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Soundings March 2020

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
go the distance

There are a lot of ways to relax in your downtime. Here in the Northeast, during the winter months when boats are in storage, one of my guilty pleasures is to search online for all things vintage. That includes nautical antiques, listings for which I’ll click through on countless sites, from small marine specialty shops to global brokers like Sotheby’s. It’s easy to lose track of time sifting through photos and descriptions of elegant brass portholes, old sextants and compasses, pieces that can stoke anyone’s love of nautical nostalgia. But searching and shopping for these pieces from my laptop in Connecticut is one thing. It’s quite another to get out into the world and find this stuff. At least that’s what I learned reading Kim Kavin’s piece on a couple from…

3 min

HEAVY METAL I thoroughly enjoyed the article on the David B and its nearly 100-year-old diesel engine (“Time Machine,” February). It took me back over 40 years when a longtime diving friend owned the Peterson-built, gill net tug, Ann B. Built in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, in the mid-1930s, it was powered by a two-cylinder, 60-hp Kahlenberg Brothers diesel engine. To start it you fired up the cylinder head blow torches until they were close to red hot and opened the air pressure valve. Because it was located on top and in dead center, it would turn over and the engine would begin running. Perhaps a future article could explore the history of what is now Kahlenberg Industries from Two Rivers, Wisconsin. The company doesn’t produce engines anymore, but it is still…

4 min
an ugly problem

When a St. Petersburg, Florida, marine officer recently retired after 30 years on the job, Heather Judd, who works in the office of the city attorney, asked him what he would change in the region if he could change absolutely anything. The officer told her he wished that derelict boats would be removed from the area’s waterways. He also expressed a desire for boaters to slow down when they see emergency vessels near these derelict boats—in the same way that drivers of motor vehicles have to slow down on the nation’s roadways. Now, those wishes and more could become law throughout the state of Florida. On January 3, state Senator Darryl Rouson, a Democrat from District 19, introduced Senate bill 1378. It would require boaters to slow down to minimum wake…

5 min
ease the motion

Constant calm seas exist only in our dreams. Sometimes, we’re stuck out there in reality when the wind and seas really kick up. If you are on a day trip and able to make safe haven before the weather turns nasty, then by all means do so. But on a passage, we have to take what’s coming. As the weather deteriorates, it may no longer be possible to safely and comfortably maintain speed or steer the required course. Easing the motion of the boat by slowing down or altering course might be the best solution. Beyond that, suspending a voyage plan is not being chickenhearted; it’s prudent. Experienced mariners have learned the hard way to employ good common sense as conditions demand. “Calm seas never made a good seaman.” I got…

1 min

1. INLAND RULES: For determining a safe speed, all of the following are mentioned in the rules, except: A. The draft in relation to the available depth of water B. The presence of background light at night C. Constraints imposed by the radar range scale in use D. The competency of the crew 2. INLAND RULES: You sight a vessel ahead on radar and maneuver to keep clear. The prescribed action is: A. Turn right B. Turn left C. Minor course and/or speed changes D. Substantial course and/or speed changes 3. NAVIGATION: One red pennant displayed at a storm warning display station forecasts: A. Winds to 25 knots, but satisfactory sea conditions B. Winds to 33 knots, dangerous sea conditions for small craft C. Winds to 35 knots D. Winds to 45 knots 4. DECK GENERAL: What can be said of a vessel that rolls…

2 min
around the world reads

SAILING ALONE AROUND THE WORLD Born in Nova Scotia, Joshua Slocum had made dozens of open sea voyages on trader and merchant ships before he built Spray, the gaff-rigged oyster sloop he’d sail around the world alone. He set sail from Fairhaven, Massachusetts, on April 24, 1895, following a 46,000-mile westward route that landed him in Newport, Rhode Island, on June 27, 1898. Sailing Alone Around the World was first published in 1899 in a series of pieces in The Century Magazine. The book has been widely available in print for over 100 years. ($7, Independently Published) DOVE American sailor Robin Lee Graham was 16 years old when he set sail from California in the 24-foot Lapworth sloop Dove. After a shakedown cruise from California, he left Hawaii on September 14, 1965. In…