The Newport International Boat Show 2013

Newport, Rhode Island is a magnet for boaters. It’s often called, with complete justification, the Boating Mecca of the Northeast. With miles of docks and hundreds of moorings, it’s a place where boaters go to ogle at other boats, and to be ogled themselves. The City of Newport itself is a great place to visit by sea or land. It’s a great place to call your home port while you’re touring the beautiful scenery of New England.

Newport International Boat Show -Credit Onne Van Der Wal 1 PRG HR (2)

Nobody should be surprised that one of the best attended boat shows in the United States is the Newport International  Boat Show. For 43 years, since 1970, the Newport Boat Show is a must for boaters in the area, and even from across the country.  It’s more than just a boat show, it’s a national event.

The show is held along America’s Cup Boulevard at the Newport Yachting Center. There are not only boats, but acres of tents holding every piece of boating gear and hardware imaginable.

The show is put on by the Newport Exhibition Group, owners and producers of the Newport International Boat Show. On August 14,2013,  the group announced the nominees chosen for the Newport for New Products (NFNP).

The eighth-annual NFNP winners are:

Best New Sailboat                              Leonardo Yachts Eagle 44 presented by Rogers Yacht Sales of Groton, CT

Best New Powerboat                          Greenline GL 40 by Seaway Yachts presented by Russo Marine of Medford, MA (see further details toward the end of this article).

Best New Boating Product                 Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit presented by Garmin of Olathe, KS

Best New Sailboat 30’ and Over        Leonardo Yachts Eagle 44 presented by Rogers Yacht Sales of Groton, CT

Best New Sailboat Under 30’             J88 by J/Boats of Newport, RI

Best New Powerboat 30’ and Over    Greenline GL 40 by Seaway Yachts presented by Russo Marine of Medford, MA (see further details toward the end of this article).

Best New Powerboat Under 30’        The Southport 29 FE by Southport Boats of Augusta, ME

Peoples Choice Award                       Alerion 41 by Alerion Yachts of Warren, RI

A highlight of the industry, NFNP entries were open to domestic and foreign products launched in the U.S. after April 1, 2013 that made their boat show debut at Newport. Show attendees selected the People’s Choice Award winner; all other category winners were selected by a team of industry experts on the basis of innovation, value to the consumer, safety, and aesthetics.

“We were extremely impressed by the number and quality of entries for this year’s awards,” said Tom Delotto, director of Newport Exhibition Group. “This is a new record for the Newport for New Products program, and we are pleased to have these boats and products represent all of the new and exciting introductions at the Newport International Boat Show.”

This year’s event had over 750 exhibitors from around the world with an exceptional assortment of boats of every type and style from 15 to 85 feet, and a wide variety of accessories, equipment, electronics, gear and services for boaters. For more information on the 43rd Annual Newport International Boat Show, please visit

“The Newport International Boat Show is the kick-off to the fall boat show season, and manufactures see it as the perfect venue to introduce their new models to the boating community,” said Tom Delotto, director of Newport Exhibition Group. “A wealth of industry-leading boats and products have been introduced at our show over the years and, judging by the entries, this year will not disappoint. We are excited that show attendees will have the opportunity to see the latest and greatest at our Newport International Boat Show.”


Even if you’re not in the market for a boat this is a great outing. Throughout the show there are lectures and events all geared to make you boating more fun.

Some Personal Highlights of the Show

As the publisher of, I was there with my wife Lynda to interview some of the exhibitors who seemed to stand out from the crowd. I don’t wish to detract from the scores of vendors who exhibited everything from boat engines to porta potties, but a few exhibits caught my attention.

The Mariner’s Learning System – Call Yourself a Captain!

