at $650,000. Honored by the National Park Service as a “National Historic Landmark” and featured on the State of Maine quarter, she was once owned by Domino’s Pizza, whose owner completely restored her and is credited with saving the vessel in the late 1980s. The ship has a beautiful full galley, but surprisingly, no dedicated pizza oven. northropandjohnson.com 4.5 Number of dollars, in trillions, in economic activity that occur annually on our nation’s waterways, according to a 2017 United States Coast Guard report. SOLES WITH HOLES If you…