Essentials of Navigation for Boaters

The captain’s ability to know where on Earth the yacht is at all times is the essence of navigation. Situational awareness, a key trait of a competent captain, means understanding how the wind, current and sea are affecting the planned route and the vessel’s ETA. Once navigators know where their vessel is leaving from (the Read More


Every boater knows that the Captain is the master of the vessel, leading the crew which often consists of one more key position, that of the Navigator. While we are usually less formal with titles in the pleasure boat world, these two skilled positions are key to a successful cruise. Both Captain and Crew may Read More

Seeing Yellow Spots

Have you ever seen those yellow decals on the ATONs (Aids To Navigation)? If your answer starts with,”what’s an ATON?” then let’s get you to a basic boating course. But if you’re still with us then please read on…. When you cruise the ICW or Intracoastal Waterway, the ATONs or markers are denoted with yellow Read More

Boat Handling

Safe and Courteous Procedures for Passing A safe and happy day on the waterways can easily be achieved using some good common sense and seamanship. There are specific rules set down in the official Rules of The Road for boaters navigating in both inland waterways and offshore. The most discussed and contentious situations encountered on Read More

Understanding GPS in 5 Minutes!

I would venture to say most of us have used a GPS on the water at some stage for navigation purposes. It is quite amazing to think around 20 working satellites (there are about 30 in orbit) are constantly providing positional information to millions of devices every second all over the globe. This quick run Read More

Navigating the Okeechobee Waterway

Written by Captain Juan Watson The Okeechobee Waterway is the second largest fresh water lake in the United States. The 152-mile long waterway is a man-made waterway stretching from Fort Myers on the west coast to Stuart on the east coast of Florida. It was built to provide a safe water route across Florida rather than travelling the long Read More

Navigating The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway

Written by Captain Chuck Baier We are often asked how difficult it is to travel long distances on the Intracoastal Waterway in a boat. What size boat is ideal for doing the waterway? What equipment is needed? How long will it take? How many miles can be covered in a day? What will it cost? Read More

Understanding the Basics of AIS

One cannot but marvel at the strides and innovations in onboard marine electronics. Today, equipment traditionally found on the sophisticated bridges of commercial vessels and mega yachts are now available in simpler forms to the recreational yachtsman. One such item that has become available and affordable to the recreational boater is Automatic Identification System, or Read More

Rules of the Road-The Forgotten Rules of Seamanship

“Unbelievable! What are they doing?” This might be some of the dialog going on in your head on a typical summer weekend on the Chesapeake Bay, Long Island Sound, or any busy body of water. More often than not this is the direct result of a near collision situation. A good understanding of the rules Read More

Plotting Your Course

Charting through the Years In September 1987, I sailed my 30-foot Hughes Columbia from Chesapeake Bay to Little River, South Carolina. After a few days of waiting weather, I exited the Little River Inlet and pointed the bow toward Bermuda, some 1,000 miles away. To find that small speck in the middle of the Atlantic, Read More