Captain Nippy Pauels

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Online learning meets the boating world. The Mariner’s Learning System is both an online course, combined with a “Captain in a Box,” a set of DVDs, parallel ruler, divider, and other nautical  goodies. Certified Captain Nippy Pauels (photo above) manned the booth and answered all questions. The course enables you to get a “6-Pack” or a Master’s license.  A 6-pack is not a beer drinking certificate, but an official Coast Guard license to carry as many as six people for hire. The 25/50/100 Ton Master License allows you to perform the duties of an OUPV/Charter Boat Captain and also operate Inspected Passenger Vessels that are approved to carry 7 or more passengers.  OUPV means Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels.  The course runs $795 ($595 was the Boat Show Special), which, in my experience is about average for courses of this type. I took a captain’s course a few years ago and was obliged to show up for classroom instruction. The beauty of  Internet learning is that you can pause and rewind.

The Coast Guard test is administered at over 400 locations nationwide.  The average pass rate for people taking the course is 98.7 percent, which is quite impressive.

For more information, check out their website

The Coast Guard Foundation


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Jennifer Fyke of The Coast Guard Foundation
The Coast Guard Foundation is a 501(c)(3) foundation, meaning that donations to it are tax deductible. Jennifer Fyke, the representative of the foundation at the show, gushed with enthusiasm for this important organization.  It’s an impressive organization, catering to the needs of enlisted personnel in the United States Coast Guard.  It provides, among other things, college scholarships for the children of coast Guard personnel. The foundation also provides a host of services to “coasties,” that are not otherwise provided by the government.

Founded over 40 years ago, the foundation  provides education, support  and relief for the brave souls who enforce maritime law, protect our homeland, and preserve the environment.

The next time you read about the valor of a Coast Guard first responder, keep this foundation in mind.



Put Yourself on the Map (or Chart)

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David Wilson, proprietor of  Lat Lon Plaques, has a really interesting business. David has been in the sign business for over 46 years, but now concentrates on making beautiful 22 kt gold leaf-on-wood plaques, showing the latitude and longitude of your home.  Armed with his laptop, David showed us how he locates your home on Google Earth and picks off the coordinates. So, when ordering, you just have to supply him with your address. At a reasonable price of $325,( as of this writing, with a boat show special $20 discount), I think this is the perfect gift for a friend or relative whose waterfront home you visit, while drinking their booze and eating their food. Hey, they may even invite you back. David emphasizes that these plaques are not just for waterfront homes but for the landlocked as well.  Check out David’s work at


The Greenline Hybrid Boat

The Greenline Hybrid boat just may be what the future of boating will look like. Manufactured by Seaway Yachts, the vessel is a true hybrid of traditional fuel and battery supplied electricity. It is also partially solar powered. It can cruise on diesel or electric, just like the Toyota Prius. Popular Mechanics dubbed it “The Prius Boat” in an article on  March 20, 2013. When in electric mode, it is as quiet as a sailboat.

I spoke to Larry Russo of  Russo Marine, a proud dealer of this amazing craft. Larry said that the boat will do seven knots on electric and 15 on diesel power. It can get 20 hours on a battery charge, and the battery charges from the engine while under diesel power or from shore power.  The boat has been on the market for three years and 350 have been sold in that time. Larry said that the Greenline is the biggest selling boat in its size range for the past three years. The boat, pictured nearby, is 40 feet in length

Greenline Dealer Larry Russo

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The Greenline Hybrid  has a superdisplacement hull, which, according to Larry Russo is the secret behind the boat’s ability to use less fuel, generate lower CO2
emissions, and produce less wake. The fuel consumption per mile is less than that of a comparable displacement hull and as little as one quarter of a semi-displacement, twin-engine planning boat.

In a boating season, Greenline will burn fuel  comparable to a sailboat of the same size, and up to four  times less than a twin-engine planing boat of the same size.

