Cat’s Paws to Grey Beards: Wave Theory – and Practice

by VINCENT PICA

From the Captain of the Port

Waves can be the most beautiful and the most fearsome aspect of the sea. Whether you float above them or dive beneath them, you had better understand them and most certainly respect them. This column is about that.

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Wave Theory – And Practice, Part II

by VINCENT PICA

When we first put together the column on waves (see “Cat’s Paws to Grey Beards: Wave Theory – and Practice,”October 2012), I noted that we’d get back to waves and talk about different kinds of waves - tsunamis, deep, shallow, non-wind, etc. – and the effect they have on mariners. This column completes that promise.

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Is Your Boat “Documented” ...and Should She Be?

by VINCENT PICA

All of us are familiar with registering our vessels with the State Department of Motor Vehicles. Like a car, DMV wants to know her horsepower, fuel type (gas or diesel) and the Hull Identification Number, or HIN#. This is the on-the-water equivalent of a car’s VIN#. You are required to display on each side of the bow the state registration numbers, followed by the expiration sticker itself. But is your boat eligible for documenting with the USCG and, if so, should you? 

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Seamanship – Measuring the World Since Ancient Times in Ancient Ways

by VINCENT PICA

If there is any discipline that has more ancient roots than voyaging over the seas, and whose ancient ways still work today, I’d like to know. Since time immemorial, even in an age of GPS and knowing where you are on the planet within feet, the ways of the ancient mariners still are useful today – especially when your GPS fails on a dark and rainy night.

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Life Jackets Save Lives – Have It On?

by VINCENT PICALifejackets

For many years, we referred to life jackets as “PFDs” – Personal Flotation Devices. Jeesh, can the lawyers get over it? OK, not everyone in a life jacket survives. Roughly only 15 out of 16…Conversely, if you go in the water without a life jacket, only one guy comes out. The other 15 were fatalities. Let me rephrase that. A fatality is a death – let’s not mince words like “PFDs.” Life jackets save lives. This column is about that.

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Cold Water Boating: Spring Isn’t Far Away, But Warm Water Is

by VINCENT PICACold Water Boating

We’ve had a few mild days. This reminded many of us that spring is here – and my wife to say, “You’re not thinking of putting the boat in the water already, are you?” Well, much as I’d like to, I’ll bet Ol’ Man Winter has one or two surprises for us before spring finally chases him away. But even then the water will be cold for several weeks and you need to be aware of how dangerous that can be – if you aren’t prepared and savvy. This column is about that.

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