Soundings November 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

3 min
a few good lessons

In this issue, you’ll learn about this year’s dramatic increase in first-time boat buyers, and the rise in accidents that has occurred as a result of so many newcomers on the water (Focus, page 47). Safety experts say many of these people are making thoughtless mistakes, in large part because they don’t have enough education, be it formal training at a certification class or informal schooling from friends who have boats. Some of the most competent skippers I know learned the ropes from their parents, who taught skills as well as respect for a certain way of doing things, for the nuances of seamanship. I’ve always enjoyed spending time with these boaters, as they seem to value nautical tradition and know how to make a day on the water really special…

3 min

FAST COMPANY Here’s a quick note on the August issue, having just finished reading the whole doggone thing. I enjoyed so many of the stories, including “When it Blows” (Seamanship). Pat Mundus provides all you need to know about wind, and her advice is relevant for both sea dogs and airplane pilots. I’ve been a flight instructor for 40 years and I’m going to get this piece circulating to my students. Wind is always a subject I raise during a flight review. I also liked the story on the Jersey Speed Skiff (Classics). When I was 14, I ran the rowboat float at Pullins Boatyard in Rumson, New Jersey. I was enamored by the sight and sound of these boats. The owners would tie up, get some gas and go into the…

3 min
a star is reborn

A few decades ago, the once lovely wooden Herreshoff racing yacht Doris, built in 1904, was floating, hogged and peeling, in a secluded cove off a residential street on the lower Connecticut River. Yet despite the decay, the yacht radiated grandeur, as it harkened to a time when craftmanship counted and wind power drove international commerce and the recreational pursuits of those who derived their fortunes from it. Later, the classic beauty sat moldering and abandoned in a New London, Connecticut, shipyard, seemingly destined for destruction by chainsaw. At 78 feet, Doris was the largest wooden sailboat ever built by Nathanael Herreshoff and was significant as the first vessel built to the Universal Rule for Yachts, which determined a boat’s eligibility to race in the America’s Cup from 1914 to 1937. Even…

5 min
who gets to use our oceans?

Kristen Porter fishes commercially for lobster and scallops from his 42-foot Wesmac out of Cutler, Maine. For years now he has had a device on his boat—$3,100 out of his pocket to install it, plus another $60 a month for service—so regulators can track him and make sure he’s operating lawfully in scallop fisheries. “It’s burdensome,” says Porter, who is president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. “You have to log in before you leave the harbor. If you forget and remember halfway out, you have to call and try to find somebody to help, or you have to go back and start over.” Now, Porter and other commercial fishermen may be required to get another tracking device, this time for lobster fishing. In early August, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission…

1 min
what we’re watching

TUNA: IT’S WHAT’S FOR LUNCH Albacore, a member of the tuna family, is prized around the world for its tasty flesh, much of which ends up in cans, and ultimately, in salads, sandwiches and other fishy gastronomical creations. Harvesting these pelagic ocean wanderers isn’t just strenuous, it’s also extremely dangerous work. “Battlefish,” a reality series on Netflix, highlights the Pacific Ocean’s northwest albacore fishery and the seasoned fishermen from Oregon and Washington who each year battle high seas, long working hours and injury to bring these fish—and a hefty paycheck—home. Season one encompasses eight episodes, each filmed by videographers who are embedded aboard vessels manned by albacore crews who aggressively compete for their share of this lucrative fishery.…

2 min
more salty spooky reads

DEEP DARK SEA Author Jeffrey James Higgins describes his latest release as a sailing story woven with threads from the cloth of The Shining by Stephen King. The book, Furious: Sailing into Terror unfolds as protagonist Dr. Dagny Steele is on the verge of fulfilling a lifelong goal of becoming a pediatric surgeon. But Steele’s dreams are shattered when the unexpected death of her daughter spirals her into depression. Her husband, Brad, recommends an Indian Ocean voyage as a tonic for her woes, but it quickly becomes obvious that he has an agenda. As they depart Bali for the Maldives, things quickly unravel. The vessel that was supposed to be Steele’s salvation suddenly turns into a dark, violent horror show, fueled by an unseen darkness that seems to overcome the boat…