Matthew's blog

Fog over Collins Bay

Fog may be a routine matter for the Maritimers who read this; for us Great Lakes folk, though, it's a bit of a rarity during the boating season. Most boaters around here simply avoid it, but there are often a handful who will forge on through no matter what.

Towing big things with a small boat

Towing little things with a big boat is pretty straightforward. There are plenty of nuances and details, of course; one sure way to spark a lengthy debate among cruising sailors is to ask about the best way to tow a dinghy. But, ultimately, towing something smaller than your own boat boils down to "tie it up, fiddle with the tow line, then drive normally".

Towing big things with a little boat is somewhat trickier, not to mention riskier. It is, nevertheless, important to be able to do it. You never know when you might have to press the dinghy into service to get a crippled mothership into harbour, or when you might need to help someone out in an emergency.

2013's computer security risks: What you need to know (and do)

The Internet is a marvelous, but scary and dangerous, place. And there's a good chance that most of what you think you know about staying safe is out of date.

Here's a summary of the major risks I've seen for individual users recently, and some tips on how to protect yourself against them. (A business or government will of course face more, and more sophisticated, threats- this article is about individual users, with mobile gadgets or home PCs.)

Boat manuals need to include electrical schematics and software details

Good drawings take time to make. Time costs money. Therefore, good drawings are not cheap.

Some boat builders seem to think that this logic leads to a fourth point: "Therefore, we will not include drawings."

Er, guys? Not cool. Seriously, not cool. Just see what happens the very first time the owner has to have something fixed, and the technician spends most of a day rooting around in the bilges trying to figure out where the hell all the wires are going.

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