Greenline 2

The Greenline has won 22 international power boat awards, and walked off with two at this year’s Newport show. As noted above in the awards section, the boat won  two Newport for New Products (NFNP) awards, Best New Powerboat and  Best New Powerboat ’30 and Over. We haven’t seen any consumer opinions of the Greenline Hybrid on yet, but I expect that boaters are soon going to weigh in on this fascinating new boat. For more information about this boat see Larry’s website


This year’s Newport International Boat Show was a winner in every way, from the boats and products offered to the beautiful weather.


Copyright © 2013 by Russell F. Moran, Publisher,




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Boat Cleaning Basics

Boat Cleaning Basics

Clean Boats are More Fun

Source: by the author

Boat Maintenance Includes Cleaning – It’s Easy

Good boat maintenance includes cleaning the thing every now and then. Don’t make it more of a chore than necessary. Cleaning a boat is really quite easy, but there are some special rules you want to consider, especially if you have a holding tank, which I will discuss later. Nobody wants to cast off on a floating pig pen. This article shows you some helpful tips for keeping your boat, well, shipshape.

A few years ago I brought my 40 foot Mainship trawler to a marina for winter storage. In the spring they asked me if I wanted them to clean it. “Sure,” I said. May as well take springtime delivery of a nice clean vessel. I was charged $400! The invoice noted that the job took the guy eight hours at $50 per hour. I told the marina manager that the job must have included two lengthy naps, a leisurely breakfast and lunch, and a feature length movie on my TV. A marina, I should note, has possession of your boat until it’s transferred to you. Want your boat? Pay the bill. I considered small claims court, but decided that the amount wasn’t worth the time and aggravation. Now to be sure, a 40 foot Mainship is a spacious boat, with a salon, stateroom, head and galley. There is also a fly bridge and a lot of outside deck. But the bottom line is that the vessel is no larger than a studio apartment. After that incident with the pirates at the marina I always cleaned the boat myself.

Carpeting, cushions and bedding

An aquatic environment, especially a salt water marine environment, can cause mold and mildew, something that’s easier to avoid than it is to mitigate. One way to prevent mildew from building up on your cushions and bedding is to prop up the seat or mattress when you depart the boat. This need not be an elaborate procedure. Just life up the cushion or mattress and place something underneath toenable air to circulate. When cleaning the boat, use a good commercial mildew treatment product such as Tilex on the fiberglass surfaces and a simple cup of borax mixed with two cups of hot water on the cushions and fabric surfaces. If you leave mildew untreated it can cause damage to the fabric and possibly create a health problem. Nothing like an ounce of prevention. For carpets on the boat use any commercial carpet cleaning product. Having a wet/dry vacuum aboard is useful for cleaning up spills right away.

Cleaning Canvas on a Tall Boat can be a Challenge

Source: by the author


The key to cleaning canvas tops or sail covers is to be gentle. Canvas isn’t cheap and it’s a lot more economical to clean it rather than replace it. Ivory soap or a product known as Sudbury Boat Zoap work well. If seagulls or cormorants have been playing dive bomb on your canvas you need to do something about it. My trawler had a large canvas top on the fly bridge. Seagulls loved to warm their tummies on a chilly day. To thank me for the use of my boat, they then crapped all over it. Boat Zoap worked great. Some boaters affix lines with fluttering ribbons to scare the birds away. This helps with the squatters and sitters but not with the dive bombers. It’s best to keep on top of canvas cleaning before it becomes a difficult chore. If you have a cormorant problem, keep after it often. Cormorant droppings dry like cement. If you keep your boat at a mooring you have an extra difficult task, because you can’t use a ladder to hose off the top of a tall boat as you could dockside.

Fiber Glass

Fiber glass is easy to clean. By far the easiest way to clean it is to get into the habit of hosing down the boat after a day on the water. Even if you’re tied to a mooring, you can use the water in your fresh water tank to clean of the spray. It’s a good idea whether you boat in fresh or salt water. Fresh water, sad to say, can have a lot of dirt floating in it. There are so many commercial vinyl cleaning products on the market that you have your choice. Boat Zoap can be used on vinyl as well. You will need a soft bristle scrub brush, emphasis on the soft, for cleaning non-skid surfaces on deck.

