Fourth-Quar­ter Re­port: Lots Of Ac­tion At Mile Zero

Soundings - - Bottom Of The Bay -

Although you may be read­ing this in mid- Oc­to­ber, the mag­a­zine’s Novem­ber cover date brings back my New Eng­land mind-set, with vi­sions of boats hauled and but­toned up for win­ter. But here at the bot­tom of the Bay, the last quar­ter of the year is still boat­ing sea­son.

There is great cruising into Novem­ber, and the peak sea­son for striper fish­ing is just get­ting go­ing. If you are still in the wa­ter and yearn­ing for a longer sea­son, come on down. If you fish, think about tak­ing part in the De­cem­ber striper ac­tion with one of the many guid­ing out­fits in this part of the world.

Out­boards: Back To The Fu­ture

As kids, many of us had out­boards on our first com­mands; I still dream of that 13- foot Bos­ton Whaler, although my 60- some­thing lower back twinges at the thought. To­day, we may have a mod­est cen­ter con­sole in our boat­ing mix, but pow­er­ful mod­ern out­boards have changed the land­scape for big­ger hulls. Boat­ing mag­a­zines are full of 40-plus-foot, mul­ti­engine canyon run­ners, and we see those builders of­fer­ing cruise-friendly, fam­ily-ori­ented out­board de­signs up through 30-plus feet.

The power, longevity and ef­fi­ciency of to­day’s out­boards is chang­ing the cruising-boat scene at an ac­cel­er­at­ing rate. While diesels with straight shafts, pods or jets re­main the gold stan­dard on larger cruis­ers, the in­tro­duc­tion of yachts such as MJM’s 35z and 43z show just how main­stream out­board-pow­ered boats may be­come. Small-boat builders such as Cut­wa­ter and Ranger Tugs — long ded­i­cated to diesels — are of­fer­ing out­board power on mod­els where diesels were for­merly the stan­dard.

New fuel tanks and plumb­ing have quelled long-held fears of gaso­line-re­lated ac­ci­dents, and ad­vances in out­board noise sup­pres­sion have kept pace with in­board ad­vances. Out­boards also get all that ma­chin­ery out of the bilges. And the en­gines have be­come part of the styling state­ment, with cus­tom paint jobs or the rad­i­cal vi­su­als on the big Ev­in­rude E-TECs. While big out­boards on big­ger boats are not rev­o­lu­tion­ary to some, the rapid evo­lu­tion go­ing on is fun to watch.

Gath­er­ing Of The Clans

If his­tory holds true, snow­birds and cruising ral­lies will gather around Mile Zero, wait­ing to head to sea or down the Ditch in early

South­bound snow­birds oc­ca­sion­ally have to pause to let a big boy pass.

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