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.

Better Use of Punta Gorda Bayfront Center is Possible

The city-owned Punta Gorda Bayfront Center, located on Charlotte Harbor adjacent to Gilchrist Park, is currently leased to the YMCA, but a competing lease proposal by the Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center would provide better utilization of … [Read more...]

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 16

December 5, 2011 First Gelcoat on Pec, Small Repairs and Fairing   Richard the welder was an early riser and he delivered the second hard top frame just after sunrise, reminding us that we had yet to fabricate tops for these … [Read more...]

Saw My First Wingsail In Person Today

Today I dropped by the Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center to borrow some race marks and anchors for the upcoming Sun Cat National Championship Regatta this weekend, and as I drove up I noticed that the truck in front of me had a couple of wing … [Read more...]

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 15

November 27, 2011 Minor Fiberglass Repairs   All the grinding in recent days finally came to fruition today as we went around and applied fiberglass to several minor repairs. To reinforce and smooth the gunwale edge where swimmers will … [Read more...]

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 14

November 16, 2011 Fiberglassing Decks on Both Boats   We got an early start and were out on the boats doing final preparations for fiberglassing the decks over the new fuel tanks before our young helpers were really alert. After doing a … [Read more...]

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 13

November 11, 2011 The day started like many others: with someone running a grinder. This time it was Adam preparing the pieces of marine plywood deck for installation. The undersides were previously coated with resin but drips and areas that would … [Read more...]

Outboard Lower Unit Crack

We have an old 3 cylinder Yamaha two-stroke on the 15' Boston Whaler and the normally reliable beast recently stranded us for the very first time before magically fixing itself. It has been running perfectly ever since. I think it has an intermittent … [Read more...]

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 12

November 7, 2011 Another leap forward in time has occurred and I am returning to writing about this project on September 22, 2012, almost a year after the events unfolded. The pictures will have to tell the parts of the story I have … [Read more...]

Welcome to the WordPress Tropical Boating!

After a great deal of work by Tropical Web Works and some editorial skimming by me, we are happy to announce the transition of Tropical Boating to the WordPress platform. The change will make it easier to find related content on the site, will enable … [Read more...]

Powering Up the Cowmaran

Repowering The ELB - Extremely Light Boat AKA The Cowmaran Twin Engine Cowmaran Toward the end of March 2012, the Cowmaran reappeared in my yard, this time with a second engine hanging on the transom. The original design concept called for twin … [Read more...]