Interior Cleaning

There is nothing different about cleaning the interior of a boat than cleaning any area, except for the mold and mildew issues discussed above. Depending on the size of your boat, it’s a good idea to keep a small vacuum cleaner on board to keep from lugging it aboard every time you clean the boat. A small battery operated vacuum is great for picking up crumbs and debris. On the subject of crumbs and debris, the last thing you want is an infestation of ants or other bugs. Regular cleaning should become a habit that you don’t even need to think about.

The Holding Tank

If your boat has a head it has a holding tank. United States Coast Guard regulations, as well as local regulations in every state, forbid you from pumping human waste matter overboard. The waste goes from the head into a tank, and the tank needs to be emptied. This is not a chore to put off. If your tank is approaching capacity, navigate to a pump-out station and get the job done. A holding tank can back up like a sewer. Not a good thing. A word on urine. Human urine, assuming the person has no health issues, is inert and bacteria free. There’s nothing wrong with tossing urine overboard (shortly after it’s expelled from the body). Some women find this offensive and that’s understandable. But for guys, using a small hand held urinal is a good way to keep the holding tank from filling up.

Boating is meant to be fun. Regular cleaning is a great way to make sure that your days on the water stay enjoyable.

Copyright © 2013 by Russell F. Moran


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Boating Terminology – When is a Boat a Ship? Why is a Bathroom a Head?


This article will not qualify you for acaptain’s license, but it will enable you to hold your own at a yacht club bar. It will also endear you to folks who take maritime matters seriously.

Nautical terms confound people for no good reason. Boating terms and shipping terms are simply established words or phrases that apply to maritime life. Other fields of human endeavor also have their own terminology. Builders talk about beams, joists and rafters. Bridal planners never talk about a wedding dress; it’s a gown. Police refer to suspects, perps and unsubs. So when talking about matters nautical, use the right nautical terms. At a minimum, it will keep you from annoying salty types.

Knowing the right word for an object on a vessel or a maritime concept is not only a good way to enhance your enjoyment. It can also be a matter of safety. In an emergency, you don’t want to be consulting a dictionary when you hear things like “Everybody move to starboard.”

This is NOT a Ship

Source: Photo by the author

The Major Nautical Terms You Want to Get Right

A Boat or a Ship?

Use the wrong term here and you will drive maritime mavens nuts. With the huge growth of the cruise industry over the past few years, many people talk about ships who never did before. But, and this is only a personal observation, 90 percent refer to a cruise ship as a boat. All this Navy veteran can do in such cases is to practice deep breathing exercises. One hates to be a boor and constantly correct people. But they really should be locked in irons. A cruise ship is a ship. It is a simple fact of life. The bad news is that there is no precise line of distinction between a boat and a ship, but the good news is that understanding a few key points will make you get it right 99 percent of the time.

· Ships are large, boats small. Okay, okay, we’ll split a few hairs when we talk about yachts.

· A ship can carry a boat or boats; a boat can NEVER carry a ship. Some large boats do indeed carry smaller boats, but they can never carry a ship.

· Ships are designed for deep water and rough weather conditions. Yes, some boats can handle deep water (and large waves), but ships are designed for this.

· A vessel under 500 tons is a boat; over 500 it’s a ship. Like any hard rule, this is difficult. You can tell that an aircraft carrier is over 500 tons, but what about a small freighter? Can you tell how much it weighs?

· Ships are designed for commercial purposes. A yacht, no matter how large, would seldom be described as a ship unless it is designed to carry passengers for hire.

A Yacht

Source: Photo by the author

A Boat or a Yacht?

