New mod­els, char­ters, and the loss of a great de­signer.

Passage Maker - - News & Notes -


We are sad to an­nounce the sud­den death of Ge­orge Buehler, boat­builder, de­signer, and great friend to an­i­mals in need. Ge­orge died Fe­bru­ary 28, 2018, at age 69.

Ge­orge would be hon­ored if in lieu of flow­ers, do­na­tions were made to one of his two fa­vorite char­i­ties. Whid­bey An­i­mals’ Im­prove­ment Foun­da­tion (WAIF) is a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion on Wash­ing­ton’s Whid­bey Is­land that helps the is­land’s home­less com­pan­ion an­i­mal pop­u­la­tion ( waifan­i­ Also based in western Wash­ing­ton, Old Dog Haven sim­i­larly strives to help aging dogs in their golden years by find­ing car­ing foster homes for them ( old­

Ge­orge made his mark on the cruis­ing world by de­sign­ing and build­ing the fuel-ef­fi­cient and ocean­go­ing Diesel Duck, a cruiser in­spired by fish­ing trollers. While the salty good looks of the Diesel Ducks stand out, it was Buehler’s em­pha­sis on sim­plic­ity, par­tic­u­larly in the hull form, to min­i­mize the com­plex­ity of the build that truly set his de­signs apart. He

was a min­i­mal­ist who bris­tled at the idea that his stripped­down style some­how meant his boats were missing key de­sign fea­tures. Rather, Buehler was im­pas­sioned by the be­lief that he could and should build boats that elim­i­nated need­less com­plex­i­ties in or­der to sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the cost of build­ing and op­er­at­ing them.

Buehler was in­spired by other leg­endary de­sign­ers such as L. Fran­cis Her­reshoff and Wil­liam Atkin, but he also felt com­pelled to build boats that the av­er­age per­son could af­ford. In his own words, Buehler put the phi­los­o­phy like this: “It ap­peared to me the ‘niche’ I could pur­sue was one tak­ing the looks and feel and hope­fully as much of the per­for­mance of the type of boats I liked, but ‘in­ter­pret’ things so that [it] was fea­si­ble for a ‘nor­mal’ per­son to own one. This means keep­ing the pro­file look of the types I like, but chang­ing the hull form to make them sim­pler, which means less ex­pen­sive, to build.” It was im­por­tant that his de­signs were ac­ces­si­ble—able to be built by small shops or even by home builders—in or­der to lower the bar­rier for en­try into the off­shore cruis­ing world. -PS


On­tario’s Rideau Canal, stretch­ing 110 nau­ti­cal miles be­tween Kingston and Ot­tawa, gained its UN­ESCO World Her­itage sta­tus in 2007 for be­ing one of the great­est en­gi­neer­ing feats of the 19th cen­tury and the old­est con­tin­u­ously op­er­ated canal sys­tem in North Amer­ica.

Six­teen state-of-the-art Hori­zon cruis­ers were built ex­clu­sively for Le Boat, Europe’s most pop­u­lar canal cruise com­pany, so char­ter­ers can cruise the unique land­scape of Canada’s Rideau Wa­ter­way in style. Each ves­sel of­fers spa­cious cab­ins and mod­ern ac­cou­trements, like handy USB ports, as well as a light and airy sa­loon with a fully equipped gal­ley. Over­sized win­dows and a huge sun­deck al­low pas­sen­gers to take in the views.

To fa­cil­i­tate ease of han­dling, the Hori­zon mod­els are equipped with bow and stern thrusters that al­low op­er­a­tors to eas­ily man­age locks along the canal routes. The boats were built in Poland but in­clude sev­eral Canada-spe­cific mod­i­fi­ca­tions in­clud­ing a full-length steel keel/ground­ing plate, 110V shore­power, and power in­vert­ers.

