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Sea Stories - November 2019

What We’re Watching


Second Wind: The Snoek Refit

If you’ve had your hands on any sort of boating magazine in the past 30 years, chances are good you’ve seen more than a few of Onne van der Wal’s photos. The Newport, Rhode Island-based photographer was born in the Netherlands and raised on the sea in Hout Bay, South Africa, where he learned to sail. He is one of the most respected marine photographers in the world, first making a name for himself when he crewed and shot photographs on Flyer, a Dutch entry that participated in the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1981-82.

After years of crewing on other people’s boats, van der Wal craved his own sailing craft to love, and bought a 1972 Pearson 36 sailboat to refit in his backyard. A new PBS documentary, Second Wind: The Snoek Refit, captures the ins and outs of van der Wal’s challenging winter project while looking back at his life, including his time crewing on boats, becoming a recognized photographer and living in a racially divided South Africa during apartheid. Eric Thorkilsen from This Old House Ventures is the film’s producer. The director is Thom Draudt. The presenting station is Rhode Island PBS. You can also catch the film on van der Wal’s Vimeo channel at

Salty Reads


While we’re certainly not encouraging you to stop boating, simply owning or taking a recreational craft out on the water can expose you to a couple of legal hazards. Factor in title liens, surveyor negligence, salvage rights, insurance fraud and the regular rules of the road, and you have a few good reasons to seek the counsel of an attorney. Maritime law can be a confusing maze filled with expensive pitfalls. The book Law of Recreational Boating aims to simplify the challenges. Using plain English that everyday folks can understand, the author, an avid recreational boater and attorney, aims to provide practical advice using examples from cited casework on each subject, including towing, marine insurance, titling and more. ($25, Cornell Maritime Press) ­­—Gary Reich

Joys of DIY


Dangar Marine is a salty YouTube channel whose host is an Australian gentleman known simply as DangarStu. Informative and instructive, the channel intends to demystify common do-it-yourself boat topics such as restoring old outboards, building plywood boats, servicing boat trailers, polishing and waxing topsides, degreasing bilge spaces and more. Many videos revolve around an old steel trawler the host is restoring in a boatyard. 




Available on Apple’s Podcast app, They Had to Go Out goes underway with the U.S. Coast Guard, talking to veteran Coasties about some of the most treacherous and heroic sea stories of modern times. The sea is one of the most challenging and demanding environments on earth, and these podcasts recount the tales of pirates in Guam, fishing vessel disasters, Coast Guard cutter missions, helicopter rescue swimmer training and more. 

This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue.



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