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Soundings December 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
the people you meet

This issue isn’t pegged to any one theme, but in a number of stories this month, there are references to pride, and the deep pleasure that can be derived from a job well done. In Fire & Metal, Senior Editor Gary Reich suits up for a day of work beside employees at Yamaha Marine’s Precision Propeller, where 60,000 wheels are made every year. The time he spent in the Indiana facility learning the finer points of the lost-wax casting process taught him that by the time a prop reaches the shipping dock, it’s been touched by many hands. “Each finished prop looks like a beautiful sculpture,” says Reich. “The visit gave me an overwhelming feeling that everyone in that factory cares, and that they know their work makes a lot…

2 min

Cool On Climate Before reading the story about the climate activist Greta Thunberg and her journey across the Atlantic on a racing sailboat (Teen Titan, November), I was apprehensive that it was going to be another opinion article about global warming, more hysteria disguised as news. What a pleasant surprise to read the reporting by author Patricia Sisson, who presented the facts objectively. TED GLASIER Prior to reading Teen Titan, I had been hearing a lot about Greta Thunberg and admired her efforts to draw attention to a subject she’s passionate about. After reading the story in Soundings about her journey from Plymouth, England, to Manhattan in a 60-foot sailboat, I have another level of respect for this 16-year-old. It takes courage for any person with a healthy respect for the sea to…

1 min
lexus makes a splash

Lexus has long been known as the luxury automaker that marches to the beat of the tagline, “The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection.” Now, with the help of American boatbuilder Marquis Yachts, Lexus is turning its eye toward high-performance motoryachts with the launch of the 65-foot LY 650. The boat made its world debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last month. The 65-foot flybridge yacht is powered by 1,050-, 1,200-, or 1,350-hp Volvo Penta diesels with IPS pod drives and features a three-stateroom layout capable of sleeping six. The open main salon (above) looks contemporary and has lounge seating, a lower helm and an aft galley that serves the cockpit. The LY 650’s exterior is highlighted by muscular lines, a two-tone color scheme and metallic accents. Entertaining spaces include an expansive…

4 min
bright lights, big battle

As of early October, the dockmaster at the West 79th Street Boat Basin in New York City said it had been a while since she last saw one of the giant, flashing LED billboards go by. The same was true at Chelsea Piers on the Hudson River, and at Liberty Landing Marina on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. The visual calm on the waterways around Manhattan was a welcome reprieve to many boaters following action by New York lawmakers in a long-running battle to stop the use of floating digital billboards—the kinds with 1,200-square-foot screens made up of flashing LED lights that turn the waterways into a blinking, neon advertising parade reminiscent of Times Square. In March, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that the city had…

1 min
news from downeast

When Back Cove Yachts released the Back Cove 34O with outboard engines last year, it was a departure for the Rockland, Maine, builder, which had long been known for its Downeast-style, inboard-powered models. Now, Back Cove has announced that it will release a second outboard-powered model, the Back Cove 39O in 2020. Back Cove says the new boat, with an LOA of 43’10”, will have a range of 300-plus miles at cruise, and a top speed of 37 knots with twin 425-hp Yamaha XTO425 outboards. (Price with that power is $625,000.) Triple 300-hp Yamahas will be standard, but the company intends to provide optional power packages that will give the 39O a top end of more than 40 knots. The 39O’s hull design will have the same Trailing Edge Lifting Surface…

3 min
the case that changed my thinking

No one could figure out what happened. He was just going fishing. It was a beautiful winter day, and he knew all the good spots. He had plenty of gas, his boat was in good shape, and he had VHF radios, a life jacket and an EPIRB. Being a retired U.S. Navy boatswain’s mate, he knew the water and all about boats. He had even won safety awards. I knew what went wrong even before we started our U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and flew up the James River in Virginia to look for him. There he was, face down and dead in the freezing water. A pocket of air in his coat was the only thing keeping his shoulders and part of his head on the surface. It had been less than…