The trips, too, will fill your photo al­bums. Le Boat cus­tomers are now able to cruise long sec­tions of the Rideau Canal, the Rideau River, and the open Rideau Lakes, which are dot­ted with charm­ing vil­lages that echo the his­tory and ar­chi­tec­ture of the most pris­tine river­side towns of Europe. All of Le Boat’s Cana­dian char­ters start and end from their home base in Smiths Falls, On­tario, and cus­tomers can se­lect from short or long breaks and choose a cruis­ing area that best fits their travel style. Va­ca­tion­ers also have the op­tion to rent bi­cy­cles, kayaks, and stand-up pad­dle­boards to en­hance the ex­pe­ri­ence and take ad­van­tage of the pris­tine wa­ter­ways and ev­ery­thing the beau­ti­ful re­gion has to of­fer. -JC or 1-800-734-5491


The new­est bow thrusters from Vetus, the BOW PRO se­ries (an ab­bre­vi­a­tion of “bow-pro­por­tional”), re­ceived the pres­ti­gious NMMA In­no­va­tion Award in the “Propul­sion Equip­ment & Parts” cat­e­gory at the Mi­ami Boat Show. Pre­sented by the Na­tional Ma­rine Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, th­ese awards honor man­u­fac­tur­ers and sup­pli­ers that cre­ate in­no­va­tive prod­ucts in the boat­ing

in­dus­try and bring those prod­ucts to mar­ket. The NMMA part­ners with Boat­ing Writ­ers In­ter­na­tional (BWI) to se­lect ob­jec­tive ex­perts to judge. “With its in­te­grated brain, the Bow-Pro­por­tional could be the smartest bow thruster built,” said Zuzana Proc­hazka, head of the award com­mit­tee. BOW PRO thrusters are fit­ted with proven in­duc­tion tech­nol­ogy. The sys­tem makes car­bon brushes ob­so­lete, and, as a re­sult, the thruster pro­duces less noise and can pro­vide vir­tu­ally un­lim­ited run­ning time. The in­duc­tion mo­tor is con­trolled by the Vetus MCV mo­tor con­troller, which can han­dle both 12V and 24V, mak­ing the new thruster suit­able for boats of nearly ev­ery size. “We are ex­cited to see the Vetus BOW PRO line of bow thrusters re­ceive the pres­ti­gious Mi­ami 2018 In­no­va­tion Award,” said Christo­pher De­boy, vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing and sales for Ve­tusMaxwell, Inc. “We in­vest heav­ily in re­search and de­vel­op­ment and it is re­ward­ing to re­ceive recog­ni­tion for this hard work.”


Vol­umes have been writ­ten about the in­ter­na­tional voy­ages of boats built by North­ern Ma­rine, not the least of

which was the cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion of the globe by Bruce and Joan Kessler aboard Zopi­lote, their 70-foot trawler. Along with Michael Poliza, who voy­aged 78,000 miles on a three-year trip aboard the 75-foot Star­ship, the Kesslers were among the first to take a boat of this size on such a pas­sage. Af­ter a hia­tus, North­ern Ma­rine’s story has re­sumed. Though the com­pany restarted com­plete op­er­a­tions in 2014, few knew that the builder of th­ese lux­ury fulld­is­place­ment pas­sage­mak­ers was back in busi­ness un­til a 57-footer with a baby-blue hull showed up at the Mi­ami Boat Show in Fe­bru­ary 2018. The boat, Agave, didn’t ma­te­ri­al­ize out of thin air, of course. Owned by North­ern Ma­rine’s new prin­ci­pal owner, Agave had al­ready cruised from North­ern’s home port in Ana­cortes, Wash­ing­ton, to Alaska and then down through the Panama Canal on her way to south Florida. She will spend sum­mers in the greater New York area and will likely be on dis­play at the 2018 New­port and Fort Laud­erdale boat shows as well.

