Soundings March 2015

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
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
radio check, radio check

“It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself.” — Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us Since this is my first column as editor-in-chief of Soundings, I probably ought to take this opportunity to present myself in a flattering light — tell you about my nautical background, my professional accomplishments, my high IQ and my excellent parallel-parking skills. Instead, let me tell you about one of the dorkiest things I’ve ever done. I’m not sure of the year — probably 2009 or 2010 — and I was at a media breakfast at the Fort Lauderdale…

3 min
sisson’s next chapter

I read your editorial in the February Soundings with interest but tinged with a little sadness that you are handing over the book to Mary South. I know you will still be around, but I shall miss you at the helm. I do wish you all the best with Anglers Journal, and although not a fisherman myself, I do like the look of the book at lot — nice layout, good photographs, great paper and fine editorial. It was especially poignant that you mentioned Rex Clements in your column, as he apprenticed under my grandfather on a square-rigger when they sailed out to the Far East and back via both “horns.” Clements had this to say about my grandfather: “Stedman was a blue-eyed, broadshouldered man of about 30, a sailor every…

1 min
bayliner’s new ‘all-water’ boat

Bayliner has created a boat with all the elbow room of a pontoon but built on a cat-like fiberglass hull that performs well in a chop and excels for water sports, says Bayliner marketing brand manager Michael Yobe. And the 26-foot, 3-inch Element XR7 is comparable in price to many 22-foot pontoons, Yobe says. Bayliner traded the typical pontoon running surface for its patent-pending M-hull — used for its 16- and 18-foot Element models — which delivers greater seaworthiness, agility and overall performance, says Yobe. “The XR7 has a more evolved look, compared to the typical pontoon, and can excel in coastal waters, for sure,” he says. “We call it an ‘all-water’ boat.’ ” The high sides are gelcoat-finished fiberglass, and Bayliner packed the boat with seating and storage, a head in…

1 min
seamanship quiz

1. INTERNATIONAL RULES: Underway in fog, you hear a signal of one prolonged followed by three short blasts. This indicates: A. a vessel towing B. a vessel being towed C. a vessel at anchor D. a sailboat 2. INTERNATIONAL RULES: If you see three white lights in a vertical line, it is a: A. power vessel pushing a barge B. power vessel towing less than 200 meters of tow C. power vessel towing more than 200 meters of tow D. vessel in distress 3. INTERNATIONAL RULES: When should a stand-on vessel in a crossing situation take action to avoid collision? A. when action by the stand-on vessel alone will not prevent collision B. when action by the give-way vessel will not prevent collision C. in extremis only D. anytime it wants to 4. What do most sea buoys have in common besides being the first…

6 min
extremely competitive but always a good seaman

Some men forge lives worthy of a Hollywood movie, with twists of fate, grand adventures and great accomplishments, punctuated by moments of peril. They leave an indelible mark on their corner of the world. Such was the life of Warren Brown. The iconic Bermudian world-class bluewater sailor, entrepreneur and patriot died on Christmas Day at the age of 85, closing the circle on a life as varied as that of the fictional character Forrest Gump. “He was an incredible man,” says John Wadson, one of many young sailors Brown took under his wing. “He provided so many of us with what can only be described as life-changing opportunities and experiences.” His reputation as an achiever remained intact onshore, as well. “He was a real trailblazer, a progressive and an all-around very gifted person,”…

4 min
historic schooner gets the go-ahead for restoration

When Julius Britto spoke at the schooner Ernestina-Morrissey’s restoration celebration at the New Bedford (Massachusetts) Whaling Museum late last year, it was the fulfillment of a commitment he had made 40 years ago to keep reminding Americans of their historic ties to Cape Verde. The grandson of Cape Verdean immigrants, Britto sees the 120-year-old Ernestina-Morrissey as a piece of living history, a jack of many trades that has worked as a fishing schooner, an Arctic explorer, a World War II supply and survey ship, a Cape Verde packet schooner and a Massachusetts school ship. “She’s done so many things in her history,” says Britto, president of the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, an advocate for the boat’s restoration. She was built for the Gloucester, Massachusetts, fishing fleet in 1894 at the James & Tarr…