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.

Hobie Mirage Adventure Island: His Review

Sailing / Paddling / Pedaling the Hobie Mirage Adventure Island The akas attach to crossbeams with a single pin His and Hers Reviews — His Review See Her Review Sailing the Hobie Adventure Island trimaran "Sail/Yak" is a pure sailing … [Read more...]

Buying a new outboard engine

When it's time to replace your old outboard, your local dealership will properly prepare your new outboard engine for salt water use. When you buy a new outboard engine, the dealer should perform a Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) on the … [Read more...]

Blown Down in a 44′ CSY

Yes, this CSY 44 was knocked down in a rain squall The CSY 44 is widely thought of as a tropical tank, overbuilt for heavy use as a charter sailboat, and practically indestructible. Although the ballast to displacement ratio is fairly low for … [Read more...]

Small Outboard Engine Tilt and Trim: Theory and Practice

My first 15' Boston Whaler, back when I was a teenager, had only manual tilt, and I longed for a hydraulic tilt and trim engine. My current 15' Boston Whaler has a Merc 70 with hydraulic tilt and trim (pictured above), which makes it far easier to … [Read more...]

The Time I Got Thrown Overboard

Or, The Importance of safety mechanisms and kill switches Even a little 10 horse outboard can really fling around a lightweight aluminum boat like this one when no one is aboard. When I was about 13, my brothers and I went out in my dad's old … [Read more...]

Spring Sailboat Races With the Punta Gorda Sailing Club

Sailboat racing in January in Florida means putting on a long-sleeved shirt, and perhaps a hat for protection from the sun. The Sunfish Nationals competition was taking place in Charlotte Harbor during our third race. Race three saw the arrival … [Read more...]

The Big Dolphin Roundup

We did a lot of dolphin fishing in the Florida Keys. Catching a big dolphin fish was always fun, but eating it was even better. Back in the 1970s, my family kept an Aquasport 240 at Tavernier Creek Marina in the Florida Keys. We did quite a … [Read more...]

Losing A Spear To A Shark

The best diving and spearfishing in the Exumas can usually be found in the cuts between the islands. When the tide is flowing, you can drift through and spear any fish you happen to come across, then ride on the boat back to the up current side and … [Read more...]

Caring for Marine Canvas Covers and Isinglass

Canvas covers, bimini tops and dodgers don't last very long in the tropical sun and salt environment, but there are some things you can do to prolong their life. The Catalina 309 dodger and bimini package comes with snap-on canvas covers to … [Read more...]

What Use Is A Dead Trolling Motor?

This old trolling motor didn't work. No surprise there. I have wanted an electric trolling motor for my 15' Boston Whaler for some time, but never wanted one badly enough to buy one and figure out how I would get power to it. I'm very attracted to … [Read more...]