5 Blogs to Help You Be a Better Boater
As we’ve all discovered the Internet is a huge place with lots of distractions. And of course, large companies pumping out content can really dominate the bandwidth. But if you know where to look, you can find some real gems. The power of the web is not in its most crowded content centers, but rather in the community, and the content producers that make something a little different than the mainstream: specifically blogs. Whether it’s a really detailed focus on something you find interesting (even just a one-time post on that one topic), or an online persona who’s company you occasionally enjoy with your morning coffee, that perspective can really open parts of your boating brain you didn’t know were there. Here are five (in no particular order) worth checking out.
Ben Ellison has an incisive mind and, for some reason I’ve never fully understood, seeming feels he has a mandate not only to bring the latest in marine electronics to your fingertips all the while pointing out ways they could be better. (Full disclosure, Panbo.com and BoatQuest.com share a financial relationship through the parent company). The power of today’s systems is incredible and he helps keep it all straight. He’s an industry icon and gadfly all in one (if that’s even possible), and while some of the wonky depths he and his “panbots” delve into topics may be a bit daunting. If you’re in the market for the latest electronic cartography or want to refit your helm, your research may start and end with this blog.
I’m a big fan of boaters out there pushing boundaries, and First Mate Kate and her fiancé Tom DeBacco are making some waves of their own. They’re active cruisers taking on the Great Loop in their Bavaria 44, and here’s the kicker, they’re in their 30s (now known as The Generation that Forgot Stop Working and Go Boating). Their story will be outlined in an upcoming feature in BoatQuest.com sister media property Power & Motoryacht (a sister brand of BoatQuest.com), but she tells a story with a great, light touch and some terrific photos that make you feel you’re along for the ride if you, you know, forgot to stop working and go boating yourself.
Pete Swanson is a friend, yes, and a colleague but he’s also an old newspaper guy (not that old) who gets his facts straight while sharing good stories. He’s got a streak of the giant killer in him, so if you’re in a position of authority his tone may set your teeth on edge. But his blogs (offered on BoatQuest.com sister brand Soundings) offer insight into cruising, specifically to that destination flavor of the month, Cuba, a topic on which he’s a noted expert. He also shares stories that get filed under I can’t make this stuff up about people wronged, boating tales, and corruption run rampant.
I got familiar with Richard Bost when Power & Motoryacht did an electronics story about how he went about outfitting his Kadey Krogen 42 for a transatlantic voyage. The man is an inspiration to cruisers everywhere, with his methodical, matter-of-fact approach to using a boat to its full capabilities. And while now is not the right time for me to be navigating the waterways of the low countries on my way to Estonia, I can join Richard and live vicariously as I get ready, you know, to go to work.
My colleague at Power & Motoryacht Dan Harding is learning the ropes as a sailor, and he and his fiancée bought a boat and are out there cruising, taking care of the boat together and living the boating dream. His triumphs and frustrations are all very relatable as this young couple make their way. The spirit of youth is infectious, and his words and photos bring you along for every dipped paintbrush, every wiring project, every sunset, and every cold beer. Preferably in that order!