ZINIO logo

Soundings October 2021

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

4 min
investing in infrastructure

As boats get bigger and are built with an increasing number of power-hungry systems, some of the nation’s older marinas are struggling to keep up. Not only do they lack the slips to fit the larger boats that so many Americans want to take out cruising, but they also lack the shorepower systems and staffs to service them. The Town of Palm Beach Marina was a classic example of the problem. It’s the only public marina on the island of Palm Beach, Florida, and has long been popular with boaters because of its proximity to the Worth Avenue shopping and dining district. Boaters who tie up receive free access to the oceanfront par-3 golf course, the health and wellness facilities at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center and the town’s…

6 min
go with the flow

I’m willing to bet that we all, especially small sailboat operators, have an anecdote or two about astonishing tidal currents. Mariners with lots of horsepower may simply plow through a foul current—if they don’t mind burning a lot of fuel—and may be less inclined to do a little extra planning. For the rest of us with only modest power, however, avoiding a foul current and squeezing the best speed possible from the boat are crucial. Showing up late for a dinner invitation is harmless enough, but losing the ability to maneuver or being swept into danger can be tragic. Plan ahead. Good current, good speed, safe transit. If you’ve come up the East Coast offshore, then you know the joys of the mighty Gulf Stream’s free miles for a fast trip.…

2 min
sea stories

WHAT WE’RE READING REMOTE AND REMARKABLE Photographer Jay Fleming has spent much of his life with a camera in his hand, and while he is accomplished in many areas of photography, he is best-known for his work around Chesapeake Bay. Whether he’s documenting the difficult work done by the bay’s hard-working watermen or capturing underwater photos of fish, crabs and other bay creatures, Fleming is always willing to go the extra mile to get the perfect shot. His latest work, a book titled Island Life, focuses on Smith and Tangier islands, two remote Chesapeake islands accessible only by boat, where work and life largely revolve around harvesting crabs, fish and oysters. Each island has its own unique culture and vast expanses of natural beauty, as well as histories that stretch back…

5 min
beneteau gran turismo 45

LOA: 48’5” Beam: 13’8” Draft: 3’9” Displ.: 24,782 lbs. Fuel: 238 gals. Water: 106 gals. Power: (2) 440-hp Volvo Penta IPS 600 Price (as tested): $941,000 If you’re thinking of moving up to a larger family cruiser, you’re sure to have a lot of questions regarding everything from anxiety about maneuvering around the docks to overall comfort and enjoyment for your friends and family. A recent sea trial aboard the new Beneteau Gran Turismo 45 illustrated how the world’s largest boatbuilder is anticipating boat owners’ questions and responding with family-friendly features that answer most every need. The GT 45 is at the top of Beneteau’s express cruiser lineup. With primary styling from Andreani Design, and with naval architecture by Beneteau Power Boats, in collaboration with Micad, the renowned Italian naval design office known for its fusion of styling and…

6 min
the return of running tide

When the Newport Bermuda Race kicks off on June 17, 2022, Beau Van Metre expects to be where he spent much of his youth: aboard the 60-foot Sparkman & Stephens design Running Tide. Now in his 70s, Beau’s plan is to show the racing world that the 52-year-old yacht’s recent restoration at Safe Harbor New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, has made her every bit the powerhouse she used to be. But on occasion, Beau also wants to use Running Tide for day cruises. His dual-purpose vision is why Running Tide’s restoration was not only substantial, but also unusual. It added just enough creature comforts to make her more than her original design, while still keeping her suited to her original purpose. “I wanted to be able to use it with…

2 min
wilbur 61

Lee S. Wilbur of Southwest Harbor, Maine, launched his first boat—a 36-foot fiberglass sportfish—in 1973 based on a hull designed by Raymond Bunker. For the next 30 years, his yard’s reputation grew exponentially thanks to loyal clients and a group of skilled shipwrights who painstakingly hand-built each boat with the sea going knowledge of Maine craftsmen. Although Wilbur retired in 2001, he sold the business to his daughter Ingrid and son-in-law John E. Kachmar. Today, the couple operates the facility, which has built more than 200 boats to date from 29 to 61 feet. The Wilbur 61 is the flagship of the fleet and combines traditional Maine workmanship and modern technology with a Hunt-designed hull. Three 61s have been built to date, launching in 1986, 1988 and 1994. (Tumblehome, shown here,…