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Soundings November 2019

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
hope 4 hopetown

As I write this, two weeks have passed since Hurricane Dorian tore away from the Bahamas after pummeling the island nation with sustained winds of 185 mph. It was the most powerful storm on record to strike the Bahamas and is being called the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. The photos taken in the wake of the storm are heartbreaking, particularly the images of residents forced to evacuate and those who remained on the hard-hit islands of the Abacos and Grand Bahama. I’ve had the privilege to cruise the beautiful waters of the Abacos with my family, and to enjoy the company of the warm and welcoming people who call this part of the world their home. Many of my colleagues at the Active Interest Media Marine Group have…

2 min

MEMORY LANE One of the photos by Onne van der Wal in the story “Shore Thing” (October) brought back so many good memories; it’s as if I heard one of my favorite old songs. The picture was taken at the dock of the sailing pavilion at MIT. The birthplace of college sailing and the 2018 National Sailing Champions, MIT is now the steward of the Buzzards Bay 30 Mashnee that was built in 1902 and designed by L. Francis Herreshoff, who was special student at MIT. So many great boats were created by graduates of the School of Naval Design. I learned to sail at MIT many years ago. In 1999, I saw an advertisement for the Stone Horse, a classic cutter-rigged pocket cruiser by yet another MIT graduate, S.S. Crocker.…

4 min
black beauty

She was 97 years old, but her age didn’t matter. For at least one judge at the 37th Antique & Classic Boat Festival in Salem, Massachusetts, picking the winner was almost predestined. “Can we just go ahead and name her the most beautiful schooner in the world?” Queene Hooper Foster asked the other judges. She was referring to Malabar II, a 1922 John Alden-designed 42-foot LOD wooden schooner. Her beautiful lines and pristine condition drew loads of admirers. By the end of the first day, the judges had voted her the best sailboat at the festival, and by the end of the weekend the spectators would do the same. The gaff-rigged schooner is a testament to a nearly lifelong commitment from her owners, Jim and Ginny Lobdell of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, who…

5 min
more on moorings

A statewide agency that oversees Rhode Island’s coastal areas has injected itself into what was already a cantankerous local debate about access to moorings in one of the Northeast’s most popular ports, Newport Harbor, creating an even bigger controversy that could affect local and transient boaters in the summers to come. About 900 moorings are in Newport Harbor, and the city categorizes them as private or commercial. Some 600 of the moorings are private, which means locals can put their own boats on them. The other 300 moorings are commercial, which means they’re open for rental to transient boaters. This past year, there’s been a lot of discussion and, well, argument about the private moorings. Around 600 locals are reportedly on a waiting list to get a private mooring for their boat,…

1 min
new world traveler

Pacific Asian Enterprises has begun construction on a brand-new model, the Nordhavn 41. The 41-footer, to debut in early 2020, will replace the builder’s popular 40, which holds the world record for the fastest circum-navigation by a production powerboat. With a low profile, the new design will be CE Certified Category A Ocean, for winds up to 40 knots and waves over 13 feet. Twin Kubota 75-hp diesels marinized by Beta will be standard. Nordhavn says these engines routinely run 20,000 hours in generator applications. Stabilization will come from ABT Trac 220 stabilizers with 6-square-foot fins and a 4,000-pound lead ballast keel. The Nordhavn 41 will be available with one or two staterooms. A 12-foot center console tender can be accommodated on deck and an 800-pound davit is standard. The 41 will…

3 min
if the coasties quit looking

It’s a call that always comes sooner than hopeful relatives are prepared for. Loved ones pin their hopes on one last flight, and the U.S. Coast Guard sector commander—the man or woman responsible for calling off a search—knows it. He or she has to tell the family that nothing was found, and that the Coast Guard is giving up. Deciding to quit a search is the worst part of the job. When the Coast Guard suspends a search for a missing boater, hearts that were breaking now fully break, and the news is met with more than tears. There is often also anger and confusion. The anger can’t be helped, but the confusion can be eased. Most people lost at sea stay lost. It’s a harsh reality that the Coast Guard deals…