This is a lot trickier than the difference between a boat and a ship, and it gets into cultural matters. Here is a simple rule to follow, and most do, except pompous jerks: NEVER refer to your boat as a yacht no matter how big the thing is. If you own a 100 foot mega yacht, you will look cool if you call it a boat. A bit ofnoblesse oblige goes a long way. So here are some differences between a boat and a yacht:

· Yachts start at 34 feet in length. You will find this number everywhere. So what? If you call your 34 foot boat a yacht you may as well wear a tee shirt with “pompous ass” inscribed on the back. See the rule above. To repeat, never call YOUR boat a yacht no matter how big it is. You would only discuss yachts as boats in excess of 34 feet when discussing the industry in general.

· Yachts are Big and Fancy. How’s that for a fuzzy rule? The point is, yachts are thought of in general conversation as large luxurious vessels. Yachts can be power or sail.

Why is a bathroom on a vessel called a head?

Head is an old Navy term for the place where sailors would go to relieve themselves before the advent of modern plumbing. The forward most part of a vessel was called the ship’s head. It often protruded out beyond the bow (aka the front of a vessel). There was a grate through which the waste went into the ocean. The term head is now used as a synonym for bathrooms on ships and boats, both military and private. Some cruise ships call them bathrooms, and I shall not quibble with this (as long as you don’t call the ship a boat). Use of the word head is almost universal on boats. If you’re looking to buy one for your boat you would shop under the word “head.” A head is both a boating term and a shipping term.

What is Port and Starboard and What’s Wrong with Left and Right?

Port is the left side of a vessel, starboard the right. These quaint nautical terms go back to the early days of boating. Before the invention of a rudder, early mariners would affix a “steering board” toward one side of the boat. There is some opinion that the steering board was usually affixed to the right side of the boat because most sailors were right handed. The old English term was steorbord, which eventually became starboard. It is pronounced starb’d or starbid. Live with it. To keep from smashing up the steering board, sailors would come into port on the left side. Hence, the left side became known as port. So there’s nothing wrong with left and right except in a nautical setting. Aboard a vessel, knowing port from starboard is as basic as, well, knowing your left from right. It’s also crucial when learning how to dock a boat.

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What is Bow and Stern and What’s Wrong with Front and Back?

The front of a vessel is called the bow, coming from the word bough, the limb of a tree. Carpenters would use the sturdiest boughs or bows for the front of a vessel because that’s the part that took the most pounding. Hence, the front of a craft became known as the bow. The stern is the rear of a vessel and gets its name from the fact that the sternpost is the rear most wood on a vessel. The back of a boat or ship eventually became known as the stern. You will shiver the timbers of any experienced mariner if you call the bow the front or the stern the rear.

Above and Below

On a vessel you do not go upstairs or downstairs. You go above or below. Please, you do not go downstairs to the bathroom; you go below to the head.

Forward and Aft

On a boat or ship, you never go up front or to the back, you go forward or aft.

This article discussed the most basic nautical terms. Learn them and you will be able to understand your boating friends, and perhaps become a boater yourself.

Copyright ©2012 by Russell F. Moran

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Trawler – A Great Boat for Fishing or Cruising

The Trawler – A Fishing Boat, a Pleasure Boat

A Mainship 40 Foot Trawler

Source: photo by the author

A Trawler is Classy, Comfortable and Slow

The trawler is a boat with a loyal following and for good reason. Trawlers are designed with interior space in mind as well as ample deck space to move around. Because you can walk around the entire outside deck on a trawler, it’s an ideal boat for fishing.

As with any vessel, it’s a good idea to brush up on your nautical terminology, if only to show the boat salesman that you’re not a rookie.

Well-liked as they are, trawlers have their share of critics. Start with one big thing in mind. A trawler is slow. At 12 knots you can save storage space by leaving your water skiing equipment at home. Beginning at the start of the new century, the world of trawlers has seen a new kid on the block: the fast trawler. Some trawler lovers question whether these boats are trawlers at all because their hull design, which makes it possible to plane or skim along the surface of the water, are not true trawler hulls.

