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Soundings August 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

2 min
may day

On a damp, gray day in May, I trudged along a country road lined by towering hornbeams, across a short field and past the chicken coop. At the top of the slope behind my brother’s barn, I gave a strong tug on a short chain and propped back two massive loft doors. It took my eyes a minute to adjust to the cavernous dark but there she was — tucked in a far corner, between a stack of wicker furniture and a painted picnic table. Coated in a thick blanket of hay dust, her fine lines were still apparent and more beautiful than I remembered. Seven years earlier, on another damp day in May, my partner and I had gone to the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine, and in five and…

4 min
[mail boat]

I really enjoyed reading Pat Mundus’ “What Makes A Good Captain?” [“Seamanship,” April]. As a senior executive leader in several companies and now a mentor, I believe Mundus could just as easily have substituted “leader” for “captain” and been right on. I will keep her thoughts in mind the next time I am discussing leadership with an early-career enthusiast. Thanks for such a thoughtful article! Dan Pisano Edgewater, MD A SECRET NO MORE Finally, the best kept secret in the trawler world is out! I owned an earlier version of the Helmsman 38E [June, Soundings], taking her single-handed from the Florida Keys to Lake Champlain. Just a great boat. Her 14-foot beam with no outside passages makes it “live” like a much larger boat with a 16-foot beam. And with the pilothouse access…

2 min
yamaha’s biggest outboard ever!

TRULY UNIQUE Reliant Yachts of Newport, Rhode Island, is building a 40-foot tender that can serve as a superyacht luxury tender, car carrier, landing craft, al fresco dining room, scuba platform, floating galley, or private island. The X40L can deliver an SUV to the beach and features a dining table that rises out of the sole, a full galley, an air-conditioned head and swim access from four sides of the boat. Twin Cummins engines and Hamilton jets deliver in excess of 20 knots of speed. Reliant Yachts, Newport, Rhode Island, (401) 684-1476. reliantyachts.com Yamaha Marine in May launched its XTO Offshore platform by introducing the XF425, a 425-horsepower, four-stroke outboard that is the company’s highest-horsepower offering to date. “This is an integrated outboard system, designed to push the heaviest offshore boats and yachts,”…

1 min
seamanship quiz

1. INTERNATIONAL RULES: A fishing vessel must give way to which of the following types of vessels? A. Power driven vessel B. Towing vessel C. Sailing vessel D. Vessel Restricted in Ability to Maneuver 2. INTERNATIONAL RULES: What signal would you give when coming to a bend and visibility is blocked by a high bank? A. A short blast, 1 second B. A long blast, 8 to 10 seconds C. A prolonged blast of 4 to 6 seconds D. A prolonged and two short blasts 3. INTERNATIONAL RULES: The minimum visibility of a masthead light on a 10 meter motorboat is: A. 1 mile B. 2 miles C. 3 miles D. 5 miles 4. Under the U.S. Aids to Navigation System, spherical buoys may be: A. Numbered B. Lettered C. Lighted D. All of the above 5. An occluded front is when the: A. Front ceases to move B. Front overtakes another…

5 min
long island town wrestles with backyard boat slip rentals

The town of Hempstead, New York, at least for the near future, is allowing the continuation of boating as usual. But a late May meeting of the Town Board in this southern Long Island community brought extensive media attention, making Hempstead the latest battleground in America between boaters who have long had private slips and lawmakers who want to regulate them. The Hempstead meeting grew downright fiery — with one woman breaking down in tears and outraged complaints drawing raucous gallery applause — as residents denounced a proposal by Councilman Anthony D’Esposito to limit the number of boat slips they can rent out behind their homes. The board members tried for the better part of a half hour to adjourn the public hearing and go back to the drawing board on the proposal,…

4 min
flotsam & jetsam

NO ORDINARY BYSTANDER Modern tenders might be outfitted with 1200 or more horsepower and be capable of speeds of 50 knots or more. Beyond their role, these speed demons have little in common with the 42-foot Bystander, which was the longest-serving and probably the most successful race tender in the history of the America’s Cup. Bystander was commissioned and owned by Harold S. (Mike) Vanderbilt and acted as towboat, crew carrier and sail carrier to three victorious America’s Cup campaigns in 1930, 1934 and 1937. In 1958 she served as tender to Vim, which was narrowly beaten to defend the Auld Mug by Columbia. By 1960, Bystander had landed in Australian hands and served in another three America’s Cup campaigns, tending to Gretel, Dame Pattie and Gretel II. She was rescued in 2002…