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Columbia: the gem of Rock Harbor

Rebuilt after a half-century of hard fishing in Cape Cod Bay, the 43-footer is ready for the next 50 years

When I was a young man in the 1960s growing up on Cape Cod, Mass., a focal point of my life each summer was the charter fishing fleet down at Rock Harbor in Orleans.

Considering that the harbor is on a little tidal creek with only enough water to float most boats for about two to three hours on either side of an 8- to 11-foot high tide, the fact that it hosts one of the biggest charter fleets on the East Coast seems improbable, to say the least.

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Good - or not-so-good - vibrations

Tracking down the source of on-board noise takes some detective work, but the reward is worth the effort

A quiet, smooth-running boat is much more enjoyable to be aboard.Next to a hard-riding hull, excessive noise and vibration are among the worst powerboat problems. Other than fans of go-fast speedsters, most skippers I know don't think more engine noise is good, and no one likes a boat that rattles and vibrates.

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Filling the holes, muffling the machinery


A properly tuned prop will vibrate less.To get a better take on some of the issues Bill Johnson raised when I interviewed him, I called Chris Murray, director of sales for Soundown, a company well known in the marine industry for its noise and vibration control products. He added some interesting insights on how to solve noise and vibration problems.



The elements of a well-found boat

n_38_onpowerPhin Sprague shares his insights on design and construction, formed by his experiences at sea



Building a bulletproof boat

n_40a_onpowerIn 1986, work began in California on the hull that eventually became Lions Whelp, the 65-foot Alden-designed schooner that Phin and Abbot Sprague bought more than a decade later and outfitted for offshore cruising. The hull was built with strip planking and cold-molded wood, but construction came to a halt, and the boat sat in the sun with the bilge full of water for the next 12 years. That's how Phin and his brother found her in 1998.



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