But before you decide on a trawler you should ask yourself the question that any boater or would-be boater would ask: Should you buy a boat at all?

Popular Trawler Manufacturers

Albin Marine, Inc.

Beneteau – They also make a “fast” trawler, which some old salts don’t consider a trawler

Grand Banks – The Cadillac of trawlers, and priced accordingly

Island Gypsy

Island Packet

Kady-Krogen Yachts

Mainship – The company also makes the Luhrs line of boats

Sabreline Boats

Tollycraft Boats

Express Cruiser – Fast but is it as Pretty as a Trawler?

Source: photo by the author

The Displacement Hull and the Planing Hull

A displacement hull means that the boat displaces the water in which it floats. It does not sit on top of the water. Think of the difference between a submarine and a canoe. Get the picture? The submarine squats in the water and displaces all of it except for the conning tower. The canoe just sits on top of the water and displaces only a small amount. Cruising sailboats share this same characteristic, except the design is more extreme. That’s why the term “hull speed” refers to displacement hulls. The hull speed on a displacement hull sailboat is about seven knots. You can put a jet engine on the back but all you will do is bury the boat; you won’t go any faster. There’s just so much water that it can push out of the way. Trawlers are displacement hull boats or sometimes semi displacement. A semi displacement hull does not displace all of the water in which it floats, just most of it.

A planing hull on the other hand enables a boat to plane or skim along the surface. Because it’s not pushing water out of the way like a displacement hull boat, a planing hull boat is much faster.

Trawlers com with single or twin engines. Most are diesel powered, and most newer single engine trawlers are equipped with a bow thruster. How to dock any single engine boat, with or without a bow thruster, is a skill worth learning.

The Benefits of a Trawler

Because of its slow speed, some boaters can’t understand why anyone would buy a trawler. But speed is a quality that not everyone cares about. Moving slowly through the water in a boat of spacious surroundings works for a lot of people. Here are the good points of a trawler.

Appearance – A trawler just looks nautical, unlike, for example, an express cruiser. The salty appearance of a trawler adds to its popularity.

Spaciousness – Because of its design, with vertical bulkheads above and below, the trawler is one of the roomiest boats you can buy. The space design of a trawler allows for the installation of a lot of cabinet space, as well as bunk space and entertainment areas.

On deck accessibility – You can walk completely around the outside deck of a trawler, unlike a typical cabin cruiser or an express cruiser. This feature creates one of the most significant qualities of a trawler: it makes for easy line handling and docking. Especially in rough weather, the ability for you or a crewmember to walk around with a high rail protecting you cannot be overemphasized.

Fishing – The easy accessibility of on deck spaces makes the trawler an ideal boat for fishing. Indeed, that’s what the trawler was originally designed for. If you land a large fish, you can walk around the boat while steadily bringing in the line. The ample storage space makes for convenient stowage of fishing gear, and ample space for preparing the fish for a meal.

Steering stations – Many trawlers, depending on size, have both upper and lower steering stations. The top deck is great for enjoying the scenery. A trawler captain will often steer from the top station until he approaches the dock, and then he simply goes below for close maneuvering.

A boat for former sailors – Because of its nautical appearance and conveniences, former sail boaters often move to a trawler. It has the maritime feel of a sailboat without the complication of sail handling.

A trawler is a great boat, if you’re not in a hurry. But what’s the rush? Once you’re on your trawler, you’re at one of your favorite destinations already, even if it’s docked at your house or a marina.

Copyright ©2013 by Russell F. Moran

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How to Dock a Single Engine Boat — Like a Pro—Three Simple Tips

A Tight Squeeze Requires Skill

Docking a Boat is Not Difficult

Pulling into a crowded marina without knowing exactly how to maneuver your single screw boat is one of life’s least pleasant experiences. You’re convinced that all eyes are trained on you, and you may not be wrong.

