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The Smart Buyer - How to tell if that core is wet

Jeff Perette tap-tests hulls and decks with an architect's hammer when searching for wet core material.Let’s say you’re in the market for a used powerboat. It might be a center console, a dual console or a walkaround from the 1970s or ’80s. Many builders back then used plenty of wood to core the stringers and transoms of their boats, so you’ll want to find out if the cored material is wet, which compromises the structural integrity of the hull.



The essentials of good seamanship

There's a reason the Coast Guard's motto is Semper Paratus, or 'Always Ready.'There's much more to being a competent skipper than knowing how to run a boat.

Check yourself by reading these five articles.



Eyes in the back of your head

Situational awareness is one of the essentials of good seamanship

One of the most important elements of good seamanship - in good weather and bad - is staying alert. It's important to take your head out of the electronics and look around for other boats, wind shifts and a host of potential hazards while underway.Along with life jackets, a VHF radio, the right anchor and ground tackle, and a handful of other safety items, the most important thing you can pack aboard your boat is a mind-set known as “situational awareness.”



Practice, practice, practice

Being ready for anything is the best defense

This 42-foot North Pacific trawler works her way through 12-foot waves and 8- to 10-second periods despite a much gentler forecast.If seeing is believing, seeing is also knowing — knowing what’s happening around you in plenty of time to deal with waves, other vessels, shoals and rocks.



Don’t neglect your seacocks

These humble handles keep the water out

The lever seacock is clearly in the open position, with the handle parallel to the hose.More than 40 percent of boats that sink do so at the dock or on a mooring, and the majority of these can be attributed to water flooding into the boat through an underwater skin fitting, according to insurer BoatUS.

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Great Gear,