Boating Articles by Tom

Starting with the little two-person inflatable raft I had as my very first boat, I have always loved the freedom and the feeling of being out on the water. With my father's help, I added a hard plywood floor to that little inflatable, and that was the beginning of a long chain of boats I have owned, loved, maintained, modified, fixed, enjoyed, and scared myself to death on over the past few decades.
A lot of boating time is spent fixing boats, maintaining boats, and upgrading boats with new boating equipment to suit our specific tastes and needs. Lots of salespeople at stores that sell marine boating supplies and boating accessories have learned to recognize me over the years. I have spent my share of time and money working on just about anything you could name on a boat, and made plenty of mistakes. I'm here to share the lessons learned.

Klepper Foldable Kayak Adventures

In the late 1990's I bought a Klepper Aerius Expedition foldable kayak with factory sailing kit from Sweetwater Kayaks in St Petersburg, FL. I thought it was the neatest thing in the world and still do, but it gets little use because my rotomolded … [Read more...]

Sun Cat Wily Conch For Sale

We bought our beloved 2006 Com-Pac Sun Cat, Wily Conch, back in 2009 and have enjoyed owning her very much. At right is one of my favorite moments, sailing in the 2013 Sun Cat National Championship Regatta with my friend, Pete. While working as … [Read more...]

Repowering the Old Pontoon Boat

I repainted the whole deck after the repairs detailed in the first post in this series. I once again used Behr deck paint from Home Depot, but this time tried their non-skid additive. It is a fine powder, almost like flour, and gave the deck the … [Read more...]

New Life for an Old Pontoon Boat

We bought an old 24 foot Lowe pontoon boat from a local fishing guide. He had coated the pontoons with , replaced the deck with 3/4" ply, added a small center console and 20 gallon plastic fuel tank, and powered it with an old 75 hp Mercury. His … [Read more...]

Wingsail Laser World Championships

Development of new wingsail designs continues at Solid Wing Sails here in Punta Gorda, with the latest versions designed to work on Laser sailboats. Inventor Chuck Taylor decided that the 2014 Charlotte Harbor Regatta would be a good event to test … [Read more...]

Cowmaran Trip Up The Myakka River

Ever since he created the Cowmaran, Don has talked about wanting to take it as far as possible up the Myakka River, just to see what is up there and see how far the boat can get. He and his wife took an experimental journey up the river, but only got … [Read more...]

Wing Sail on a Hobie Bravo

Early in March 2013, I got a call from Chuck Taylor of X Wing Sails asking whether I would help him test out a wing sail on a Hobie Bravo. He had been helping us remove the boats from the former site of the Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center … [Read more...]

Watertribe 2013 Everglades Challenge Start and Checkpoint One Pictures

At 7:00 am on March 2, 2013, conch horns and bagpipes sounded and race organizers gave the signal for participants in the Everglades Challenge and Ultra Marathon to launch their boats and start down the course.   Getting under way is … [Read more...]

Speck Tater’s View of the Watertribe 2013 Everglades Challenge

This is my third year going to the start of the Watertribe Everglades Challenge, and I decided this time around to see more than just the start of the race. The past two years, I have witnessed the start from the beach at Fort Desoto Park in Tampa … [Read more...]

Replacing RC Sailboat Electronics

About 15 years ago, I decided to buy a remote controlled sailboat to get a quick sailing fix in the pond. Not being interested in building a model, I bought a ready-to-sail Kyosho Fairwind from a local hobby shop, took it home, and started playing … [Read more...]