resources – in particular, the navigation aids that delineate the channel. I’ve traveled the ICW in both directions several times, Bahamas,
and parts of the Caribbean. I’d never rely totally on a chartplotter!
Just as an example, pulling into Alice Town, Bimini, from the south. If
I followed the chartplotter, I’d be on land! To be fair, there was a sidebar, “Planning To Travel The ICW,” that does say to check with other
navigation aids when the magenta line conflicts with the surrounding landscape. But why would anyone follow a line on a chartplotter
instead of navigating by the channel markers?
Harpers Ferry, WV
From Bill Parlatore: Thanks for your comments. It appears some may have
taken me out of context or assumed we followed the magenta line over other
aids to navigation. Yes, this is a wonderful tool to get a sense of the general
route one takes when traveling north or south on the ICW, but it is not to
be used as a primary navigation tool, as I hoped to affirm in the article.
The magenta line is not now, nor was it ever intended to be, an accurate
depiction of a course line on which one can place waypoints. It is simply
a broad brush of the Intracoastal Waterway. Boat owners today have a
variety of tools from which to navigate, including buoys, paper charts,
chart books, electronic plotters, even iPads. The prudent mariner uses them
all but fully relies on none.
THANKS FOR READING
I get other boating magazines each month and I read a few parts
THE SHAPE OF THINGS
of each. I also get BoatU.S. Magazine, and I have to say I probably
read all of it. Your articles are timely, pertinent, and informative.
Notwithstanding all of the services BoatU.S. provides, and the work
BoatU.S. does protecting boaters’ interests, I think I’d continue to
join just to get the magazine. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying, “Job
well done.” Dick Mullins
Cape Coral, FL
A few seasons ago, I was anchored at the edge of a channel when I saw
a commercial tug pushing a barge at a distance of about two miles,
appearing to be coming right at us. I tried to reach him on the radio,
and when the tug was about a half-mile from me, I pulled the anchor
and moved. The tug never altered his course or signaled in any way.
I mentioned this event to an old salt in my marina and he asked me
if I was flying an anchor ball. I had never heard of one before. I started
doing some checking and found rule #30, regarding day shapes. As I
understand the rule, the anchor ball (day shape), similar to having your
anchor light illuminated at night, indicates that you are at anchor. Perhaps
this is a long-forgotten rule, but it still is in the regs.
Glen Cove, NY
I thought Charles Fort’s article, “What A Yacht Broker Can Do For
You,” was very well written and I hope your members read and under-
stand it. As a yacht broker, I did take exception to the idea that selling
your own boat can save you 10-15 percent. Most of these owners will
learn and come running to a broker to help them sell their next boat.
The brokers have the tools to do it. Dick Sciuto
A Familiar Scene
Gary Halford got a surprise when he opened the last issue of the
magazine and saw … his own boat, Sandpiper. Turns out, when a
photographer snapped the shot, Gary and Sandpiper were en route
to “Paddle for the Border,” a kayaking event that goes from the
Virginia state line to the Dismal Swamp State Park in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Tourism folks liked it enough to send it out, and
we liked it enough to run with Bill Parlatore’s “Magenta Line” story.
“We aren’t looking for royalties,” Gary writes, “just the great satisfaction that Sandpiper was chosen for the spot.”
A Rare Cruiser
Jim Hornung sent in a shot
of himself, Simba Jo, and
Lil’ Simba enjoying the sunset after arriving in Kemah,
Texas, from Fort Lauderdale.
And they were traveling
first class, aboard his former U.S. Navy Yard Patrol
boat, YP 655, which has
been converted to a recreational boat. He says there
are about four of these
wooden boats still afloat,
“the last of the wooden
Navy.” His was decommissioned in 1992.
A Family Affair
Speaking of navies, Bobby Shore, from Mechanicsville, Virginia,
sent in this photo of the fleet his family is amassing on the lower
Potomac River. From left to right that’s Bobby’s daughter Amber,
sister Deborah, and brother Brian. Also from left to right, that’s two
kayaks, a 9-foot hydroplane, a 16-foot Chris-Craft, Bobby’s 24-foot
Superboat, and a Glacier Bay with two 90-hp Yamahas. “The boating
tradition all started with my father 45 years ago,” Bobby says, “and
it has been passed down to me and my family. Every summer finds
us having fun on the water with our boats.”