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Cruising Life through the Eyes of Tom Neale

Secrets of boating on the cheap

There are things you can scrimp on and things you can't, and knowing the difference is critical

Tom knows  all about living aboard on a limited budget, starting with a thrifty  approach and some do-it-yourself skills.The new vogue in boating magazines is writing about boating on a budget. But boating on a budget is like skydiving from a stepladder. Which is why the top of my head is flat.

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Staying wired on the water can be simple

With the right equipment, taking care of business ashore while cruising won't be the headache it used to be

Army Corp of Engineers surveyor Tommy Thomas attends to business in his office aboard the survey vessel Florida.Taking care of business is the last thing you want to worry about on a cruise. But being unable to take care of business can become the first thing to ruin a cruise. It can eat into your pleasure like a piranha.

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A motorsailer gets no respect, I tell ya

Chez Nous isn't a powerboat or a pure sailboat, and it's been the source of Tom's nautical identity crisis

Chez Nous throws a slight 'motorsailer wake' in the narrow ICW.I'm not a psychologist or even a TV talking-head shrink. So I don't know why some people have identity crises. But I do know why I have an identity crisis. It's because I have a motorsailer.

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In search of the trusty yard expert

We can't do all the maintenance ourselves, so it's crucial to find the right mechanic or technician

Todd Grenier of Whelan's Marine works on the new Yamaha installation aboard Tom's 20-foot Mako.If you're like me and can't buy a new boat every few years, you probably spend a lot of time worrying about finding people and yards to help keep your boat alive.

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Strange things we’ve seen at sea

Spend as much time on the water as Tom has, and you just might wonder if you can still believe your eyes


At least the bear the Neales saw in the channel didn't try to board Chez Nous.When you’re out on the water, you don’t need to look for a ghostly pirate ship lunging upward from the waves like a fantasy from the movies. There are many weird sights at sea needing no help from Hollywood — some even stranger than fiction.

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