A dual engine boat is easier to handle, so the conventional wisdom goes, because you can back one engine while putting the second in forward, thereby maneuvering around the most difficult obstacles. But docking a single engine boat is not difficult. Why are so many boaters intimidated by it? Boating is supposed to be fun.

The problem with docking a single engine boat is its simplicity. It has one propeller and that propeller moves the boat forward and reverse. The problem is compounded by the perception among boaters that a single screw boat is difficult to handle. Without the knowledge you will get from this article, you may be driving your boat by instinct, and steer into the dock at an angle, then swing your helm at the last moment, and hope that: a. you don’t collide with the dock; and b. that you don’t wind up too far away and have to try again. That maneuver is scary when the slip you’re aiming for is narrow and surrounded by other boats. It is made scarier because your pulse rate is up, and you’re emotionally invested in an action that should be simple.

The good news is that the idea that docking a single engine boat is difficult is simply wrong. The problem is that so many boaters make it complicated when it’s really simple. Remember the old philosophical principle called Occam’s Razor? It’s the theory that among all possible explanations for something, usually the simplest answer is the best. You don’t have to memorize a bunch of rules that you will forget as soon as you’re in a tight spot. So here is the simple answer to docking a single engine boat: These rules apply whether you own a high performance powerboat or a small flats boat.


1. The Stern Moves First.

You probably heard this when you first started boating but didn’t grasp its importance. If you operate a single screw boat, knowing this means everything. Consider posting it on your steering station. The stern moves first, both in forward AND reverse. Power boats seem to steer like cars. I use the word seem, because your senses tell you that the boat is acting like a car. You turn the wheel left and the bow turns left. But the bow only looks like it’s doing the turning; it’s not, the stern is in charge. The bow is moving because it’s being pushed that way by the propeller—on the stern, pushing the water against the rudder, and the stern moves first. Drill this into your brain so that you won’t have to think about it.

2. Forget the Throttle

All that you need to do with the throttle is to engage it at the lowest setting. Consider putting a sock or plastic cup over the throttle to remind you of this rule. The reason to forget the throttle is that it has little to do with getting you next to the dock, as you will see in the next rule.

3. The Maneuver —The Simplicity Continues

Pull your boat parallel to and a few feet from the dock. Yes, parallel, not angled into it. Next, put your helm all the way away from the dock. If the dock is to starboard turn the wheel to port, and vice versa for a portside approach. Now, put it in forward and slowly say “forward one thousand,” and then put it in neutral. Then immediately put it in reverse and say “reverse one thousand,” and put it in neutral again. Repeat this simple maneuver until you gently move the boat right next to the dock. You will notice an amazing thing. The boat appears to be pushed at the dock by some invisible hand. The short bursts of forward and reverse make for a smooth approach.

Bow Thruster – If you have it, use it, but practice docking without it.

YELL for help if you have to

Wind Considerations

Wind can make a difference. The above maneuver will work even with a slight wind off your beam pushing you away from the dock, but a very strong breeze calls for common sense. If the water is choppy it can make the maneuver only a bit more difficult.

  • Reduce your “sail area” as much as possible. Sail area on a powerboat is the term that applies to flat surfaces that catch the wind, such as cabin bulkheads and windows. This is especially pronounced on a trawler with an enclosed bimini top. The simple solution to the problem is to open all of the windows so that the wind will pass through rather than push against the surface as if it were a sail.
  • If you have a bow thruster use it if necessary. When practicing the maneuver described in this article, avoid using the bow thruster. Rely instead on working and learning the maneuver itself. But if the wind is blowing you off the dock, use the thruster. Oh yes, check your bow thruster every time you get underway. When the time comes to use it you don’t want to discover that it’s stuck because it has become a home for solidified sea critters.
  • Don’t be shy. Shout for assistance or radio in advance when you’re in a strong blow.
  • Your boat has an anchor—use it. If the wind is extreme, find a sheltered harbor and drop the hook. You can head for the dock when the weather calms down. Knowing how to anchor a boat is as important as knowing how to dock the boat.

