Author: John K. Fulweiler

The Boating Barrister

Paper Charts & Salvage Claims

By John K. Fulweiler

No paper charts. I was on a bridge the other day and was told, “Nope, no paper” in the rounded accent of a Romance language. “But why?” I asked. “Redundancy!” was the reply and I gave up at that point. Was there a sextant aboard, a stub of pencil or even a compass that didn’t require an electrical circuit? Who knows? And this was a fancy, gleaming, relatively new build. It got me thinking. Back at my…

The Boating Barrister

Laylines and Marks: When Being a Lawyer Feels Wrong

By John K. Fulweiler

On a sailboat, you don’t need a TripTik to get from here to wherever you want. You can get to some destination any dozen ways and they’ll all sound right and real and maybe even a little special, like when you’re using a sextant. Lawyering is sort of the same; it’s easy for lawyers to sail a seemingly sound argument to any port of disembarkation they want. IMO, it’s up to the courts to make sure the…

The Boating Barrister

The Big Blue: Three Centuries of Passaging

By John K. Fulweiler

There’s a fellow who crossed the Atlantic over the course of three centuries. Wild, right? But it’s true. He crossed The Big Blue from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. It’s not a riddle, but more in the vein of an historical fact as to how this occurred. More later. Right now, what I’ve got is that smattering of summer snacks you see spread out in the cockpit after dropping the hook. None of it…

The Boating Barrister

Are Boating and Finance Kinda Sus?

By John K. Fulweiler

Bloomberg or CNBC should hire me because the language of finance has a lot in common with boating. There are all sorts of headwinds and tailwinds.  There’s talk of clams and shark watchers and froth and fish and tons of attention is paid the bottom. You don’t want to guess the bottom. You’d like to know where the bottom is and sometimes you’ll miss the bottom. Buy the dip; sell on the ebb. But to my eye,…

The Boating Barrister

Glass Bottom Boats: Socking it to the Coast Guard (Sort of!)

By John K. Fulweiler

On the Harper Valley PTA, you’ve got the married Bobby Taylor asking for dates, teetotaler Shirley nipping the gin, Miss Jones cavorting, Mr. Baker’s secretary having to leave town, and that other fellow drinking too much at Kelly’s bar. But their Peyton Place lifestyles made it ridiculous they were upset with Mrs. Johnson’s short skirts and she socked it to them! It’s a good song written a long time ago and yet that current still flows strong….

The Boating Barrister

Strange Seas: Nautical Know-How You Don’t Know

By John K. Fulweiler

The Ethiopian calendar runs seven years behind ours which isn’t all that interesting, but learning that Rastafarians and Ethiopia have a connection sort of is.  More later. I’m writing this in Florida on a little island off its western edge. It’s the middle of March and Florida right now is sinking under the weight of tourists scrambling to wring the most out of a week “with the kids.” It’s a gruesome affair for everyone and if you haven’t had…

The Boating Barrister

BoatHacker: Things You Don’t Need, But Will Want

By John K. Fulweiler

The New York Times has this newish aspect called Wirecutter; to me, it’s a riff off what Lifehacker.com and some other sites did by considering and commenting on consumables for which one’s desire far outweighs any need. Still, the tone/tempo of its writing is for someone who likes words and beats and chords and harmonies, fun to try and replicate. Its reference is also a nice vehicle to share some opinions on things salty. We like classic…

The Boating Barrister

Flawed Law: A Captain McNoodle Guest Column

By John K. Fulweiler

Call me Captain McNoodle. Some weeks back John asked I write this column because he’d be in trial. I said no problem ‘cause John’s a good guy alright. Anyways, I don’t have his spit and polish, but I’m better with the boats and so John thought me writing down how I see boating law would be good. I’m not Dickens so much, but John said questions/answers would work and he said he’d put his comments (italicized) in…

The Boating Barrister

Suits for Sailors: Lawsuits I wish I could file

By John K. Fulweiler

I like depositions and trials. I like the clarity that comes from the pressure. But to pepper questions in the boardroom or press a witness in the courtroom, you need a lawsuit. We file lawsuits for yachties, merchant mariners, passengers and anyone else injured working on or around the sea…but that doesn’t mean a maritime lawyer can’t dream. Here are some lawsuits I’d like to file if the opportunity arose; I call these “suits for sailors.” The…

The Boating Barrister

The 49-Year-Old COLREGS

By John K. Fulweiler

As much as I like all of sailing’s possibilities, clutching-in twin diesels with overly pitched props is a feeling that’s hard to beat. To pirouette a sportfisherman outside a crowded marina so the tower cants to one side, to bury the throttles in reverse building a crest of white water and then to lay sixty-feet of hull neatly against the dock’s edge is a thrill I rank very high. Twin screws coupled to naturally aspirated diesels will…

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