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Boating Know-How with Mike Saylor

The boats that stand out in my life

I’ve been in boating for most of my life, except when I was trying to imitate John Wayne while in the service. My boating’s split pretty evenly between power and sail. I even survived building a 32-foot sailboat, and yet when I think of the boats I’ve owned, raced or delivered, only three stand out.



Big ships vs. pleasure boats

Don’t let anyone kid you; size does matter. Big ships versus pleasure boats are nolo contendere. In other words, you cannot win. Regardless of the Rules of the Road, COLREGS notwithstanding, the primary rule to remember is mass has the right of way.



Mistakes and their lessons

“Stuff” happens, and we make mistakes. We can learn from them and the mistakes of others. It’s OK to make mistakes; the trick is not to repeat them.



Getting the most out of boat shows

I love going to boat shows, and I can think of three reasons to attend:
  1. You’re interested in buying a boat and want to see what’s out there.
  2. You’re interested in adding or upgrading equipment and want to see what’s out there.
  3. You enjoy boat shows and just want to see the latest and greatest that’s out there.



A little Marlinspike seamanship

Boating is a technical undertaking. Whether maneuvering a sailboat or powerboat into or out of its berth, piloting or navigating, or repairing and maintaining electrical and plumbing systems, it requires technical know-how. (Notice how I got the title of my column into this article?) My grandfather, who was a Navy officer, and father taught me that while I needn’t do everything myself, I should know how to do everything so I can ensure that what is done for me is done properly. Marlinspike seamanship is among the technical specialties you need to know, and it includes more than knots and splices.



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