Now that you can dock your single screw boat like a double, you can contemplate all the gas money that you’re saving by having only one engine.


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Operating a High Performance Boat

How to Operate a High Performance Powerboat


There is a difference between operating a high performance powerboat and one of lesser muscle. The basics, of course, are the same. There is a bow, a stern, an engine and a helm. Forward throttle moves you forward, reverse backwards.Whendocking there is little difference between a high performance power boat and a regular boat.

Power boats with high tech souped up engines are also known as speed boats, for an obvious reason: they can go very fast. They also use an enormous amount of fuel. You operate speed boats in close quarters just like other power boats, but once on the open water the difference can be as dramatic as the distinctions between power boats and sail boats.

Getting Up on Plane

High Performance power boats all have planing hulls that enable the craft to skim or plane along the surface of the water. This is a characteristic of many non high performance powerboats as well. A displacement hull powerboat,on the other hand, has a lot of hull below the waterline. Displacement means that the vessel displaces the water. If you put two similarly sized powerboats in two neighboring tanks, the water level of the tank with the displacement hull boat will be much higher than the tank with the planing hull boat, even if the boat is not planing but just sitting there.

The phrase “getting up on plane” is used by power boaters to describe the act of going from a slow throttle to a speed that lifts the boat up onto plane. Most planing hull boaters do not like the sensation of being off-plane because of the feeling of sluggishness. People susceptible to seasickness often feel it coming on when a planing hull boat is moving slowly.

The excitement starts when the boat starts to plane. Because the hull is not pushing water out of the way but rather is skimming along the top of it, the feeling can be truly exhilarating. To get the boat up on plane it is best to get there quickly by pushing the throttle far forward with a steady motion. Once the boat is on plane bring the throttle back—unless of course you objective is to speed.

Sea Conditions

Because of the enormous power and speed capability of high performance power boats it is critical to assess the sea conditions before throttling forward to high speed. A boat approaching 100 mph can become easily airborne if it hits a wave. What happens to the people on the boat when it comes back down to the water can be a serious danger.

Debris on the Water

When a speeding vessel hits an object just below the surface of the water a tragedy can occur. Fortunately, because of the shape of planing hulls, striking an object seldom means a disaster because the boat will skim over the object just as it does the water. However, the engine, propeller and rudder can be in for trouble.

 The Cigarette Boat—The Epitome of High Performance Powerboats

The Cigarette Boat is a maritime marvel. On a warm evening you can hear it’s engines even if you’re a mile inland. If the Chevrolet Camaro is the essence of muscle cars, the Cigarette Boat is the big enchilada of boats. Look at the video below and feel the power.

A high performance power boat can be a joy. Like anything powerful on the water, common sense and good old fashioned seamanship can make it a pleasure.

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Express Cruiser – Popular Boats, But Not Without Drawbacks

The express cruiser is one of the most popular boats on the water. On a busy boating day you can’t glance at the water without seeing a few of them. The reason they’re popular is that they have a lot going for them. But, especially for the new boater, you should do some analyzing before you buy. Check out this article.

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How to Handle Choppy Water in a Small Boat


Besides putting the lunch you just ate in jeopardy, a small boat in choppy water can be dangerous. This article takes a look at some basic points that any good boater should follow when water turns to rock & roll. Read more… 

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Anchoring Tips – Anchoring a Boat is Not Difficult

Anchoring a powerboat or a sailboat need not be challenging. It’s one of the most important things you need to know about as a boater. Like any skill, you need to know a few rules and how to use them. Read more…

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Classic Wooden Powerboats

If you love the classic beauty of an old wooden boat, or even a replica, you probably want to own one. Some photographers look for them to add to their portfolio. Finding a classic wooden powerboat can be a tricky process. This article helps you on your journey. Read further…

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