Ac­cord­ing to North­ern Ma­rine’s web­site, the com­pany is stick­ing to the tried-and-true naval ar­chi­tec­ture that al­lowed ex­plor­ers like the Kesslers and Poliza to forge rep­u­ta­tions as global voy­agers: “Ad­vanced resin-in­fused com­pos­ite tech­nol­ogy pro­duces a hull and su­per­struc­ture of ex­tra­or­di­nary strength, equal to the de­mands of se­ri­ous pas­sage­mak­ing. High bul­warks for­ward de­flect spray for a dry ride; a full-length keel, bul­bous bow de­sign and hy­draulic sta­bi­liz­ers de­liver su­pe­rior sta­bil­ity for un­sur­passed com­fort at sea.” One visit to the 57’s en­gine room is all you’ll need to know that it was built for safety and long dis­tances. Tank­age and an eco­nom­i­cal run with the genset will net its own­ers about 4,000 nau­ti­cal miles at 8.5 knots. -JC north­ern­ma­


New Eng­land–based MJM Yachts re­cently an­nounced a new ad­di­tion. The MJM 53z is the third boat in their lineup of Out­board Ex­press cruis­ers. Launched just a year ago, this line is al­ready reap­ing re­wards for the com­pany. An­other feather in the cap for naval ar­chi­tect Doug Zurn, the new 53z will fea­ture stan­dard quad-drive 350-horse­power Mer­cury Ver­a­dos. The boat will be able to hit or ex­ceed 50 knots and will con­tinue in the com­pany’s tra­di­tion of sea­wor­thy per­form­ers, car­ry­ing a CE Cat­e­gory A rating. Ac­cord­ing to MJM founder and CEO Bob John­stone, “With the twin MJM 35z and triple MJM 43z in­tro­duced last year, and par­tic­u­larly now with this new quad MJM 53z, the term ‘out­board cruis­ing yachts’ has

be­come a real­ity.”

There is lit­tle doubt that the for­mula is work­ing: Ac­cord­ing to MJM’s Roe O’Brien, the com­pany has al­ready de­liv­ered 12 Out­board Ex­press mod­els and has or­ders in hand for an ad­di­tional 28. All MJMs are con­structed at the sta­teof-the-art fa­cil­ity at Bos­ton BoatWorks, the builder that has held the ex­clu­sive con­tract since MJM started in 2003. -JC mjmy­


Boaters Univer­sity, the on­line ed­u­ca­tion site of the Ac­tive In­ter­est Me­dia (AIM) Ma­rine Group, has launched two new cour­ses for 2018: “An­glers Boot­camp: The Ba­sics of Salt­wa­ter Fish­ing” is avail­able now at boater­suni­ver­; “Safety & Res­cue at Sea” will be avail­able soon.

An­glers Boot­camp is a great in­tro- duc­tion to salt­wa­ter fish­ing for new and ex­pe­ri­enced an­glers alike. In­struc­tor John Brown­lee, host of An­glers Jour­nal TV, talks stu­dents through knots, hooks, tackle, ter­mi­nol­ogy, and var­i­ous an­gling tech­niques. If you’re look­ing to tackle the chal­lenge of salt­wa­ter fish­ing this sum­mer, this course will launch you in the right di­rec­tion.

The Safety & Res­cue at Sea course is a must-have for any­one who ven­tures off­shore. Taught by Sound­ings safety con­trib­u­tor, Mario Vit­tone, this course teaches tech­niques for deal­ing with on­board emer­gen­cies—start­ing with how to avoid them—by eval­u­at­ing and mit­i­gat­ing risk aboard your boat. Vit­tone has spent his life re­spond­ing to and eval­u­at­ing boat­ing ac­ci­dents and emer­gen­cies, first as a USCG res­cue swim­mer and then as a ves­sel in­spec­tor and ac­ci­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tor. With years of ex­pe­ri­ence, he is a na­tion­ally rec­og­nized ex­pert on immersion hy­pother­mia, drown­ing, sea sur­vival, and safety at sea. He now works to im­part his ex­ten­sive knowl­edge to course par­tic­i­pants so that they will never get a visit from some­one like him.

North­ern Ma­rine 57

Ren­der­ing of the new MJM 53z

Above: An­glers Boot­camp: The Ba­sics of Salt­wa­ter Fish­ing in­struc­tor John Brown­lee ex­plains how to match your tackle to the fish you are tar­get­ing.

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