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Soundings April 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
dreams realized

Many years ago, I worked with a writer out of Annapolis, Maryland, who produced a series of stories about his experience cruising the Great Loop with his wife, their young son and their dog. George Sass Sr. shared the details of his family’s 7,500-mile voyage, much to the delight of boat owners and dreamers around the country, who admired Sass for the way he boldly left his house and office behind in order to live and work onboard and underway. His seize-the-day attitude inspired those who understand the joys of cruising and reminded some of us that dreams put off can too often become dreams unrealized. While stories of the Sass family’s travels aboard Sawdust were great reading, I found myself just as intrigued by the boat they chose for the…

2 min

PROUDLY FLYING THE MAPLE LEAF Thank you for your article on Red Jacket (Classics, February), a yacht that needs no introduction to Canadians or the Ontario sailing scene. Red Jacket is still racing today, after being regularly upgraded over the years and kept in Bristol condition. I grew up in Toronto and watched her race on Lake Ontario. She is as beautiful now as the day she was launched. There are two points I would like to raise about your article. First, Red Jacket was never American flagged. Putting an American flag on her is tantamount to showing a Canadian flag on the 12 Metre Courageous. Second, there is no reference to the partnership developed between the boat’s designer, George Cuthbertson, and Eric Bruckmann, a custom yacht builder in Ontario. Bruckmann actually…

3 min
the evolution of speed

Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett has impeccable taste in boats. Look no further than 2018’s Surfari, Buffett’s 48-foot sailboat with an open-concept deck layout by naval architect Ted Fontaine. Other boats that have graced Buffett’s docks include a 42-foot Rybovich Express, a Cheoy Lee 33 and a Cheoy Lee 48. Though Buffett has a penchant for sailboats, he’s also an avid angler. Now in his 70s, he’s discovered that he likes to get to the bite and back without spending hours motoring, according to his captain, Vinnie LaSorsa. “We were in the middle of deciding whether to repower and fix up the Rybovich, but Jimmy was looking for something faster,” LaSorsa says. “Plus, the refit was going to put our only fishing boat out of commission for six months.” So, LaSorsa started noodling other ideas.…

4 min
the four-digit response

In April 2018, South Florida attorney and boater Bruce Marx posted a message on his Facebook page. Thieves had stolen a brand-new Garmin chartplotter off his 31-foot Contender, adding him to the list of victims in what, less than a year earlier, had become a marina-based crime problem so bad that a national task force had been created to address it. By late 2018, Marx had launched a Facebook group to try and get other boaters involved in a community watch type of effort. Today, that Facebook group has more than 5,300 members, and a helm electronics company has joined their fight to foil the thieves. Furuno, following more than a year of lobbying by Marx and other boaters, has become the first manufacturer to initiate security measures that should help to…

4 min
by the book

I was out on the water recently and saw a small, recreational vessel nearly collide with a larger commercial fishing boat in the river. It was yet another reminder that even though 70 percent of the Earth is covered with water, two boats can still manage to occupy the same location. We have maritime rules of the road to prevent this situation. Officially known as the 72 COLREGS, they comprise nearly 200 pages of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook. Professional mariners need to pass a test showing that they know these rules. For recreational boaters, knowing just a few of the regulations can add safety for everyone on and around the boat. Many of these rules are common sense. Rule 5, for example,…

1 min

1. INTERNATIONAL & INLAND RULES: Your vessel is at anchor in fog. The fog signal of another vessel, apparently underway, has been growing louder and the danger of collision appears to exist. In addition to your fog signal, what signal may be used to indicate your presence? A. One prolonged, one short, and one prolonged whistle blast B. No signal other than your fog signal may be used. C. One prolonged followed by two short whistle blasts D. One short, one prolonged, and one short whistle blast 2. INTERNATIONAL & INLAND RULES: You are the stand-on vessel in a crossing situation. If you think the give-way vessel is NOT taking sufficient action to avoid collision you should sound: A. the danger signal B. two short blasts, alter to port, and pass astern C. no signal and maneuver at…