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Patience pays off

Two-plus years might seem like a long time to restore a 25-foot boat, but Jeff Koenke says his 1984 Boston Whaler is better than new

Jeff Koenke has 600 hours of work into the refit of his Outrage.Hurricane Katrina had beaten up the old Boston Whaler pretty badly, though not enough to scare Jeff Koenke away. Despite its crushed port gunwale, a blistered bottom and a corroded aluminum fuel tank, the 1984 25-foot Outrage was perfect for Koenke, who first saw the boat on eBay.

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Sea sense

Seamanship is as much a mindset as it is skills and tactics, from knowing your own limitations and watching the weather to having the right tools on board

When conditions really deteriorate, you need the proper boat and skills to keep out of harm's way.Chaucer wrote (and I paraphrase): When April with its showers, breaks the drought of March ... boating season is almost upon us! Whether you live in an area where winter is cold or boating is a 365-day-a-year pastime, it's wise to pause and reacquaint yourself with some safe practices that will help you enjoy the warmer days ahead.

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Night vision - What's out there?

With Raymarine aboard, FLIR aims to put battlefield-quality thermal-imaging cameras on more boats.

FLIR Systems' 2010 acquisition of Raymarine is the kind of combination that could broaden consumers' marine electronics vocabulary.

"Slew to cue" is a military term that is often lethal news if you happen to be the "cue." The cue is a target. Slewing is what makes guns or missiles aim at that target. One way to identify a target is by its heat signature and FLIR is a major supplier of night-vision cameras to the U.S. military that do just that.

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Should rescue beacons be mandatory?

The Coast Guard is authorized to require them from three miles out, but BoatU.S. has 'Big Brother' concerns

Buried deep within the Coast Guard 2011 authorization bill is a short paragraph enabling the agency to require emergency locator beacons on pleasure boats when they go offshore - a measure advocates say could save lives while also saving millions each year in search costs.

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A small phone with wide-ranging reach

It doesn't come cheap, but the TerreStar Genus gives boaters something they've not had before in mobile communications - a cell phone and a satellite phone bundled into a single smart package just a tad bigger than a BlackBerry.

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