two speed winches

How to Service a Two-Speed Winch on a Sailboat

Winches are often used in and left exposed to the elements, including salt water spray.  Routine maintenance will keep your equipment working as intended and ready when you need it. [HOW-TO VIDEO] On any given sailboat, there are at least 2 or 3 winches and on larger boats, there can be many more. I have…

West Beach Pruthe Bay

Cruising the Wild West Coast of Vancouver Island

Pacific Northwest live aboard sailors experience sailing along the unspoiled side of Vancouver Island After a glorious summer cruising down through the Inside Passage in southeast Alaska and northern British Columbia, we decided to sail down the west coast of Vancouver Island before arriving in Canoe Cove, Sidney where we intended to hole up for the…

skipjack claud somers

Spring Prep on the Skipjack Claud W. Somers

Maintaining the rigging on a national historic landmark is hard work – but worth it! The Claud W. Somers is a member of the Chesapeake Bay’s historic skipjack fleet, a dwindling number of old wooden oyster boats numbering a mere 24 hulls still sailing. The majority of these are owned by non-profits, with less than…

winter hull prop inspections

Winter Boat Maintenance: Hull Inspections in the Boatyard

Winter is a good time to do a thorough walk-around inspection of your boat’s hull, bottom and appendages for maintenance, repair or attention Since I have owned Bay Poet, a Hunter 410 sloop, I have always had her hauled out during the winter. In addition to the crewed charters that I offer, my boat is also…

flotilla crew

Flotillas Cruises – Skippers, Crew, and Just Plain Folk

Coordinating captain, trip leader, skipper and crew activities for a smooth sailing flotilla cruise In my introductory article on flotillas, I discussed the potential benefits of flotilla cruises and some of the high-level planning issues – bow to stern. Flotillas – cruising with more than one boat – can be a great way to explore a…

marine weather conditions

Marine Weather Prediction and Assessment

Sometimes decent vision and a few functioning brain cells are all you need. For sailors and power boaters alike, understanding marine weather conditions is vital to your safety on the water. You need to be able to assess changing weather patterns and adapt float plans accordingly. When it comes to predicting conditions for boaters, there are a…

flotilla cruises

Flotilla Cruises – Bow to Stern

A comprehensive how-to guide to planning a sailing cruise with more than one boat on the journey In previous articles about chartering, I have discussed several towns on the Chesapeake from which you might start a charter and a number of my favorite gunkhole destinations. Switching gears a bit, I’d like to begin to discuss flotilla…

Chesapeake Bay Chartering

Chartering on the Chesapeake Bay

Charter locations and sailing destinations to explore on the Chesapeake Bay I am unapologetically a sailor.  There is something so peaceful and calming about being on a boat under sail with the sunshine on my shoulders and the wind on the beam. And there is nothing more relaxing than sailing on the Chesapeake Bay. I…

chesapeake sailing destinations

Sailing Destinations on the Chesapeake Bay for a Relaxing Escape

Top sailing destinations on the Chesapeake Bay where you can relax, explore and drop anchor while avoiding crowded anchorages on the bay If you read national sailing publications, you might come to the conclusion that the Holy Grail of chartering is the Caribbean. However, the Chesapeake Bay is a beautiful, marvelous, and occasionally challenging venue for…

on water standards sailing off dock

On-Water Standards: Sailing On and Off the Dock

Seamanship – for me – means practicing skills that make me nervous and challenge my abilities to handle a sailboat I’ve been watching the US Coast Guard’s efforts to build a skills-based standard for recreational boat operation for some time and with mild skepticism. The effort was started in June of 2011 as the National…

chesapeake-bay-sailor

On Being Number Two

The love of being on the water and the constant search for new challenges brings a Chesapeake Bay sailor to an experience that he had not quite expected Sometimes I think I came to my sailing life in reverse. What I mean is that I knew from the age of fifteen that I was drawn…