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Tom’s Tips On Better Anchoring
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 6916 times and there are 0 comments
Posted: January 05, 2015
1. Bring more than one anchor and make sure they're good tried and true anchors.
2. Try to know your bottom. "So" on the chart doesn't necessarily tell you the bottom is soft. Look at the banks. Drop your anchor and retrieve it to see what's on it; or drop over a small grappling hook, drag it around the boat and pull it up.
3. Take into account your surroundings. For example, if you're in a narrow creek with strong reversing current and high wind blowing across the creek, you must plan for much less swinging room and zero tolerance for dragging and circling around the anchor. ...... Read More

Tom’s Tips On Choosing Your Anchor
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 6825 times and there are 0 comments
Posted: December 08, 2014
1. Don't chose your anchor based on gimmickery, unrealistic boat show demonstrations, on what any one person says or limited testimonials about how well one particular boat held in one bad storm. It's more complex than that.

2. Listen to various experts. Even if they disagree with each other, their experiences can be very helpful.

3. When choosing anchors, talk with and listen to experienced people who do your type of boating, in the areas where you boat and with comparable boats.

4. "Experience" should mean more ...... Read More

Tom’s Tips About Seeing the ICW from Above
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 6006 times and there are 0 comments
Posted: November 03, 2014
1. There are various places along the ICW where you can stop to see it from above.
2. Baldhead Island near Southport in North Carolina has a lighthouse which you can climb and see parts of the ICW, the Cape Fear River and its inlet.
3. Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island has a light house which gives you a view of some of the waterway including the Calibogue Sound.
4. if you stop at Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor at St. Augustine you can walk from the marina to the top of the Vilano Beach high rise bridge. From its peak you can see miles of waterway and part of the St. Augustine Inlet&helli...... Read More

Tom’s Tips About Old Boats
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 5815 times and there are 0 comments
Posted: October 07, 2014
1. Are there hull sections that you can examine that have been cut out for thru-hulls or port holes? Are there indications in those sections of voids or poor layup? Knowledgeable tapping can also help.

2. Is there room on the boat to add things that may not have been required when it was built? An issue that quickly comes to mind is space for a holding tank and/or an onboard treatment system.

3. Look for component weaknesses that are likely to occur because of age. How expensive will it be to fix this and how important is it? Crevice corro...... Read More

Tom’s Tips About Little Things
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 5655 times and there are 0 comments
Posted: September 05, 2014
1. If you know about your little things you've got a head start, but how do you know?
2. Always think about why something is working like it is.
3. What has to happen to make what is happening happen.
4. Often you'll realize that there's got to be one or more little parts that are part of the equation.
5. Take a look, ask a friend, hire a mechanic, read a book or whatever to learn what's making your boat's components work.
6. Take them apart and look if it's safe and practical to do so. It might be fun as well as educational.
7. Then prepare yourself to fix it.
Boating and ...... Read More

Tom’s Tips About Sudden Flooding
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 5966 times and there are 0 comments
Posted: August 04, 2014
1. In addition to appropriate calls for assistance and other safety steps, it's obviously important to try to find the source of the flooding, if you don't already know.
2. Often it's easy to temporarily stop even a big leak. This at least gives time for help to arrive ... or maybe for you to get to shore.
3. But quickly observe how movements about the boat affect the trim of the boat. Also observe the movement of any water you've taken on. Is it starting to move from side to side?
4. Depending on the type of boat, there could be enough water below, where you can't readily see it, to ...... Read More

Tom’s Tips About Island Communication
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 6776 times and there are 0 comments
Posted: July 07, 2014
1. Whereas before there was often a question of whether you can call home from the islands, it's much more likely today.
2. Talk to your cell phone company about whether they have reciprocating service where you're going and whether your phone will work there.
3. Sometimes customer service personnel at US companies aren't very familiar with issues in the islands. You may have to call the phone service of the place you intend to visit.
4. WiFi hot spots, even from anchorages, are fairly common now. And there are boosters available that will improve your range for various types of commun...... Read More

Tom’s Tips On Changes
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 6823 times and there are 0 comments
Posted: June 04, 2014
1. If you're on the water you can't expect things to stay the same.
2. This doesn't include just weather. The bottom, the shores and landmarks change regularly, sometimes overnight. It's a fluid situation.
3. Some changes are rapid as from hurricanes. Some are gradual as from slow river erosion.
4. These changes mean that we always have to be alert to where the bottom is. Charts and GPS and Aids to Navigation are never enough. Learned skills and careful observation are still a part of the equation, like they were in olden days, when the steamship sailed down the river in an earthquake...... Read More

Tom’s Tips About Cleaning Up After Boat Jobs
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 7009 times and there are 0 comments
Posted: May 06, 2014
1. I not only like 3M 5200, I like many other products similar to this. But they all have one thing in common. How do you clean up the mess you make with them?

2. Most product manufacturers have other specific clean up products which they'll be glad to sell to you if you have any money left over from buying the first product. These usually work well.

3. The 3M 5200 clean up recommendation can be found on their official data sheet and most products have similar info on their web sites.

4. But one thing I've always o...... Read More

Tom’s Tips About Dealing With Real Life Piracy
Contributed by Tom Neale - This blog has been viewed 7596 times and there are 0 comments
Posted: April 03, 2014
1. Be sure you mean what you say. For example, consider not flying the skull and crossbones unless you're confident everyone around knows you're joking or playing games. This has been a serious and deadly threat to many people for many centuries.
2. Don't assume someone is a threat merely because they're different. Always start out with politeness and a smile. If it looks like this isn't appropriate for the situation, change the situation by leaving. You're on the water to have fun, not to be uptight about your surroundings.
3. Beware of boats that are particularly severely unkempt. Most ...... Read More