The Boating Barrister

John K. Fulweiler, Esq., a Proctor-in-Admiralty based in Newport, RI, offers tips for navigating tricky legal waterways, always with a healthy dose of wit.

The Boating Barrister

YouTube Sailing: Where’s the paper chart?  

By John K. Fulweiler

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By John K. Fulweiler, Esq. You can’t recreate your youth watching YouTube, but it’s fun to watch the adventures of some of the younger sailing couples. You have two groups. You’ve got the couple representing the kind of genetic fortitude and talent that settled the mighty West, and then you have everyone else. You see, Riley & Elayna of Sailing La Vagabonde can sail and dive and spearfish and make new friends at each port of call…

The Boating Barrister

Seeing Red: Taking the Windward Mark First by Jettisoning Anger

By John K. Fulweiler

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By John K. Fulweiler, Esq. At the diner where the spring wind comes whistles across an empty harbor and riffles the menus, the waitress called the guy seated catty-corner to me “Greg.” Problem was, and it turned out not to be, his work shirt was embroidered with “Nick.” It’d be hard to miss that red threadwork, making me muse the shirt was borrowed or he wasn’t the kind to take offense at being called the wrong name….

The Boating Barrister

Indicted and Acquitted: Considering the Voyage of the s/v Cimarron

By John K. Fulweiler

This parish hymnal that is my monthly missive should convey something helpful to the sailor. It’s not legal advice, but it aims at issue spotting and sparking a synapse. Nothing would make me smile more broadly (aside from watching my daughter snap her Opti around a mark like she’s on rails) than having this column light up a lively cockpit discussion. And so onward, Christian soldiers as we examine the murky world of picking up crew for…

The Boating Barrister

Winter Waters: Keeping a Lookout

By John K. Fulweiler

A good story should start like Def Leppard’s 1987 album Hysteria, where the first song, “Women,” just drops into blazing chords making you think maybe you missed something. No progression, just round sound. Joe Elliot’s vocals shame today’s auto-tuned crooners. I ate another Quarter Pounder. We’d bought a bag of them and considered us provisioned. The grease was cold and hard. We were moving a Tartan up to Newport from a Connecticut harbor just commutable to Wall…

The Boating Barrister

Lonely Travel & Messrs. Bourdain

By John K. Fulweiler

By John K. Fulweiler, Esq. I was in San Diego last week. A quick jaunt. Out and back in forty-eight hours. As I’m in a committed relationship with the Atlantic, I scowled at the Pacific and counted the time to boarding. Lonely travel has you chewing on thoughts until there’s just the gristle: an elastin mouthful of issues reduced to the basics. I like the occasional solo jaunt for that reason. I return with new clarity. I’ve…

The Boating Barrister

The Boating Barrister: Banking Coin – How to Make a Salvage Claim

By John K. Fulweiler

In aid of preventing the loss of vessels and their cargo to the sea, the law of maritime salvage tosses the concept of time and materials billing overboard and embraces the monetary mechanics of a salvage award. That is, a volunteer who successfully renders aid to a vessel in distress is entitled to an award for his/her efforts which is almost always far in excess of any time and materials calculation.

The Boating Barrister

Boat Porn Lessons: Making Salty Adventures Safer

By John K. Fulweiler

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I’m an admitted consumer of “boat porn.” It’s not the salacious viewing you’re conjuring. Boat listings (both print and online), boat ‘fail’ videos (including the grainy, but always amusing trailer launch mishaps) and YouTube’s offerings of those living aboard their sailboats are the images I steal away to view. If you watch enough of this stuff, you’re left with the impression that a lot of folks do stupid things and get away unscathed, that luck favors the novice, and that nobody seems much to care about the elements of good seamanship.

The Boating Barrister

The Boating Barrister: Slim Down a Contract with The FAAT Approach

By John K. Fulweiler

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Most consumer contracts, whether for rental cars, airline tickets, cruise travel or leases, have a lot of terms in a tight space. If you don’t have the time to read the whole thing, consider starting with the last page and working backwards. The corporate counsel who drafted this bloated contract probably stuck some of the bad stuff toward the end, so start there. Working from the transom, keep the acronym FAAT in mind and it’ll help you spot trouble.

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