Boating & Cruising

Photos, ramblings and the occasional bit of useful information from our voyages aboard the runabout Sunset Chaser and other small boats.

Canoe at sunrise

If you own (or borrow) one of these amazing little boats, this will surely be a welcome sight for the first day of winter.

Kiteboarders being crazy

Halfway through November, with the thermometer hovering near zero at night, it's far too easy to dream of summer.

Nothing says summer quite like watersports, so let's take a quick break from November to look back at this summer's kiteboarding action.

Proper Dimensions for a Boat Launch Ramp

I am tired of lousy launch ramps.

Bad launch ramps aren't usually that way on purpose. They're usually lousy because, when they were built, nobody involved knew any better. In the interests of making life better for all trailer boaters, then, here are some pointers on how to build one correctly- and a free plan you can give to your contractor as a starting point for your own ramp design.

Assessing crew risks on a powerboat

Should you require all crew on your boat to wear lifejackets? If so, under what conditions? Should you restrict access to some parts of the vessel when underway? Should those rules change in different weather conditions, or with different kinds of boat traffic nearby?

I suspect that many skippers make these decisions based on gut feeling and on who they side with in bar or forum arguments. Frankly, I don't think that's the best way to make critical safety decisions.

Risk assessment is a very well-developed art. Not every decision calls for a formal risk assessment, but putting a bit of logical thought into your key safety policies is certainly a prudent idea. Today, I present an informal walk-through of this process for the Starwind 860 trimaran we're currently building.

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