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.

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...]

The Boat Flinging Incident

Flinging Gene Out of the Boat Was Not Part of my Plan!Parents, you might want to reconsider letting your teenagers out in boats, because here is what goes on... My friends and I fished and boated — and had spray wars — in my old fifteen-foot … [Read more...]

Hard Hull Dinghies

I used my 11' Boston Whaler as a dinghy for many sailing trips to the Bahamas. It was a great dinghy for fishing and lobstering, but a hard-hull dinghy this large does have drawbacks. I used to have an 11' Boston Whaler which was used as a dinghy … [Read more...]

Dinghy Towing Equipment and Techniques

Selecting and Using the Dinghy Tow Line A stainless steel snap hook like this one makes it easy to attach your dinghy tow line. Floating plastic 3 strand rope makes a great dinghy tow line. A 3 strand nylon line works quite well too, but … [Read more...]

A Boat, or an Experimental Hydro Rocket? You decide…

My HydraSports (aka Experimental Hydro Rocket II) after Hurricane Andrew Shop: Remote Control (RC) Flying Rocket Ever wanted to fly a remote control rocket? Now you can pilot your very own rc rocket. These rc toys will have you soaring to … [Read more...]

New Power Tilt and Trim for a Boston Whaler

The hydraulic tilt and trim on my Boston Whaler's Merc 70 Q: How many sailors does it take to screw in a lightbulb?A: It's cheaper to sit in the dark. When we first bought our 1989 Boston Whaler 15, there was a slow leak in the … [Read more...]

The Catalina Expo 12.5: A Review

The Catalina Expo 12.5 Reviewed May 2007 I took the Catalina Expo 12.5 out for small boat sailing day with the Punta Gorda Sailing Club and learned a bit more about how the boat likes to sail in light air. On the way out, I passed one of … [Read more...]